UIF appeals to employers to resolve errors on Covid-19 TERS portal to finalise outstanding claims
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has appealed to employers to resolve errors on the COVID-19 TERS portal to enable it to finalise outstanding claims.
The claims cannot be finalised until certain corrections are effected and that can only be done by the applicants and they appear as outstanding Covid-19 TERS payments. The UIF has done all it needed to and the onus is now on the claimants – if they qualify.
Since the inception of the relief scheme in March 2020, UIF has successfully made multiple payments totalling R63-billion in 14 292 888 payments to employees from 786 972 applications received from employers.
The Fund aims to rapidly decrease the number of outstanding claims and ultimately close them by the end of December 2021, as they cannot remain open indefinitely. The COVID-19 TERS portal provides self-explanatory error messages where a claim has been unsuccessful. It further gives advice to the applicant on action they need to take to resolve an error.
“We have observed that most Covid-19 TERS payments are unsuccessful due to employers or their representatives failing to follow the application procedures correctly. The application platform provides error messages and guides employers on what they need to do to correct mistakes,” said Advocate Mzie Yawa, Acting UIF Commissioner.
Partners at NEDLAC – Labour and Business - have been requested, variously, to encourage their constituencies to attend to and correct these errors on the COVID-19 TERS portal.
“We appreciate efforts by among others SACTWU and NUMSA who heeded our plea to talk to their employers, which has helped to have most of their issues resolved. We urge all unions and employers whose members/workers have not been paid to correct the errors or causes of none payment as they appear on our portal, and resubmit corrected applications so payments can be finalised. Failure to do this within a month from now, may result in the application considered closed,” said Yawa.
The quantum of outstanding payments is a major concern for both NEDLAC partners and UIF. As a result, a project team has been formed to find solutions for the most common errors relating to specific UIF process of compliance or audit/risk issue.
The most common errors that the team will be focussing on fall within the following broad categories: Declarations, Incorrect banking details, Incorrect income, invalid Identity and Passport numbers. The project will involve reaching out to employers through various communication mechanisms, improved customer interface on COVID-19 TERS portal, and vigorous compliance drive.
The UIF, like other bodies in same space, is still verifying applications for the Workers Affected By Unrest (WABU) relief scheme. To date, 255 applications have been received since the opening for application towards the end of August 2021. Payments shall be made as soon as these pass the verification process.
“We believe everyone should appreciate that efforts must be taken to curb the TERS fraud we encountered. It is, therefore, necessary for us to take extra precaution when we process claims for WABU to prevent fraudulent such from recurring”, concluded Yawa.
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