Facing money crunch due to covid? You can withdraw from your EPF account

With the third wave of the coronavrius gripping India and the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire, many households are or will soon start facing financial troubles. To ease the financial burden of the salaried class, the government back in March 2020 had announced 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 the 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.

Further, on May 31, 2021, the government announced that an EPF member can make a second non-refundable withdrawal from their EPF accounts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the second withdrawal, the members are allowed to 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. Members are allowed to withdraw a lower amount if they want, as per the press release.

Who can apply for EPF withdrawal

To apply for withdrawal claim online, an EPF account holder should satisfy these 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 withdraw from EPF account for covid related emergencies

Step 1: Go to https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ to access the Member e-Sewa portal.

Step 2: Enter your UAN, password, and captcha code to access your account.

Step 3: Select Claim from the Online Services menu (Form -31, 19,10C and 10D)

Step 4: A new webpage with all of your information, including your name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Aadhaar number, will display on your screen. You will be asked to input your bank account number on the website. Enter the account number for your bank. In the required field, type your bank account number and click Verify. On your screen, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to provide a ‘Certificate of undertaking.’

Step 5: After you’ve validated your bank account number, click ‘Proceed for’.

Step 6: Select ‘PF advance (Form 31)’ from the drop-down menu.

Step 7: From the drop-down menu, choose ‘Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)’ as the reason for your withdrawal.

Step 8: Enter the required amount, as well as the scanned copy of the cheque and your address.

Step 9: An OTP will be delivered to the mobile number associated with your Aadhaar account.

Step 10: Enter the OTP that you received via SMS.

The claim request will be sent once the OTP has been properly provided. Only if the information match and your claim is accepted by the EPFO will the money be credited to your bank account.

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 services’ tab.

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