The loss of a worker’s salary can be devastating for the dependants they leave behind. If the worker was eligible to pay into the UIF fund, and you can prove that the remaining spouse/life partner or dependent children relied on that salary for their livelihood, you may be eligible to make a UIF death benefit claim. This will be paid out as a lump sum to the amount the worker would have received had they become unemployed. Here are some facts to know about the UIF Death Benefit
UIF Calculator For Death Benefits
Calculating the amount due from a UIF death benefit can be tricky, as the department uses a variety of criteria to assess the amount due, including what the deceased was earning and how long they have been employed and paying into the fund.
The formula to calculate the deceased’s daily rate according to the UIF is as follows:
Salary (averaged for the last 6 months, capped at R17,712) multiplied by 12 months (for annual rate), divided by 365 (to reach a day rate)
The highest amount the UIF will pay out is 58% of that amount, depending on the number of days the worker paid into the fund. You receive one credit per 5 days worked, up to a full year’s worth of coverage if they have worked longer than 5 years at a UIF-contributing position.
How Much Does UIF Pay out for Death?
The UIF will pay out the full amount, which would have been due to the deceased if they had become unemployed and made a claim from the fund. This amount will vary from person to person, as it is dependent on their salary in the 5 years preceding their death, how long they have been employed and paying into the UIF fund, and several other criteria. It can be a reasonably substantial amount, so if you were dependent on the deceased at the time of their passing, it is well worth pursuing this avenue for funding to help you over this trying time.
How Does the UIF Death Benefits Work?
The UIF death benefit exists to help the deceased’s dependents after their passing. It cannot be claimed if there is another fund which will pay out, the compensation fund has paid out, or if the worker was suspended or under investigation for fraud at the time of their death. Non-dependant spouses, life partners, or children cannot claim the UIF death benefit. To make a claim, all paperwork and proof must be submitted either to the department in person or via the uFiling online platform.
To claim, you will need the following:
- A copy of the ID for the deceased and the claimant
- The deceased’s death certificate
- The deceased’s last 6 salary slips and proof of employment/letter of good standing
- Proof that a minor is still in school, proof of guardianship for them, and their birth certificate
- A marriage certificate if you are the spouse. Alternatively, an affidavit or lobola letter will be needed
- If the dependent is aged between 21-25, proof of further education will be needed.
- The forms from the department, which can be accessed online or in-person
What Happens to the UIF of the Deceased?
If you are a qualifying party who can claim the UIF death benefit, you have up to 18 months after the deceased’s passing to make the claim. This may be reduced to 6 months in the future, so it is better to make a claim sooner rather than later, despite your grief. If the deceased does not have any eligible dependents left, or if they do not make the claim in time, the funds paid by the deceased into the UIF will remain with the fund. There is no automatic reclaiming of UIF benefits paid in on death.
How is Death Benefits Paid Out?
UIF Death Benefits will be calculated and paid out as a single lump sum payment, so there will be no ongoing payments. It will be paid out to the bank account of the claiming dependant.
Who Claims the Death Benefit?
The UIF Death Benefits can only be paid out to the worker’s dependent spouse, dependent children, or recognized life partner. If there is a spouse or life partner, they should claim. If both have passed, or the life partner/spouse does not make a claim within 6 months, then the dependent children can make the claim. Adopted children can claim the death benefit the same as a natural child of the deceased.
How Long Does it Take for Death Benefits to be Paid in South Africa?
Once your claim is approved, you will typically receive the UIF death benefit payment within 8 weeks of filing the claim. It can be as little as 10 working days from the date the claim is approved. Make sure you provide all required proofs, and that the name on the bank account matches all other names on official paperwork to ensure as seamless a process as possible.
While death is never easy to deal with, making a UIF death benefit claim may help a dependent family over a difficult loss and provide some buffer against their lost income.
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