We have been submitting claims to the Relief Scheme on behalf of clients, both employers and employees, over the past 10 days.
We would like to share the experience which we have had in doing so and advise that despite the various applications submitted we have not yet received confirmation that any payments had indeed been made.
Those experiences include the following:
1.1 A change in the format and documentation needed to lodge the applications. It is not exactly clear on what date this happened but we started to receive emails on 9 April 2020 which were automated emails stipulating that new information was required. This has meant that the applications, the requirements for which had already been changed without formal notification, that had previously been lodged and in respect of which an automated acknowledgement was already received, had not been accepted and had to be resubmitted;
1.2 As a result of the automated email requesting that all applications be resubmitted the timeline to payment has been lengthened and the workload for all applicants increased as a large component of the new requirement included a new reporting format and a change to the documents sought;
1.3 There has been no personal communication or contact with a representative of the fund. The designated telephone numbers are never answered and all emails received relating to the applications submitted are automatic replies. There is no contact person to refer all queries or questions to. In addition, we have been forced to allocate our own reference numbers for the various applications;
1.4 These automatic replies although acknowledging receipt of the application do not contain a date or reference which can be used in further communication so there is no way to track to whom the application had been sent to for verification; and
1.5 On 15 April 2020, in the evening, information about an online portal was distributed. And now it is not clear whether an application would have to be resubmitted for a third time using the portal.
1.6 We have been asked whether applications can be made after the lockdown period, the empowering legislation does not indicate that this is in fact so but in a recent interview UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping told Moneyweb that applications will need to be made during the lockdown period.
We will monitor the situation and will report back as and when we receive more clarity.