Covid-19 TERS Q&A with UIF Commissioner

The Tax Faculty hosted a TERS benefit Q&A webinar on 15 May 2020 during which a panel, consisting of members of UIF management, answered some of our burning questions related to TERS benefits.  The following is a summary of the questions posed and answers provided, supplemented with guidance published by UIF related to “post-application support”.

  • Can a non-compliant employer become UIF compliant during lockdown and qualify for a TERS benefit?

The interesting answer is that it depends on the reason for the non-compliance.  Two scenarios exist:

Scenario 1:  Where an employer is non-compliant due to having outstanding UIF contributions and declarations, these contribution payments can be made (including penalties and interest where relevant) and declarations filed during the lockdown period.  The employer will then qualify for TERS and should apply for TERS benefits for its employees.

Scenario 2:  Where an employer has not yet registered as an employer with the UIF (nor has it made any contribution payments or filed any declarations), this employer will NOT qualify for TERS benefits if registered as an employer after 15 March. Although these employers should register and become compliant, "new" employer registrations during this period will not qualify for TERS benefits.

  • Will an employer that qualified for a TERS benefit during April automatically qualify for a TERS benefit during May or should this employer reapply?

An employer that qualified for a TERS benefit during April will not automatically qualify for a TERS benefit during May. This employer should reapply. Its profile will already exist on the online application portal and the section related to banking details will not need to be completed again for the May application (as it is assumed to be the same as in April).  However, the employees impacted by the lockdown during May might be different from the employees impacted by the lockdown during April (or the extent of its impact might be different) and the employee section will, therefore, need to be completed again for purposes of the May application.

  • What is the application deadline for April TERS benefits and when will May TERS applications open?

Applications for April TERS benefits are still open at this stage.  However, employers are urged to apply for TERS benefits as soon as possible as applications will close soon.

Applications for May TERS benefits are not yet open and we are expecting it to open this week.

  • When will foreign nationals be reassessed?  Will this be done automatically?

Applications related to foreign nationals will automatically be reassessed and additional April TERS benefit payments made where relevant.  More controls must be in place to ensure compliance related to a valid passport and work permit.  Once verification has been done, applicants will receive a top-up payment related to the foreign nationals employed by them.

  • I registered my client with an incorrect email address. Therefore, no employees have been uploaded due to password need changing. After countless emails to COVID19 support and U-filing support, I do not get a response. Calling the TERS helpline keeps directing me to email address. How do I get help?

You need to contact the hotline / call centre for assistance.

  • I am required to submit proof of payment of the last three months.  My domestic worker is paid in cash and I can therefore not provide proof that this has been paid into her bank account.  Will she now lose out on a claim?

A declaration made by the employee confirming the monthly payments will suffice.

  • Most of my declined payment reports show "employee not declared by employer".  What can I do to address this issue?

This is probably due to the fact that UIF declarations related to the employee are outstanding and must be submitted in order to become compliant and for TERS to be claimed.  The following error messages could be visible: Reasons for rejection will include:

  1. “Employee not declared by the Employer” – you need to go to and declare these employees (if you have been paying your UIF contributions).
  2. “Application not processed yet” – you need to wait as payment should be made in a few days.
  3. “Failed Branch Code Validation” – you need to go to your profile and update your branch code on their profile (it is better to use the Universal Branch code).
  • Incorrect bank details on csv file, how to we change this? Bank confirmation letter was sent but TERS paid on incorrectly captured bank account number (no validation was done).

This issue must be logged by phoning the TERS hotline / call centre.

  • One of our clients submitted his TERS application on the wrong UIF number by accident, please advise what our steps must be to assist him.

This issue must be logged by phoning the TERS hotline / call centre.

  • What if one of my employees is not on the Successful payment nor on the Declined payment report?

It is probably because their details were not captured accurately. Please recapture them with a direct capture (rather than via a csv file).

  • I have received payment but am not sure how much to pay each employee?       

Check the successful payment report where the payment is broken down by employee.

  • What should I do if I did not get paid as much as I was expecting?             

You may have incorrectly captured the amounts on the Excel Spreadsheet. Please check the difference in amounts between "Employee's current remuneration" and the top-up paid to employees during the lockdown.  If an error was made, send the corrected spreadsheet to with your UIF reference number in the subject line.

This could also be because you selected the payment period for the first 3 weeks of the lockdown, which means you would not have received payment for all 35 days of lockdown.  There is going to be an automated payout for the additional 2 weeks (which is the extended 14 days of lockdown) - no action is needed from the employer.

  • What should I do if I need to add more employees to my claim? 

You are able to add more employees to your claim by following the process:

  • Login to the Covid-19 TERS Portal
  • Select - “Employee Details”
  • Click the orange Add new employee button. If you are adding employees you will need to do this one-by-one rather than with the CSV
  • How do I repay the UIF? You might have received the wrong amount; Some of the your workforce have come back to work since your claim, and you’ve paid all or a portion of their salary to them;  You've applied for the wrong employees.

In these instances you can make payment to:

  • Unemployment Insurance Fund
  • FNB
  • Current Account
  • Account Number: 51420056925
  • Branch code: 23-31-45
  • Reference: C+UIF reference number (e.g. C1234567/7 )

Email proof of payment to

Useful contact details:

  • If you have been rejected because of outstanding declarations, you should send an email to this email address:
  • To send electronic payroll files for uploading on the UIF system:
  • To register and declare Foreign Nationals:

This article was prepared by: The Tax Faculty

Webinar Commentary

For answers to the most burning questions and issues experienced with UIF and TERS access our Webinar-on-Demand here.

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