Exempted establishments settled 3.89 lakh Covid-19 advance claims amounting to Rs 3782.83 crore during the period. “Innovative measures like auto-settlement mode and multi location claim settlement have ensured that most of the Covid-19 claims are settled within three days despite severe restrictions on full deployment of staff,” EPFO said in its letter dated November 20 to the members of the central board of trustees. ET has seen the letter.
Government had in the last week of March allowed EPFO subscribers facing any financial emergency during Covid-19 pandemic to withdraw three months’ salary or 75% of their retirement funds as part of the Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package.
Following this, the labour ministry amended the EPF scheme on March 28 to allow members to withdraw non-refundable advances – either their basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or up to 75% of their total account, whichever was less – if facing any financial exigency due to Covid-19.
EPFO had initially tested the use of artificial intelligence (AI) earlier this year and eventually deployed it to settle Covid-19-related claims. Consequently, KYC-compliant applications were processed within 72 hours, while requests with details missing were being processed manually.
EPFO has 60 million subscribers and funds of almost Rs 10 lakh crore. Employees with salaries up to Rs 15,000 per month are entitled to subscribe to the provident fund scheme of the government, while companies with 20 or more employees are mandatorily covered under EPFO.
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