4 months ago
-  ~ 

Mpho* didn’t know she had diabetes, and developed serious health problems as a result. By the time she went to see a doctor, she was in a really bad way, and had to take off work. But because she had no more sick leave left, she had to take unpaid leave, meaning she wouldn’t get a salary for the time she was off sick from work.

She wasn’t sure how UIF illness benefits worked, and chatted to her boss about it. He told her there was no way she could claim for an illness like diabetes, only for ‘serious’ diseases like cancer or AIDS. AZIKHIPHI! That’s not true, Mpho must not listen to her boss – he is wrong.  

Scorpion Legal Protection’s advice

Workers who become ill have the right to claim from UIF – regardless of what their specific health problem is. 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. 

These Acts don’t apply to: workers who work less than 24 hours a month; students; public servants; foreign nationals working on a contract and who’ll be going back to their home country at the end of the contract; workers who get a monthly pension; and workers who only earn commission.

How does it work?

You must claim within 6 months of getting sick. Fill in the forms at the labour centre and submit them along with the necessary documents. The money will be paid into your bank account and you won’t pay tax on it. You can claim from the day you stop working because of your illness until your benefits are used up or you go back to work. 

You can’t claim UIF for illness 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• Refuse medical treatment


· If you are too ill to go claim the benefits yourself, someone else can go on your behalf. 

If you have a query, follow us on our Facebook page and ask your question during our next Live Q&A on 10 January 2019.

* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. Names have been changed to protect identity.

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