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Basic Guide to UIF Illness Benefits

Basic Guide to UIF Illness Benefits

Workers who become ill have the right to claim from the UIF. Workers (or their representatives) must apply and collect payments at the labour centre of their choice.


The Unemployment Insurance Act and Unemployment 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;
  • workers who get a monthly State (old age) pension; or
  • workers who only earn commission.

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

See (Ref)

Provides security to workers when they become unemployed.


Who can claim?

You cannot claim if you –

  • get benefits from –
    • the Compensation Fund; or
    • an unemployment fund under the Labour Relations Act;
  • get Unemployment Benefits from the UIF;
  • have been suspended from claiming because of fraud;
  • are ill for less than 14 days; or
  • refuse medical treatment.

You can claim only if you are unable to work because of your illness. 

Based on legislation in Section 14Section 20Section 36of the Unemployment Insurance Act

When must I claim?

You must claim within 6 months of becoming ill.

Based on Legislation in Section 22 of the Unemployment Insurance Act

How long can I claim for?

You can claim from the day you stop working until your benefits are used up or you go back to work.

Based on Legislation in Section 19of the Unemployment Insurance Act

How do I claim?

You must fill in the application forms and hand them in, together with other required documents, at a labour centre. If you are too ill, someone else may fill in the forms and hand them in for you.

Benefit Payments

How will I be paid?

Benefit payments can be paid into your bank account.  If you are too ill to collect payments yourself, someone else may collect the money for you.

Based on legislation in Section 23of 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

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Originally appeared on on 19-11-2007. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

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