Do I lose my UIF unemployment benefits if I claim sickness benefits?
The short answer
Each time you claim benefits, the UIF cycle stops and then starts again when you return to work and resume paying UIF contributions.
The whole question
I worked at a retail store from 2012 to 2022. I got sick in 2019 and was unable to work, so I claimed sickness benefits for three months. After I got dismissed in 2022, I applied for UIF but was rejected because the sickness in 2019 disturbed my unemployment benefits. Is that right?
The long answer
Hopcal.co.za says that the Department of Labour uses the last four years worked to calculate how many credit days you have available. In short, for every six months that you have worked, you receive one month’s benefits up to a maximum of four months.
An article from labourguide.co.za says that if you have been contributing to the Fund for four years or more, you can claim for up to 238 days. If you have been contributing for a shorter period, then you can claim one day for every six days that you worked while you were contributing to the Fund.
But I think the UIF is correct in saying that you can’t calculate your benefits from 2012, because you did claim illness benefits in 2019 for three months. Each time you claim benefits, the UIF cycle stops and then starts again when you return to work and start paying UIF contributions again. So in your case, the UIF will probably calculate your benefits from after your sick benefits claim in 2019 until your dismissal in November 2022.
But to be sure that that is correct, you could contact the UIF call centre at 0800 030 007.
If you are having a problem with a claim, you can contact the call centre, but it helps to have the name of the official who has been assisting at the labour office as well as which labour office you have been dealing with in order to resolve the issue.
Call: 0860-345-464 or 012-3371680. Select option 3.
Wishing you the best,