New TERS Applications Are Yet To Open

The Unemployment Insurance Fund still has the task of working out the details of the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme, better known as TERS, and it's extension. New applications to benefit from the scheme are yet to open.

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I'm sure many South Africans were relieved to hear that the Unemployment Insurance Fund's (UIF) Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme was being extended. The fund is yet to work out the details of this extension. They have however said that applications are not yet open.

During his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ramaphosa announced:

We have also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March 2021 only for those sectors that have not been able to operate.

UIF has now said, "An announcement will be made in that regard once the details have been finalized".

This means that the condition mentioned by the President and further details on who will be able to apply for the fund this time around still have be finalised.

This extension will only be applicable to those sectors which have been closed since the beginning of lockdown as it's no secret that they will need all the assistance they can get. These sectors will include the tourism, hospitality, liquor industry and related sectors, the UIF explained in a statement.

Applications will be open for this new period once the work on systems is finished and they will then also give guidelines on the application process.

As for those individuals who were previously benefitting from the fund:

The Fund will continue to porcess and pay valid and complete outstanding Covid-19 TERS benefit claims that are already in the system.

That does not refer to the extension, it only refers to past payments.

UIF explained that they continuously re-process claims which are already in the system so that those claims which have been corrected and passed validations can see payments being down when payment re-runs are done.

TERS has seen R60 billion paid to South Africans since March 2020, the beginning of lockdown. The original budget for the relief scheme was R40 billion.

The aim of TERS is to help fight the worst effects of the pandemic on South Africans and to ensure that workers are not left penniless.

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