EPFO Allows Processing Death Claims Without Aadhaar Seeding Under These Conditions

To eliminate avoidable delays in processing death claims, EPFO permitted the processing of physical claims without Aadhaar seeding, but only after a strict verification process.
EPFO Allows Processing Death Claims Without Aadhaar
EPFO Allows Processing Death Claims Without Aadhaar

Considering the challenges faced by field offices, and the difficulty in rectifying or updating Aadhaar details following the death of a member, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced that processing of physical claims can be done without seeding Aadhaar.

EPFO Circular

EPFO noted that the processing of death claims has to be streamlined to address challenges that have emerged since its 2020 circular. Field offices had reported difficulties in seeding and authenticating the Aadhaar details of deceased members due to inaccurate or incomplete details in their Aadhaar documents. Further, the unavailability of Aadhaar in cases predating its introduction, with respect to pre-Aadhaar death cases, deactivated Aadhaar, technical errors in validating Aadhaar from the UIDAI database, etc. pose further challenges.

This led to avoidable delays in processing physical claims, thus delaying the release of benefits to beneficiaries.

So EPFO temporarily has decided to allow the processing of physical claims without seeding Aadhaar in such death cases. However, EPFO clarified that this temporary measure is only allowed only on obtaining approval from the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) in an e-office file, "duly recording the details of verification done to confirm the membership of the deceased and the genuineness of the claimants." "This may be carried out among other actions of due diligence, as deemed fit by the OIC, to avoid any fraudulent withdrawals," the EPFO circular added.

This temporary provision is only applicable in such cases where member details are accurate in the Universal Account Number (UAN) but inaccurate or incomplete in the UID database. However contrarily if the Aadhaar details are correct and UAN details are incorrect, field offices must adhere to the following instructions to rectify the data in the UAN to validate the Aadhaar.

What If Aaadhar Is Accurate And UAN Details Are Inaccurate?

For establishments marked as closed, the Joint Declaration (JD) form received from employees must be signed by the EPFO member and verified by authorised entities. Once the EPFO office receives this, the form will be scanned, and uploaded, the signatory's credentials will be confirmed and the claim will be processed online.

For establishments not marked as closed, the establishment will be marked as closed based on the Enforcement Officer's (EO) report, and the same process as for closed establishments will apply.

If the EPFO member is dead, the JD form must be signed by the nominee or all nominees (if there is more than one) and scanned for further processing.

In the event of a member's death without an Aadhaar, the nominee's Aadhaar will be recorded in the system, and the nominee may be permitted to sign the JD form. All other procedures remain unchanged. In instances where the deceased member did not file a nomination during their lifetime, one of the family members or legal heirs of the member may be allowed to attest the JD and submit their Aadhaar with the consent of other family members or legal heirs.

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