If you plan to apply for the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme benefits, this article will provide a seamless guide through the application process and claim TERS benefits. Before initiating the application process, ensure that you are eligible to claim the benefits. The eligibility criteria are simple:
- You must have been required to stop business operations either fully or partially during the different lockdown levels according to the published regulations.
- The benefits extend to employees who have been required to quarantine themselves or self-isolate during the pandemic.
- You are also eligible if you have been unable to make use of your services either fully or partially because you had to limit the number of workers at the workplace or due to the introduction of the shift system, and any other measure that was taken in compliance with the regulations put in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19.
- If you are an employee aged 60 and above who cannot be accommodated at the workplace, you are eligible for this benefit.
- You (the employer) were not able to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable employees to work from home or take other measures.
- Most importantly, your employer must have registered you with the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The TERS Application Process
Once you have gone through the eligibility criteria and are eligible for the benefit, you can start the application process. You stand a better chance of claiming the TERS benefits if your company can prove that it has complied with all UIF legislation. If the company has not been compliant, then it can undertake to pay all outstanding contributions within a specific time frame. You also stand a better chance if your company can prove that it has or it will embark on a sustainability program that will guarantee job preservation once the funding agreement expires. And lastly, you stand a high chance of consideration if you can meet up with UIF legislation obligations.
For you to have an easy and trouble-free application, you should have all documentation ready. You will need these documents:
- A signed approval or an acceptance letter
- A current bank confirmation letter
- Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed and received for the prior period. This could be an EFT, payroll report, or pay recon.
- Proof of refund to the UIF
- And a letter of authority.
If you are a first-time beneficiary, this would mean you will not be able to have proof of previous payment to employees. In this case, this is what you should do:
- Activate your profile online on the official website. The website URL is https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid-19/
- Follow the instructions as they appear
- Then you will be required to sign an electronic MOA (memorandum of agreement) and letter of undertaking
- Then upload your bank confirmation letter as well
Now to apply:
- Use this direct link to apply. https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid-19/.
- Log into your profile.
- Fill out the forms correctly and upload all relevant documentation.
- Check to make sure everything is in order.
- Once you have done so, click on the apply button.
- Log in to your profile every couple of days to check your application status.
- Once you are logged in, click the “status” button in the menu bar. Then you will be able to see if your application has been processed or not. “Processed” means your application has been received, and if the amount value is zero (0), this means that your application has been rejected.
How Are TERS Benefits Calculated?
Now that you have applied, you are probably wondering how much you would be paid and why. Your concern is valid, and to answer any questions you might have, here is a breakdown of how payment benefits are calculated and how much you should be expecting.
- The COVID-19 benefits are calculated using a UI calculation formula which is based on your usual monthly earnings. The system used for these calculations is the income replacement sliding scale (38%-60%) as stipulated in the unemployment act.
- The maximum amount an employee can receive is capped off to the amount of R6.730.56 per month per employee.
- The maximum amount that will be taken into consideration when calculating the benefits is R17.712 per month.
- The calculations are done such that an eligible employee receives at least R3.500 per month.
- Simple rules or directives guide how these calculations are made.
- The benefits of a qualifying employee will be calculated by section 13 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act.
- If, after the calculations and added remunerations, the benefits do not sum up to R3,500, the benefit will be increased to ensure that the employee receives the minimum amount of R3.500
- Calculations are also subjected to the number of days the lockdown lasts. This means the benefits you receive may reduce or may increase each month.
- Another determinant is how much you earned for work during the lockdown periods. If you worked more hours, then it is assumed that you earned more; therefore, your benefits would be reduced. The same conditions would apply if the situation were the opposite. So if you earned little for work, then your applicable benefit would increase.
TERS Claim (How to Claim)
After submitting your application, you must check and track the process of your TERS application. If you had already claimed your UIF sickness benefit, you might not be able to claim TERS. If you had already applied for your TERS benefit, then these steps would help you claim your benefits with ease.
Step 1: Log in
To log in to your profile, use this direct link to have access to the login portal. https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid-19/
Be sure to enter your username and password correctly in their corresponding boxes.
Step 2: Apply for benefits.
Once you have logged in, follow the steps listed above to apply for your TERS benefit. Be sure to have all important documentation ready before starting the application process.
Step 3: Check application status
Log into your TERS profile every couple of days to check the status of your claim application. Once you are logged in, click the “status” button in the menu bar. Then you will be able to see if your application has been processed or not. “Processed” means your application has been received, and if the amount value is zero (0), this means that your application has been rejected.
Step 4: getting paid
Suppose the application status shows that there has been a successful payment of your TERS claim, except to get paid within five days. TERS benefits are now paid directly into the bank accounts of employees. Employers are then required to input the correct bank details of their employees.
NB: The banking details would have to be verified; if the employee’s details and the bank details are a confirmed match, then payment will be made. If the information does not match, the application for funds will be rejected, and no fund will be transferred into the employee’s account. The employer will be obliged to correct the employee’s banking details. You must ensure all banking details are accurate and valid.
- If you would like to know the application status of all of your employees, you can do so by requesting a payment report. This allows you to be able to know which of your employees have been paid and which have been rejected. You can do this by clicking on the payment breakdown report in the menu bar.
- Click on the green successful payment button, and you will be provided with a letter that you will need to download and sign as proof of payment of funds.
- Click on the red decline payment button, and a list of declined employees will appear.
- Alternatively, if you are still waiting to hear back from a submitted application at TERS, you can track the status of your application by reaching them directly via the TERS hotline on 012 337 1997
- If you would like to add new people to your claim, you can do so by logging in to your COVID-19 TERS portal and then clicking on the “employee details” button. Click the orange ‘add new employee’ button. You will have to add employees one after the other. You cannot use a CSV during this process.
When Do TERS Payout?
Now that you understand what you need to apply for TERS and what to expect in terms of cash payout amount, you should also understand when TERS pays out. TERS allowances are paid monthly to each participating employee. Once the application process is completed successfully, the company can expect payment to be made within five days.
Since the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme was created to support employees through the economic lockdowns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it pays out during these lockdowns.
The UIF has decided to continue paying out through the lockdown extensions. However, you will not be paid if you have already benefited from the UIF sickness/illness claim.
To conclude, in this article, we have been able to provide a step-by-step guide to applying for and claiming Temporary Employee Relief Scheme. We hope this guide proves useful in your TERS application and claims procedure. If you have any questions or concerns that have not been addressed in this article, it would be helpful for you to visit the UIF official website and visit their frequently asked question page.