PF WITHDRAWAL RULES AMID COVID-19 CRISIS
The government announced back in March 2020 that an individual can withdraw a certain sum from their Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) account, if he/she is facing financial problems due to the coronavirus-related lockdown.
The government has notified amendment in EPF scheme rules regarding withdrawal of funds from the EPF account to deal with coronavirus-related financial exigencies. According to the amended rules, a member can withdraw an amount equal to three months of basic salary and dearness allowance (DA) or 75 per cent of the credit balance in the account, whichever is lower for them.
So, for example, in case you have a balance of ₹1 lakh in your provident fund account and your three months’ basic pay and dearness allowance add up to ₹45,000, then you can withdraw up to ₹45,000.
Such withdrawals are generally processed within three days of receipt of claims.
However, if you are planning to opt for such a withdrawal from the provident fund, it’s important to understand the tax implications.
As these withdrawals are made due to covid-related stress, the government has made such withdrawals tax-free in the hands of employees.
Apart from this, the EPFO allows taxpayers to withdraw partially for specific purposes such as buying a house, child’s education, marriage, etc. These withdrawals are generally allowed after five years’ service and are hence tax-free.
The EPF balance can also be fully withdrawn after two months of unemployment.
Eligibility to apply for withdrawal
To apply for claim online, an EPF account holder should satisfy these three conditions:
a) Universal Account Number (UAN) of the EPF member must be activated
b) Aadhaar number should be verified and linked with UAN
c) Bank account of the EPF member with correct IFSC should be seeded with UAN.
How to apply for withdrawal:
Step 1: Visit the Member e-Sewa portal: https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/
Step 2: Login to your account by entering your UAN, password and captcha code.
Step 3: Go to Online services and select claim (Form -31, 19,10C and 10D)
Step 4: A new webpage will appear on your screen with all your details such as name, date of birth, and last four digits of your Aadhaar number. The webpage will ask you to enter your bank account number. Enter your bank account number in the required space and click on verify. A pop-up will appear on your screen asking you to give a 'Certificate of undertaking'.
Step 5: Once the bank account number is verified, then click on 'Proceed for online claim'.
Step 6: From the drop down menu, you will be required to select 'PF advance (Form 31)'.
Step 7: You will be required to select purpose of withdrawal as 'Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)' from the drop down menu.
Step 8: Enter the amount required and upload the scanned copy of cheque and enter your address.
Step 9: A one-time password (OTP) will be sent on your mobile number registered with Aadhaar.
Step 10: Enter the OTP received by you via SMS.
Withdrawing via EPFO's Umang app:
Step 1: Login to Umang App
Step 2: Select EPFO
Step 3: Select 'Employee Centric Services'
Step 4: Select the option 'Raise Claim'
Step 5: Enter your UAN details and click on 'Get OTP' to get one-time password to login in your account.
Step 6: Enter the OTP and click on login. Once you are successfully logged in to your account, enter last four digits of your bank account and select the member ID from the drop down menu. Click on 'Proceed for claim'.
Step 7: You will be required to enter your address. Click on 'Next' once the correct details are entered.
Step 8: Upload the cheque image. Once all the details and required information is entered, then your claim will be filed.
How to check the status of the claim
To check the status of the claim you filed, you can log in to your account on the Member e-Sewa portal. You can check the status by clicking on 'Track Claim status' under the 'online service.
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