EPFO members allowed second advance withdrawal citing COVID-19
The Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has allowed its five crore subscribers to avail a second advance withdrawal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last March, the Centre had allowed EPF members to withdraw basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) of three months or up to 75% of the PF money (whichever is lesser) as advance due to COVID-19. Here are more details.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment said on Monday, "To support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance." "The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)," it said.
"An amendment to this effect was made by Ministry of Labour & Employment in Employees' Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 by inserting therein sub-para (3) under paragraph 68L, through notification in the Official Gazette," the Ministry's statement went on to add.
In light of the second wave of COVID-19 and the rising cases of "black fungus," the EPFO "endeavors to lend a helping hand to its members by meeting their financial needs." Members who availed the first advance can also avail the second, it said. The process remains the same and the EPFO remains "committed to settle these claims within three days of their receipt."
The EPFO said the advance payment was of great help to EPF members, especially those earning under Rs. 15,000 a month. It said that it has settled more than 76.31 lakh advance claims, disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore so far. The EPFO has also set up an auto-claim settlement process to process the claims faster.