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How to submit your EPF claim online

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-05-2017 Shaikh Zoaib Saleem

Once known as a sleepy sluggish institution, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been on an overdrive in the past few months in an attempt to become more user friendly. Among its most recent changes is that you can now submit a claim online. This process was earlier mired in paperwork and delay. This comes soon after EPFO introduced a composite claim form for submitting withdrawal requests, and did away with the need to submit supporting documents and certificates for partial withdrawals.

Making the claims process online is expected to reduce the time taken to process a claim. “With this, we hope to reduce the turnaround time from 20 days to 10 days. Even as the subscriber places the request electronically, the process is still manual at our end,” said V.P. Joy, central provident fund commissioner, EPFO. The process is now live on the EPFO website (http://bit.ly/2q1pHG6).

Here’s a look at what you need to do before submitting a claim online, based on the process explained to us by EPFO officials. Whether this works or not, is still to be tested.

Santosh Sharma/Mint

If you want to go online for your claims, you should have activated your Universal Account Number (UAN). Also, the mobile phone number you used to activate UAN should be in use. You need to seed your Aadhaar details into the EPFO database so that electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) verification can take place through a one-time password, which the Aadhaar authority will send, when you submit the claim. You can proceed only if you have registered or linked your Aadhaar. Otherwise, the website will prompt you to link your Aadhaar with UAN.

Apart from this, you also need to input your bank account details so that once the claim is settled, the money can be transferred online to the account.

“We have about four crore (40 million) contributing members. Out of this, about 1.8 crore (18 million) have Aadhaar and bank account linked with UAN,” said Joy.

If you have not been an EPFO member for at least 5 years, you also need to seed your permanent account number (PAN). “Only those individuals whose Aadhaar information has been verified and three data entries match—name, date of birth and gender—will be eligible to use the online claim service,” said Joy.

So, do the background work if you have a claim coming anytime soon. The Aadhaar-based composite claim form will be used for online claim submission.

In February 2017, the EPFO introduced a single-page claim form subsuming the erstwhile Forms 19, 10C and 31 for complete withdrawal, pension withdrawal benefit and partial withdrawals, respectively. But there are two types of composite form: Aadhaar and non-Aadhaar.

You can submit your claim online using the Aadhaar composite claim form. The online version will be pre-filled with your basic information since you would be able to access it only after logging in to the EPF member portal (http://bit.ly/2q1pHG6). You will then have to select the type of withdrawal you wish to make.

While the forms that were there earlier are no longer used, the types of withdrawals remain the same, and each has its own set of conditions that need to be fulfilled to avail a withdrawal.

Final settlement: For final settlement (for which you needed to fill Form 19 earlier), you will need to provide the date of joining and date of exit (last date of employment). This should be available in the EPFO database. You should not be working at the time of submission of the claim in an establishment that is covered under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

A claim for final settlement can be submitted only after 2 months of the last date of employment.

Partial withdrawal: Form 31 was used for this earlier. Your date of joining should be available in the EPFO database.

Pension withdrawal benefit: This was earlier done under Form 10C. Your total period of service should be more than 6 months. These conditions are in addition to those required for a final settlement. Also note, these rules are for withdrawal of the amount that goes from your employer’s contribution to the Employees’ Pension Scheme corpus.

Once you make your selection and are eligible for a particular withdrawal based on EPFO database, you will have to authenticate your KYC through an OTP. You will receive the password on the mobile number registered for Aadhaar with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Also remember that you can get the payment from EPFO for your claim only into the bank account registered with it and which is shown in your UAN member interface. If, for some reason, you want to use some other bank account to get the claim, do not submit the claim online; use the physical process instead, or get the bank account details changed through your current employer.

Do remember that if you have been an EPF member for less than 5 continuous years, the maturity corpus is taxable and you will also need to furnish proof of PAN. If you are making the claim offline, fill the form and submit it along with a cancelled cheque, without employer’s certification.

The online claim process is not available to those who do not have Aadhaar. The non-Aadhaar composite claim form needs more details like date of birth, father’s name and bank account details. Apart from your signature, it has to be certified by your employer.

Keep watching this space for more updates.

Inputs from Deepti Bhaskaran

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