The one thing that does not need introduction today is the dreadly pandemic of Corona. The worst the health effects in the country are because of this Covid-19, equally dangerous are its economic ill effects on the country. There can be a separate article to go on and on the economic impact on the country by this virus, mainly due to the lockdown. But here we would stick to the topic and understand the same in greater details.
The pandemic made all the countries across to globe to take tough and immediate steps to counter face the issue. India was nowhere an exception. Even India decided with a 21 day lockdown initially followed by similar extension leading to a lockdown till 3 May as of now. Though this lockdown is a logical and sensible option from a health and safety perspective, it comes will an equal economic baggage. This baggage ranges from all the bodies be it individual to companies. But we here shall intrude on the economic impact on the individual.
An individual citizen faced lot of uncertainty during this phase of lockdown. If he does not have a backup of savings, it is a real challenging time. Indian Government is trying its best to cope with this issue. For instance, they have come up with various schemes right from monetary to food provision for citizens below poverty line. The other segment, who are neither privileged nor below poverty line are our salaried class of citizens. Most of the middle class segment fall in this category. Hence, what all our Government could think of and implement for this segment was to ease the withdrawal of their own available accumulated Provident Fund. Rules have been amended and notified by the government for coronavirus related need for withdrawal of money from EPF accounts. An EPF member can withdraw up to 75 percent of EPF account balance or three months’ basic wages or the amount that person actually needs, whichever is lower, according to the amended rules. Amid the coronavirus lockdown, if a person is facing crisis, he/she can withdraw a certain amount from Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), the government of India said on March 26. The amendment in rules has been notified by the government for the coronavirus-related need for withdrawal of money from EPF accounts. An EPF member can withdraw up to 75 percent of EPF account balance or three months’ basic wages or the amount that person actually needs, whichever is lower, according to the amended rules.
An EPF account holder should follow three things to apply for claim online:
a) Universal Account Number (UAN) of the EPF member must be activated
b) Aadhaar should be verified and linked with UAN
c) Bank account of the EPF member with IFSC Code should be seeded with UAN.
Procedure to apply for EPF withdrawal during Pandemic
- Visit the member e-Sewa website
- Log in by entering your UAN, password and captcha code.
- Visit Online services and select claim option (Form -31, 19,10C and 10D)
- A new page will appear on screen with all information such as name, date of birth, and last four digits of Aadhaar number. The page will also show bank account details. Enter the last four digits of the bank account and click on verify. A pop-up will appear on your screen asking you to give a ‘Certificate of undertaking’.
- Once the last four digits of bank account are verified, then click on ‘Proceed for online claim’.
- From the drop down menu, you will be required to select ‘PF advance (Form 31)’.
- A one-time password (OTP) will be sent on your mobile number registered with Aadhaar.
- Enter the OTP received by you via SMS.
- Once the OTP is successfully submitted, the claim request will also be submitted. The money will be credited to your bank account only if the details match and your claim is accepted by the EPFO.
Checking the status of claim
EPF member can log in to his/her account on the Member e-Sewa portal and there check the status by clicking on ‘Track Claim status’ under the ‘online services’ tab.
Remember things while applying
- While applying for withdrawal, check whether the organization is exempted. If the organisation is exempted, then EPF members will have to contact the employer for the withdrawal. Exempted organisations are those having private trusts to manage the EPF of employees.
- To curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended nationwide lockdown till May 3. Depending on the graph of coronavirus some restrictions might be lifted after April 20.
- The main aim of lockdown is to curb the spread of coronavirus by maintaining social distancing, restriction of movement of people from one place to another.