EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance, stated the Ministry of Labour and Employment. It stated this decision was taken to support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
It was stated that members who have already availed of the first COVID-19 advance can now opt for a second advance also. These claims will be settled within three days of their receipt, the ministry. "Auto-mode of settlement enables EPFO to reduce the claim settlement cycle to just 3 days as against the statutory requirement to settle the claims within 20 days."
A subscriber can withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member's credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided.
It also allows members to lower amount as well.
This COVID-19 advance has been a great help to the EPF members during the pandemic, especially for those having monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000, claimed the ministry.
As of date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims and disbursed a total of Rs 18,698.15 crore.
The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
An amendment to this effect was made by Ministry of Labour and Employment in Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 by inserting therein sub-para (3) under paragraph 68L, through notification in the Official Gazette.
The provision and process for withdrawal of second COVID-19 advance is same as in the case of the first advance.