Basic Guide to UIF Unemployment Benefits

Basic Guide to UIF Unemployment Benefits

Basic Guide to UIF Unemployment Benefits,

Workers who become unemployed have the right to claim from the UIF. Workers must apply and will be paid at the labour centre of their choice.


The Unemployment Insurance Act and Unmployment Insurance Contributions Act apply to all employers and workers, but not to –
  • workers working less than 24 hours a month for an employer;
  • learners;
  • public servants;
  • foreigners working on contract to be repatriated at the end of their contract;
  • Employees in receipt of an old age pension are; since 07/02/2007, no longer excluded from contributing towards UIF or
  • workers who only earn commission.

Domestic employers and their workers are included under the Act since 1 April 2003.



Who can claim?

You cannot claim if you get –
  • benefits from the Compensation Fund;
  • benefits from an unemployment fund under the Labour Relations Act;
  • or if they –
  • are suspended from claiming because of fraud;
  • quit their job;
  • do not report at set dates and times; or
  • refuse training and advice.
Workers can claim if their –
  • employers are bankrupt;
  • contracts are ended; or if they
  • are fired.
Domestic workers can also claim if –
  • they work for more than 1 employer, and loose their job at one of the employers; or
  • their employer dies.
Workers must register as worker-seekers (see How to Register as Work-seeker) and be available for work.

Based on legislation in Section 14Section 16Section 36of the Unemployment Insurance Act

When must I claim?

Workers must claim within six months after they stopped working.

Based on Legislation in Section 17 of the Unemployment Insurance Act

How long can I claim for?

Workers can claim from the day they stopped working until their benefits are used up or they start working again.

Based on Legislation in Section 15of the Unemployment Insurance Act

How do I claim?

Workers must fill in the application forms and, together with other required documents, hand it in at a labour centre.

Benefit Payments

How will I be paid?

Benefit payments will be paid to the contributors bank account.

Based on legislation in Section 18of the Unemployment Insurance Act


No tax is payable on the benefits.

Based on Legislation in Section 34 of the Unemployment Insurance Act


If you get more money than you should, you must pay back the extra money.

Based on Legislation in Section 35of the Unemployment Insurance Act

When the UIF May Refuse to Pay

The UIF may stop paying you benefits if you refuse to:
  • accept a job;
  • go for training; or
  • go for advice.

Based on Legislation in Section 18of the Unemployment Insurance Act

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