Pandemic has manifold problems, be it health or financial. To ease out at least your financial problems, EPFO has come up with fresh facilities. What I’m talking about is Form 31-EPF Advance. Yes, along with higher education, there are so many other causes you can withdraw from your EPF corpora. So, let’s not waste more time imagining and just run to its ways and how to apply.
What is Form 31 Advance?
EPF Form 31-Advance is used to ease withdrawal from your EPF account. However, you can withdraw only in certain emergencies. The government backs it for its employees to back enough corpora to meet emergency dues.
However, for this, both you and your employer are mandatory to contribute. While you contribute an amount up to 12% of your primary wage, your employer must contribute a certain amount to match this fund. It’s finally hoarded together with certain interests framed by the government. The organization keeps the final amount for emergency usage.
When Are You Eligible Yo Withdraw EPF Corpora Using Form 31-Advance
You can file EPF Form-31 for any partial withdraw of the amount of your EPF account. However, in some special cases, you can fully withdraw it. You can make use of your EPF Form-31 under certain circumstances like-
- You’re unemployed for more than 2 months. However, he needs to get a certification from a gazette officer.
- During your retirement from your job.
Until and unless the above criteria get fulfilled, you cannot withdraw amounts from your EPF account.
Reasons For Withdrawal
1. Education Purposes
For higher education of your sibling or any family member, you can withdraw. You will get the opportunity to withdraw 50% of your contribution to EPF. Provided, you must have served a minimum service period of 7 years. Here, higher education refers to education after 10th or matriculation.
2. Land Acquirement/Construction/Renovation Of The House
In cases such as land acquirement, you can withdraw an amount equal to 24 times your monthly wage. You can also withdraw DA.
For house construction, you can withdraw 36 times your monthly wage with an allowed DA. To avail of this benefit, you must have served a service period of a minimum of 5 years. Make sure that the property purchased must be in your name or jointly with your spouse.
For your or any of your family member’s marriage, you shall be able to withdraw 50% of your credited amount to EPF. The minimum years you must have served for this benefit is 7 years.
4. Loan Repayment
You can withdraw combined about 90% of your own contribution plus your employer’s for the home loan repayment. The property must be in your name or jointly with your spouse. You can withdraw the amount only if you put it forward to the EPFO’s notice in time. The combined corpus amount in your and your spouse’s account(if exists) must exceed Rs. 20,000.
5. Before Retirement
You’re free to withdraw an amount up to 90% of your savings with interest. However, it’s accredited in certain special cases. One of the mandatory criteria is that you must have reached 57 years.
Some Requisite Basis Of PF Withdrawal
Even after fulfilling the above criteria, there’s more requisite basis of withdrawal like-
i. Period of contribution
This refers to the minimum period when you contribute to your EPF account. This minimum required period is 5 years. However, there are certain exceptions to any illness.
ii. Total number of installments
This refers to the total number of installments in which you withdraw your amount. Normally this is one, yet there are certain exceptions like the acquisition of the house.
iii. The number of times you’re allowed to withdraw for the same reason
You cannot withdraw multiple times for the same reason. There lies a limit, which is normally once.
Once you’ve applied for the withdrawal, you don’t need many documents for the withdrawal purpose.
Before rushing to the procedure, let’s have a look at how does Form-31 look like-
Now, since you’re clear about the form, let’s proceed to the procedure.
EPF Form-31 Advance Withdrawal Procedure
To fill the Form-31, you’ve two choices. Either go for a physical deposit or online procedure. No doubt the online is quite easier. The physical filing and deposition are quite time-taking and tedious.
Declaration Certificate in Form-31 Advance
The declaration of form-31 is proof that the cause of withdrawal is within the boundary of the mentioned criteria. However, there are fields that you must sign. Added to that, you must get the sign of your employer in certain fields as well.
In the declaration, you’ve to fill in the following-
i. Your name, your father/husband’s name, and your complete address.
ii. Name of your organization and its location.
iii. Your EPF account number.
iv. Your monthly wage and DA.
v. Mode of payment-
- Bank transfer
- In case you’re withdrawing less than Rs. 2,000, you’ll get the money order.
vi. Sign and get your employer’s signature.
vii. Your advanced stamp receipt.
Apart from that, one section is for your employer and the other for your PF commissioner.
Now, let’s see both, i.e., physical submission and online submission of the form.
Physical Submission Of Form 31
For the physical submission of the form, you need to download Form 31 from the EPFO website. Fill in the required details and get it to attest to your employer. Then handover it to your respective EPFO officer.
Mentioned below are the requisite details asked by the Form-31-
- You contact
- Reason for your withdrawal
- Amount of withdrawal
- Identity, PAN details
- Your PF account number
- Monthly wage with DA
- Your bank account details, IFSC, etc.
After you’ve filled up your part, next is your employer’s turn. Your employer needs to fill-up the mentioned below-
- Enclosures, if any
- The rank of the officer, signature with date
Next, the corresponding EPF Commissioner will have to submit the following details-
- The account number
- Total amount mentioned to withdraw
- Mode of payment
- Officer’s signature
Looking at the procedure is quite time-taking, isn’t it? Now, look at the online mood, and you can know how easy it is.
Online Mode Of Submission Of Form 31
The online mode is under a few clicks of your finger. Make sure you submit all the details correctly. Check out the points given below-
1. Submit your UAN account number and your phone number linked with it. Make sure it’s active. In this phone number, the OTP generation will take place.
2. Make sure your UAN, linked with your KYC details. It includes your Aadhar card, PAN card, and other requisite information.
3. After checking the above things out, go for the filling of the form.
4. Go to the official site and log in to your UAN portal.
5. Check again if your KYC details are linked and verified.
6. Go to ONLINE SERVICES. Choose form-31 from the list.
7. Fill up details like KYC, income, service, etc. and submit.
8. To proceed further, accept the certificate of the undertaking.
9. Go to the ONLINE CLAIM option and choose the withdrawal type.
10. Select the PF ADVANCE form. Fill in details like the purpose of your withdrawal, etc.
11. Finally, click SUBMIT.
After applying online, wait till your employer approves this. Subsequently, the fund gets transferred to your account.
Documents You Must Keep Aside Before Applying
The documents you must keep aside clearly depend on the purpose of your applying. Thus, different purposes with documents you need to attach are mentioned below-
1. Medical Charges
With the rising medical costs in the present scenario, keeping a strong backbone of bucks is the need of the hour. With EPF Form 31-Advance, all you need to do is fill the form 14 and attach the following documents-
i. A doctor’s certificate is proof of your actual health condition.
ii. Employer’s certificate- Your employer must approve it first. For that, he provides the certificate showing your actual service period.
2. House Purchase
Every single individual in this universe aspires to live in a house of their own. But many perish from this world with the dream itself. The sky-high cost and the middle class’s inability and low class to afford it’s the main cause. However, with certain regulated clicks, you can manage things well. All you need to do is attach the following documents-
i. Property registration certificate showing in whose name the property exists. You can keep the property in your as well as your spouse or as joint property,
ii. Declaration certificate.
3. Repayment Of The Loan
Sometimes due to some of the other circumstances, you might not repay the loan taken on time. Even for that, you can easily get aid from EPF. You need to attach the certificate from your agency. It shows the actual principal amount borrowed with interest attached.
Every month/payment date, the amount gets deducted from your EPF directly. Yet, for that, you need to bear enough money in your account.
Marriage is an auspicious occasion that expends your years’ savings. Be it your marriage or your sibling or daughter/son; you’re entitled to withdraw money from EPF. For that, attach a declaration with form 31. The declaration must contain the reason for your withdrawal.
5. Physically Handicapped
Be it a temporary accident or permanent, EPF is always with you. You need to provide a doctor’s certificate along with your form.
6. Before Retirement Withdrawal
For this, you need to attach your declaration stating the cause and your service period. 1 year before retirement, you can withdraw 90% of your EPF corpora. Earlier it was 2 years before retirement.
7. Other Special Cases
There might be some other special cases that you can fetch attention. For that, you need to attach a certificate from your employer to avail.
How To Check Your Claim Status?
True that you’ve submitted your forms with the required documents and all. But, what is it gets rejected due to an error? What if there’s any technical issue in the path progression itself? Such questions in your mind are inescapable.
So, without wasting another minute, let’s proceed to the procedure of how to check your Form-31 claim status.
Go to the official EPFO site, i.e., https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/
Enter your UAN, password details, and captcha, and log in to your account.
Take your pointer to the ONLINE SERVICES and select TRACK CLAIM STATUS.
Go to the dropdown menu and provide the location of your PF office. Also, provide your PF office and region code.
Watch for the payslip and provide the establishment code.
Finally, provide your account number; make sure you don’t make any mistake.
Your claim status opens next!
Important Points To Remember
- Attaching a canceled cheque is a must. Since it verifies your bank account details, it’s mandatory.
- In the online application case, your last employer’s testament is not so necessary, unlike offline mode. However, if you’re going for offline service, you must submit them.
- It takes from a couple of days to weeks for the transfer to take place. So, have patience and wait.
- You can only go for online applications if you’ve linked your bank account, PAN, Aadhar, with UAN.
1. How much can I withdraw from my PF advances for illness?
EPF has various schemes for providing financial aid to its employees during an emergency. For illness, you can certainly withdraw a certain amount from your EPF savings. The amount that you withdraw during illness is non-refundable.
You can withdraw an amount up to 6 months of your monthly wage and DA or your entire contribution. Whichever the above is low, will get consideration.
2. How long does it take for my EPF claim to get transferred into my bank account?
If you’ve applied online, following the above steps, you get it sooner. That is, within 5-30 days max, the amount gets credited to your bank account. Yet, if you’ve applied for it offline, wait a little longer. It might take 15-20 days or longer until 30 days max. Sometimes it’s about 5 days extra in the offline procedure.
However, if there’s no update you notice within a max of 3 weeks, file a grievance. Again, if you get the message of an update but no money transfer in your account, approach the EPFO officer soon.
Scrolling down, we saw how to fill the form, documents required, and related facts. But the most important fact is to make sure you utilize the amount you withdrew in a better manner. Since the money is your years’ savings, any ill-treatment can break your heart.
I’m not saying don’t withdraw. But make sure you withdraw from your EPF account only when there’s no way left. I hope this article helped to enlighten your views.