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EPFO starts multi location claim settlement for faster settlement

Now, your Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) claims can be processed faster as the retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a multi-location claim settlement facility to expedite member claims. Till now, EPF claims were processed based on jurisdiction of the establishment.

With the launch of the new facility, EPFO offices will be allowed to settle online claims from any of its regional offices across the country, the labour ministry said in a statement. All types of online claims i.e. provident fund, pension, partial withdrawal and claims and transfer claims can be processed under this new initiative, the retirement body mentioned.

Worth mentioning here is that operations at 135 regional offices were affected with different levels of severity due to the Covid induced lockdown. The ministry said it was observed that though many offices in Mumbai, Thane, Haryana and Chennai zones operate with even less than skeletal staff on account of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a disproportionate increase in claim receipt due to recently introduced COVID-19 advance.

Due to this, claim pendency in these offices rose to higher levels leading to delay in claim settlement cycle. Meanwhile, other EPFO offices which were operating with 50% workforce settled Covid-19 advance claims within three days with the help of auto settlement mode. 

To reduce the delays by uniformly distributing the claim settlement related workload nationwide, EPFO has moved away from the existing system of geographical jurisdiction for claim processing by rolling out multi-location claim settlement facility, it said.

This will allow 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.

The initiative aimed at enhancing ease of living experience for its members, has been achieved in record time. 

The first batch of multi-location claims under this path-breaking 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.

Since its launch, claims pertaining to offices that fall in containment zones are being distributed to offices in other locations for expeditious processing.

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