Learning that you are pregnant is often the most exciting yet life-changing experience in a woman’s life. This can also be a daunting and confusing experience for most women and may raise concern about the possible loss of a regular income.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) maternity benefit fund allows pregnant women to take four consecutive months of maternity leave and affords financial relief over a short period of time to care for their newborn babies.
To apply, new mothers can go to their nearest labour centre at the start of their maternity leave.
The window period for approval takes approximately six to eight weeks and payments will only be made once the birth date is confirmed.
If new mothers want to claim maternity benefits they must use the following steps:
Step 1: Get the documents ready
Before new mothers can claim, they must get the following documents ready:
• ID or passport
• Form UI-2.8 for banking details
• Form UI-2.7
• Form UI-2.3 (application form)
• Medical certificate from a doctor or birth certificate of the baby
• Form UI-4 (follow-up form)
Step 2: Go to the nearest labour centre
Pregnant women must go to the nearest labour centre themselves and hand in the documents. If they are too ill, they can organise for someone else to go in their place. Staff at the labour centre will assist them with all the processes and give them more information.
Step 3: Follow all the instructions of the staff at the labour centre
Staff at the labour centre may ask pregnant women to go to the doctor again or to visit the labour centre at certain times. Applicants should do what is asked of them, or they may not be able to claim.
How long can I claim?
Women can claim for 17 weeks.
Note: Women who miscarry in the third trimester or have a stillborn child can claim for six weeks.
How will I be paid?
Benefit payments will be paid into your bank account.
Will I be taxed?
No tax is payable on the benefits.
What should I do if I get overpayment?
If you get more money than you should, you must pay back the extra money.
A person cannot claim for maternity benefits if they receive money from the Compensation Fund for an occupational injury or disease; or any other unemployment fund; or have been suspended from claiming because of fraud.
For more information contact the call centre on: 0800 843 843/0800 or visit: www.labour.gov.za