Cheque or Passbook Image Now Optional for Certain EPF Claims

The mandatory requirement of uploading the image of cheque leaf or attested bank passbook while making an online EPF claim has been relaxed. The relaxation would be extended to eligible cases inter alia, based on validations such as online verification of bank KYC by the bank or NPCI, verification of bank KYC by the employer using DSC and Seeded Aadhaar Number verified by UIDAI.

A disclaimer stating the same shall be displayed in the last part of the PDF of the claim for now and such claims will soon be color coded for ease of identification by the Dealing Hands to prevent delay in processing such claims.

Members can use the “e-KYC Portal” under the Online Service available on the home page of the EPFO website or the e-KYC service under EPFO in the UMANG APP to link their UAN with Aadhaar without the employer’s intervention. Members may refer to EPFO FAQs on UAN and KYC to get further information.

The move is aimed at facilitating speedy settlements of claims filed online. Many EPFO members had recently resorted to social media to share claim rejection grievances, with reports suggesting one of every third claim was rejected by the EPFO. Claim rejections have surged from 13% to 34% in the past five years, with the key reasons being incorrect documentation, incomplete KYC, non-compliance with EPFO protocols, inaccurate bank details, lack of linking, Form 10C rejection and technical errors, among other things. EPFO withdrawal claims are also required to be processed within 20 days of filing and this could alleviate the increasing burden on officials.

EPFOs recently released payroll data suggests the dominance of the 18-25 age group among the new members being added, which further necessitates the smoothening of the online processes. The EPFO has digitized most of its processes, including claims, EPF account transfers, and KYC updates, to provide a seamless and hassle-free experience for EPF members.