New Delhi: In what could bring cheers to lakhs of EPFO subscribers, the provident fund body has launched a multi-location claim settlement facility by allowing EPFO offices to settle online claims from any of its regional offices, across the country.
All types of online claims –provident fund, pension, partial withdrawal and claims and transfer claims can be processed under this initiative.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment on Monday said that the first batch of multi-location claims under this project was settled for Gurugram Region on June 10, 2020. The claims of employees pertaining to the regional office of Gurugram Region were settled by EPFO staff deployed in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar offices. After settlement the payment was made from the Gurugram office to the bank account of the individual member.
“COVID-19 crisis has affected 135 regional offices of EPFO with different levels of severity depending on their location. It was observed that though many offices in Mumbai, Thane, Haryana and Chennai zones operate with even less then skeletal staff on account of COVID-19 Pandemic, but there has been a disproportionate increase in claim receipt due to recently introduced COVID-19 advance. Consequently, claim pendency in these offices rose to higher levels leading to delay in claim settlement cycle while other offices, working with 50% workforce and with the help of recently introduced auto settlement mode could bring the claim settlement period down to 3 days for COVID-19 advances,” the ministry statement said.
The multi-location claim settlement facility allows offices with lesser workload to share the burden of offices that have accumulated a higher level of pendency, due to COVID-19 restrictions. It enables fast-tracking of settlement process through most appropriate engagement of EPFO’s workforce in all its regional offices across the country.