Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

How to Claim Benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

Before you start the UIF application process, make sure that you actually qualify to claim benefits.
In order to qualify for UIF, you must have been paying UIF contributions.
You can confirm this by looking on your pay slip for any deductions that are marked for UIF.

All workers that have been paying UIF contributions can claim UIF if:

  • Their employers have become bankrupt.
  • Their contracts have ended.
  • Their contracts have ended due to the death of an employer.
  • If you have been fired.

Domestic workers can claim if:

They work for more than 1 employer, and lose their employment at one of the employers or if their employer dies.

You cannot claim if you:

  • Receive benefits from the Compensation Fund.
  • Receive benefits from an unemployment fund established under the Labour Relations Act.
  • Are suspended from claiming because of fraud.
  • Quit your job, resign or abscond.
  • Do not report at set dates and times.
  • Refuse training and advice that may be given by UIF staff.

When can you claim UIF?

You can claim UIF starting from your last day of employment until your UIF benefits are used up or you have started working again.
You cannot register for UIF before your current employment contract has expired and you must claim within 6 months after you have stopped working.

How to register for UIF?

Unemployed workers must apply for UIF benefits at their nearest labour centre in person.

Step 1: The documentation that you need
Ensure that you have all necessary documents on hand, otherwise you will be sent away.
You need:

  • Your 13-digit bar-coded ID or passport.
  • Form UI-2.8 for banking details.

Tip: This needs to be signed by your bank and accompanied by a stamped bank statement to confirm your bank account details form UI-19 to show your employment history. This form is to be filled in by your previous employer.

Tip: The Department of Labour looks at your past 4 years of work history in order to calculate your UIF benefit amount. Make sure you have all necessary declarations from previous employers dating back 4 years. If an employer has failed to issue you with a declaration, that employer must also fill out a UI-19 form. You must complete a work seekers form and provide your last 2 payslips.

Step 2: Go to the nearest labour centre
Once you have all your documentation, you must go to the nearest labour centre in person. You can find the address and telephone number of your nearest centre at


Tip: Be sure you have enough time – an average wait at the Department of Labour can be anything from 2-6 hours. There is a slight chance that the staff at the labour centre may ask unemployed workers to go for training or advice – this is within their rights and you will have to do as they say.

How will I be paid?
Now that you have registered for UIF, the staff at the labour centre will issue you with a UIF checklist. On this checklist you will find time, date and signing venue.

Step 1: Go to the Signing Venue
You must appear at the designated venue on the time and date stipulated in order to sign your first UIF payment. Bring the UIF checklist and your ID document.

Step 2: Sign the unemployment register and receive UI-6A forms
If you have successfully registered for UIF, your name will be read out from a list. You will be required to sign a register to mark your attendance and confirm that you are still unemployed. Collect all the UI-6A forms (one for each future signing) – make sure you keep these somewhere safe as you will need them every time you are due for an UIF payment. Your first payment will be paid into your bank account within 2-4 days after you have signed the register.

Step 3: Take note of your next Signing Date
Make sure you are aware of your next signing date – it is printed on your UI-6A forms. The next time you have to attend for a signing will be approximately 4 weeks apart. You will have to hand in the relevant UI-6A form every time you attend, so make sure you have these with you.

How much will I be paid?

The amount that you will be paid is determined differently depending on the amount of your monthly salary.

Workers who earn less than R12 478 per month:
You will receive approximately 36%-56% of your average monthly salary from the past 4 years.
The higher your salary, the lower the percentage that you will get back.

Workers who earn more than R12 478 per month:
You will receive a fixed monthly benefit of approximately R4 250 – R4 550.
How long you will be able to receive UIF depends on the length of time that you have contributed to the fund.

You are eligible to receive 1 day worth of benefits for every 6 days that you worked and contributed UIF over the past 4 years. The maximum number of days you can claim is 238 days.

Download and Print Forms

UIF Form 1
UIF Form 2
UIF Form 3
UIF Form 4
UIF Form 5

UIF Form 6A