Answer to a question from a reader

Can I claim UIF if my WCA has been approved but not paid out?

The short answer

If your WCA claim was still being assessed, then yes. But it is unclear whether you can apply for UIF now.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I have been disabled since May last year but I have received no compensation since August. My Workers Compensation Assistance (WCA) claim has been approved but I have received no payments to date. Can I claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)? My husband and I are in dire straights. 

The long answer

I’m sorry that you have had to wait so long and are in such dire straits. I can only imagine that this long delay might be connected to the Covid pandemic.

It seems that while you are still waiting for your disability claim to be assessed, you can claim from the UIF, which you may have done. But as your WCA claim has been approved, it’s not clear whether you can still claim from UIF, and whether you have any UIF benefits still owing to you. Perhaps you could contact UIF and ask them. These are their contact details:

Call Centre: 0800 030 007 from 07:30 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) says that the employer must pay the injured worker for the first three months from the date of the occupational injury for which the employer will be repaid by the Compensation Fund. 

Perhaps you could contact the Compensation Fund yourself and ask what is holding up your payment. These are their details:

Tel: 0860 105 350

Email: or or

If you are a member of a union, you should ask the union to assist you.

There is also the R350 SRD (social relief of distress) grant that you and your husband could apply for from SASSA. This is their WhatsApp number, which you can use to apply for the grant: 082 046 8553. But note that no new R350 SRD grants will be processed until the government amends the regulations to shift the grant from the Disaster Management Act to the Social Assistance Act.

I wish there was better news for you, but the truth is that there is no real safety net in South Africa. This is why civil society activists have long been calling for a basic income grant for everyone.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on May 16, 2022, 7:05 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.