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Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) recently announced to let Provident Fund (PF) members withdraw money from their PF accounts as a non-refundable advance. The new EPFO withdrawal process was announced to provide some relief to people affected with the COVID-19 second wave and need emergency money for treatment. In simple words, EPFO members will now be able to withdraw money from their PF accounts providing COVID-19 as a reason.

Last year, the government of India amended Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 to allow members withdraw emergency money from the retirement fund stating COVID-19 as the reason. Previously, the government let members to withdraw money from their retirement money in instances such as illness, buying a house, among others.

It should be noted that members can withdraw basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) of three months or 75 per cent of the Provident Fund money. If required, members can also apply for lesser amounts as well. If someone has already taken an advance from the PF account last year, even then they are eligible to opt the withdrawal service.

To withdraw money from PF account due to emergency related to COVID-19 you will need three things:

1) UAN number must be activated

2) UAN number should be linked with Aadhaar, PAN and the bank account numbers

3) Phone number used to activate the UAN should be active to receive the one-time password (OTP).

How to withdraw money from PF account online

1) Login to your EPFO account using UAN number and password

2) Head to the ‘Online Services’ tab and select ‘Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)’ option from the drop-down menu.

3) The website will then display details such as members details, PAN card, Aadhaar card and bank account number.

4) You will then need to enter the last four digits of your bank account and click on ‘Verify’.

5) Confirm the ‘Terms and Conditions’ and click on ‘Proceed Claim.’

6) Select ‘PF Advance (Form 31)’ to withdraw money.

7) You will then need to state the reason for taking an advance under the ‘Purpose for which advance is required’.

8) Once the reason is selected, you will need to enter the amount required and the complete address.

9) Upload the cheque or account details and then submit the application.

10) Lastly, request for an OTP, which will be sent to the mobile number linked with the EPFO account. Once you enter the OTP, your claim application will be submitted.

Once the submission is done, your employer will need to approve the withdrawal request after which the required money will be transferred to the bank account.