EPFO Relaxes Aadhaar Seeding Requirement for Death Case Claims
MAS Team | 20 May 2024
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced a relaxation in the requirement of Aadhaar seeding for processing physical claims in cases involving the death of a member. This decision comes in light of the challenges faced by field offices in rectifying or updating Aadhaar details for deceased individuals.
According to a recent EPFO circular, the processing of physical claims without Aadhaar seeding will be permitted in death cases, subject to approval from the Officer in Charge (OIC) through an e-office file. The file must document the verification procedures undertaken to confirm the deceased's membership and the legitimacy of the claimants. Additionally, the OIC may direct further due diligence measures to prevent fraudulent withdrawals.
This concession applies only when member details are accurate in the Universal Account Number (UAN) but inaccurate or incomplete in the Aadhaar database. In cases where Aadhaar data is correct but details in the UAN are inaccurate or incomplete, field offices must follow the guidelines outlined in the JD SOP version-2 dated 26.03.2024, involving rectifying the data in the UAN, seeding, and validating/authenticating the Aadhaar, as per the instructions in the previous circular dated 24.09.2020.
The EPFO circular highlights several issues faced by field offices, such as inaccuracies or incompleteness in member details within Aadhaar records, unavailability of Aadhaar information for cases predating its implementation, deactivated Aadhaar accounts, and technical issues in validating Aadhaar through the UIDAI database. These challenges led to delays in processing claims and paying affected claimants.
The relaxation in Aadhaar seeding requirement for death case claims aims to expedite the claim settlement process. However, it is subject to stringent verification and due diligence measures to prevent fraudulent withdrawals.
In the 2023-24 fiscal year, the EPFO settled 4.45 crore claims, including 2.84 crore advance claims for fund withdrawal. Additionally, the auto claim solution has been expanded to cover all claims under para 68K (education & marriage purpose) and 68B (housing purpose) of the EPF Scheme, 1952, to enhance "ease of living," as per a statement from the labour ministry.