Claiming UIF maternity benefits - What you need to know!

With your “9 to 5” job coming to an end in favour of full-time employment as a Mom (for the next 4 months at least), here’s what you need to know about claiming your UIF maternity benefits; because as we all know, our little bundles of joy don’t come cheap!

What are UIF Maternity Benefits?
As an expectant mom, you are entitled to benefits for the period of Maternity leave (no more than 4 months) as prescribed by the Department of Labour. Those benefits are paid from the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) to which your employer is obliged to make contributions via your pay cheque.

1. Who can claim UIF Maternity Benefits?
If you are on maternity leave
If you are registered for UIF
If you have been contributing to the UIF monthly (via your pay cheque)
If you receive less than 100% of your salary during the maternity leave
If you are a member of a Close Corporation or a director of a company ((Pty) Ltd) you can claim UIF (if you are a Sole Proprietor you cannot claim UIF).

2. Can I claim if I get a portion of my salary?
Yes, you can. The moment that your employer does not pay you 100% of your salary you can claim the rest from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Example: Your employer is paying you 75% p.m. while you are on maternity leave. You can claim the rest (25%) from the UIF.
*Remember you cannot receive more than 100% of your salary from the department and your employer combined.

3. For how long can I claim maternity UIF benefits?
By law you are not allowed back to work within 6 weeks after the birth of your baby (thank goodness for that!). You can claim 121 consecutive days (four months) maternity leave from the Department of Labour, but this depends on how long you have been working. They use the last 4 years to work out how many credit days you have available. 
In short, for every 6 months that you have worked, you receive 1 month's benefits, up to a maximum of 4 months.
 
4. When is the latest that I need to claim for my Maternity benefit?
You need to submit your claim within 6 months from the date your baby is born. Should your baby be older than 6 months you cannot claim and your maternity UIF payments will be forfeited.

5. How much can I expect to get paid when claiming Maternity UIF?
The UIF benefit is between 38 - 58% of your salary (up to R14872). 


Example: If you receive R14872 or more you will get roughly R182.30 per day (about R5651.36 p/m). You cannot receive more than this amount. If you receive R5000 p/m you can expect about R72.96 per day (R2188 p/m). If you receive R 3000 p/m you can expect about R47.62 per day (R1428 p/m)
The UIF takes into consideration your last 6 months average salary. They also take in account your last 4 years of UIF contributions. In other words, if you have continuously contributed to the UIF fund for the last 4 years, you will receive the maximum benefit of 121 days (4 months maternity benefit).

Our friends over at UIF-Hero are happy to help you with claiming your UIF Maternity Benefits. Mention "BabyGroup" when registering and you'll get R50 off your registration fee - ka-ching! Give them a call on 021 201 1390 or 073 185 9575 or drop them an e-mail at info@uif-hero.co.za. 

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