Those who have lost an earning member to the novel coronavirus should remember to file the claim for money lying in the deceased person’s Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) accounts.
Here is how nominees can file a claim for money in a deceased person’s EPF, EPS and EDLI schemes’ accounts online.
- Relaxation of rules and additional benefits for claimants
Nominees should note that the Labour Ministry, via a notification dated April 28, 2021, has announced additional benefits under these schemes for members who have lost their lives due to Covid-19. As per the measures announced, the sum insured under the EDLI scheme has been hiked to Rs 7 lakh from Rs 6 lakh earlier.
Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme is an insurance cover available to EPF member. It is payable to a person (nominee or legal heir) belonging to member’s family or otherwise entitled to it in the event of death of the employee while he/she was a member of EPF.
As per the EPF scheme rules, a person can nominate different persons in his/her EPF and EPS accounts. However, the nominee for EDLI will be the same as it is for EPF.
Further, the condition to avail the minimum assurance benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh for eligible family members of the deceased employee has been tweaked. As per the new condition, minimum assurance benefit will be available if the member was in service for a continuous period of 12 months in one or more establishments preceding his death. Earlier, the deceased member was required to have been in continuous employment in the same company for 12 months.
Puneet Gupta, Director – People Advisory Services, EY says, “The benefit under EDLI scheme is calculated as per a specific formula based on average balance in the member’s provident fund account and average monthly wages for last 12 months. Recently, the government via a notification dated April 28, 2021, has retrospectively enhanced the minimum benefit under EDLI to Rs 2.5 lakh and maximum benefit to Rs 7 lakh.”
Let us now take a look at the claims process.
Documents required to file claim under EPF, EPS and EDLI
Gupta says, “In the event of death of an EPF member, the claim for provident fund refund, pension and EDLI can be filed either by filling up and submitting Composite Claim Form in Death cases with the regional EPFO office or online on the EPFO portal.”
Following documents will be required to be submitted:
a) Death certificate of the EPF member
b) Date of birth certificate of the claimants
c) Bank account proof (cancelled cheque/passbook) of claimant/s
d) Beneficiary’s Aadhaar number
e) Photograph of the claimant/s
The nominee should have their mobile number linked with Aadhaar in case of online submission of claim. While filling the form online, do ensure that the beneficiary’s (nominee) name, Aadhaar number and date of birth matches with the records of the EPFO which was submitted by the member (i.e., the deceased person) at the time of filing the nomination.
Gupta says, “In case of death of EPS member while being in service (irrespective of number of years of pensionable service), the nominee will be eligible to receive monthly pension. Do keep in mind that the nominee will be eligible to receive monthly pension only if at least one month’s contribution has been made in the EPS account and the deceased member dies while in service. However, if the deceased member has left employment earlier and has not rendered pensionable service for 10 years or more, the nominee shall be entitled to lump-sum withdrawal benefit from EPS. If the number of years of pensionable service is 10 years or more, then monthly pension will be paid to the nominee.”
Do keep in mind that a member will get monthly pension only if he/she is a member of EPS. An individual who has joined the EPF after September 1, 2014, and basic wages at the time of joining did not exceed Rs 15,000 per month is eligible to join EPS.
Steps to file claim for EPF, EDLI and EPS online
Before starting the process of filing an online claim, do make sure to keep scanned copies of the documents mentioned above. This will make it easier at the time of filling up the claim form online. The scanned files should be in PDF format and size of each file should be less than 2 MB.
Gupta explains the steps that a nominee should undertake to file the claim online:
Step 1: Visit online portal of EPF: https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/
Step 2: On the portal, there is link available, ‘Death claim filing by beneficiary’
Step 3: The nominee has to enter the following details: Universal Account Number (UAN), Aadhaar of the beneficiary, name of the beneficiary, date of birth of the beneficiary and captcha code. Once the details are entered, click on Authorised Pin.
Step 4: An OTP will be sent on the beneficiary’s mobile number which is linked to Aadhaar. Once the beneficiary submits the PIN, the beneficiary can file the death claim with EPFO.
Processing of death claims
Field officials have been directed by EPFO that death case claims submitted by spouse/nominee of the EPF member should be settled within a period of 7 days from the date of submission of claim form at the concerned field office where the deceased member’s account is being maintained.
Further, Provident Fund authorities will verify the nominee details as per Form 2 (Nomination Form) mentioned in the withdrawal application.
Submitting claims for exempted establishments
Gupta says, “In case of exempted establishments, the nominee has to file application for claiming provident fund accumulations of the member to the employer/ Trust. For Pension and EDLI contributions made to the EPFO, the composite claim form for death cases has to be filed with EPFO through online or offline mode along with necessary supporting documents.”
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