The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a crucial government-mandated savings scheme designed to empower employees and ensure financial security during retirement. Managed by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), it caters to both private and government employees.
In the past, claiming EPF benefits involved a tedious offline process. However, with the advent of online advancements, accessing your EPF benefits has become significantly more convenient and user-friendly.
In this blog post, we will provide a simplified, step-by-step guide to claim your EPF benefits online, making it easier for you to access the benefits you deserve.
EPFO Online Claim in 2023
Claiming EPF online through the EPFO portal in 2023 is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you through it:
- Access the EPFO portal and navigate to the Member e-Sewa portal.
- Log in to your account using your UAN (Universal Account Number), password, and Captcha code for verification.
- Once logged in, click on the ‘Online Services’ tab and select ‘Claim (Form-19, 31, 10C & 10D).’
- A new webpage will open, prompting you to provide your bank account details associated with your UAN. Ensure that you enter the correct bank account number.
- Click on the ‘Verify’ button to proceed.
- Once your bank account details are verified, you will be presented with the terms and conditions provided by EPFO. Carefully read and acknowledge them.
- Choose ‘Proceed For Online Claim’ to continue.
- On the next page, you will see a dropdown menu where you need to select the appropriate reasons for claiming EPF. The available options will be based on your eligibility.
- After selecting the reasons for withdrawal or advance, provide your address details as required.
- If you are applying for an advance, specify the amount and follow EPFO’s instructions to upload the necessary supporting documents.
- Review all the information provided and ensure its accuracy. Accept the terms and conditions by clicking on the relevant checkbox.
- Choose the option ‘Get Aadhaar OTP’ to initiate the verification process.
- An OTP (One-Time Password) will be sent to your registered mobile number linked with your Aadhaar card. Enter the OTP in the designated field.
- After successfully entering the OTP, your online EPF claim will be submitted for processing.
When to Claim EPF?
EPF (Employee Provident Fund) claims are permitted under various circumstances, each with its own set of eligibility parameters. It is important to understand these diverse conditions to determine when and how much EPF can be claimed. Here are the key situations and eligibility criteria for EPF claims:
- Retirement: EPF claim is available to individuals who retire from employment at the age of 55. Upon reaching retirement age, individuals can claim their EPF funds to support their post-employment life.
- Medical Purpose: EPF claim for medical purposes does not require a minimum service year. Individuals facing medical emergencies can utilize their EPF funds to cover medical expenses without any specific length of service requirement. This provision aims to provide financial support during times of health crises.
- Wedding: To claim EPF funds for wedding purposes, individuals must have completed a minimum of 7 years of service. This provision recognizes the significance of marriage and allows individuals to utilize their EPF savings to fund their wedding expenses, thereby supporting their marital journey.
- Unemployment: In the case of unemployment, individuals who have remained jobless for a period of two months can claim 75% of their total EPF amount. This provision aims to provide financial support during periods of unemployment when individuals may face financial challenges.
- Repayment for Home Loan: Individuals seeking to claim EPF funds for repaying a home loan must have completed at least 3 years of service. This condition ensures that individuals have been contributing to their EPF account for a certain duration before utilizing the funds to alleviate their home loan burden, helping them manage their housing expenses effectively.
- Purchase or Construction of House: For EPF claims related to purchasing or constructing a house, the concerned individual must have completed a minimum of 5 years of service. This requirement is in place to support individuals in acquiring or building a home after a significant period of service. It enables individuals to utilize their EPF savings to fulfill their dream of homeownership.
- Renovation or Reconstruction of House: Those wishing to claim EPF funds for renovating or reconstructing a house must have completed 5 years of service. This provision allows individuals to utilize their EPF savings to improve their living conditions or maintain the structural integrity of their homes, enhancing their overall quality of life.
How Many Times Can You Claim EPF?
EPF (Employee Provident Fund) allows individuals to claim their funds under various circumstances. Here’s an informative overview of the limitations for different types of EPF claims:
- Marriage Purposes: EPF claim for marriage can be done up to three times, subject to specific conditions. Individuals can avail EPF funds for their own marriage or the marriage of their siblings, children, or dependent relatives. However, it’s important to note that there are specific criteria and documentation requirements for each claim.
- Purchase/Construction of House: Individuals can apply for a one-time EPF advance claim when purchasing a plot, house, or for house construction. This means that EPF funds can be claimed for housing purposes only once during an individual’s employment period. It is essential to fulfill the minimum service requirement and provide necessary documents to support the claim.
- Medical Emergency: EPF claim for medical emergencies before retirement does not have a specific limit on the amount that can be withdrawn. Individuals can claim EPF funds for medical purposes based on the actual medical expenses incurred. However, it’s important to note that the claim is subject to specific conditions and documentation requirements as prescribed by the EPFO.
- Post-Matriculation Education: EPF claim for funding post-matriculation education is allowed up to three times, as per the applicable rules and regulations. Individuals can utilize EPF funds to support the educational expenses of themselves, their children, or dependent siblings. However, it’s important to meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documents to support the claim.
EPF Claim Rules for 2023
When it comes to claiming your EPF (Employee Provident Fund) funds, it is important to understand the rules and regulations in place. Here are the key rules to keep in mind for EPF claims in 2023:
- Employment Status: While employed, full or partial withdrawal of PF funds is not permitted. EPF funds are meant for long-term savings and are accessible upon meeting specific conditions.
- Unemployment for at least One Month: If you are unemployed for at least one month, you can claim up to 75% of your EPF funds.
- Unemployment for Two Months or More: If you are unemployed for two months or more, you can claim the remaining balance from your EPF account.
- Changing Jobs: When changing jobs, you are not required to claim the balance from your old PF account. The funds can be transferred if your UAN (Universal Account Number) is active, and relevant forms are submitted for the transfer process.
- Full PF Balance Claim: If you have been unemployed for at least two months or if the joining date for your new job is more than two months after your last working day at your previous organization, you can claim your full PF balance.
- TDS (Tax Deducted at Source): If you plan to claim ₹50,000 or more from your EPF account within five years of opening it, a TDS of 10% will apply if you have a valid PAN card. Without a PAN card, the TDS rate is 30%.
- Avoiding TDS Deduction: To avoid TDS deduction, you can submit Form 15H (for senior citizens) or Form 15G (for individuals below the taxable income threshold).
- Loan Against PF Savings: If you have been continuously employed for a specific number of years, you have the option to avail a loan against your PF savings. The exact eligibility criteria and terms for taking a loan against PF funds may vary, and it is advisable to check with the EPFO for the specific requirements.
While the primary objective of the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) is to promote savings, the EPFO acknowledges that there are instances when individuals may require access to their funds during emergencies. To facilitate this, they have simplified the claim process through the UAN portal. With just your Universal Account Number (UAN) and a few necessary documents, you can easily claim your EPF funds when needed. The EPFO’s efforts aim to strike a balance between encouraging long-term savings and providing flexibility for members to access their funds during unforeseen circumstances.