A lot of businesses have ceased operations as many industries came to a halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A large sum of the South African workforce is without income during this difficult time. 

The government has, however, made temporary lay-off options available to contributing civilians whose income is affected by the national lockdown. There is also the R350 social grant available for unemployed persons who don’t receive any other form of social grants.

UIF Reduced Working Time Option:

What is UIF reduced working time option? UIF reduced working time is for UIF contributors, working in any sector, who loses income due to reduced working hours. The benefit payable is the difference between the amount the employer pays and the standard UIF benefits payable should the employee lose employment.

How to apply:

The employee needs to have the following documents:

  • UI2.1
  • UI2.8 Confirmation of banking details
  • Employees ID document

The employer needs to help the employee with the following:

  • UI-19
  • UI2.7
  • Letter from the employer confirming there is reduced work time as a result of Covid19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (C19 TERS):

What is the UIF temporary employer relief scheme? This fund is intended for directly affected employers to be able to pay employees who are laid-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 How to apply:

  • Employers apply by reporting their closure to email address: [email protected] 
  • The automated response will give detailed guidelines on how online application needs to be completed 
  • If the requirements of the C19 TERS are met, the employer needs to supply the following;
  • A Letter of Authority, with an official company letterhead granting permission to the individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the company;
  • Memorandum Of Agreement between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer;
  • Payroll as proof of last three months employee salaries; 
  • Confirmation of bank account details in the form of a certified latest bank statement.

In the case of retrenchment and the employer has not applied for C19 TERS, the employee can apply for regular UIF benefits. Both benefits cannot be applied for at the same time.

You can apply for standard UIF benefits here: https://www.ufiling.co.za/

Alternatively email: [email protected] 

When will you get the money?

Approved unemployment claims take 15working days. The time frame on new COVID-19 claims has not yet been specified.

A hotline is available for COVID-19 TERS queries: 012 337 1997

How to apply for the R350 grant:

Applications for the R350 SASSA Social relief of distress grants are now open and you can easily apply by sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 and selecting SASSA or E-mail: [email protected]

Applicants must be:

  • Above the age of 18;
  • Unemployed;
  • Not receiving any income;
  • Not receiving any social grant;
  • Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and
  • Not resident in a government-funded or subsidised institution.

Prospective applicants will need to provide the following compulsory information for the processing of their applications:

  • Identity Number;
  • Name and Surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
  • Gender and Disability;
  • Banking details – Bank Name and Account Number;
  • Contact details – Cell phone number;
  • Proof of Residential Address;


Read more about UIF benefits available to you here: