If becoming a new mother wasn’t stressful enough, imagine giving birth in a pandemic and waiting eight months for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to make a payout.
Liesie Pretorius from Pretoria West has been struggling for eight months to get her UIF payment after giving birth to a girl in November last year.
“As a new mom, I felt a bit like a failure because I could not buy the essentials she needed,” Pretorius said.
She said four months without any income were very difficult because she could not even afford medical bills. Pretorius said despite paying her UIF contribution each month, she now has to wait months for her claim to be paid out.
“I have tried calling several times, and found there were days they did not answer,” she said.
She phoned in April, May, June, and this month and still got no answer, and “when they do eventually answer it was always the same story”.
“They will give a ticket log about my request and promise to give me feedback, only for me to wait two weeks and still get no feedback,” she said.
Pretorius said she once drove to the offices but didn’t want to risk standing in queues with a baby in the middle of a pandemic. She initially used a UIF claim service that filed the claim on her behalf.
“The first person who uploaded my claim said I would get the money by March,” Pretorius said.
When this didn’t happen, she contacted a second agent who informed her the documents haven’t been filed to the system yet.
The matter went from bad to worse when she was informed that the assessor originally made a mistake on the system and uploaded her claim as a miscarriage.
Pretorius is waiting for her claim to be reassessed. When she phoned she was told a claim takes 35 working days to be reprocessed.
UIF spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said according to the system, the client must submit UI19 form to the Labour office because there was no termination of service on the system.
By yesterday, the system was still indicating Pretorius had a miscarriage, despite her resubmitting the birth certificate with the second agent.
Buthelezi said he will investigate.