Death Benefits

Death benefits

It is undeniable. You are a hard worker and you are selfless. It may be a grim truth, but death is inevitable. In the death of hardworking individuals, the dependents always come first. The UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) takes care of the deceased worker’s death benefits. This is where dependents need to apply for the death benefits. Once approved, they can get their benefits from the nearest labour apartment

Who is Eligible and who is not?

Death benefits are under the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act. All workers and employers are eligible except for the following:

Those who work for less than 24 hours every month for any employer

Public servants

Students or learners

Those who receive a monthly old age pension or state pension

Those who earn by commission

Foreigners who are working under contracts

Who Can Claim Death Benefits?

Take note that the dependents of a deceased worker cannot claim the death benefits if the worker:

Gained the benefits from the Compensation Fund

Was involved in fraudulent acts

Gained the death benefits from an unemployment fund

Life partners and spouses can claim upon the death of the worker. If the children are the only ones left, they can claim if: 

The life partner or spouse does not claim the benefits, within 6 months of the worker’s passing.

There is no life partner or spouse to claim.

Said dependents can claim the death benefits within 6 months of the worker’s passing or death. This is according to Section 30 of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

The dependents must accomplish the application forms. Then, they should submit the forms and other documents at their preferred labour centre. This is according to Section 31 of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

Payments, Taxes, and Over payments

The legislation in the Unemployment Insurance Act, Section 29 says that the dependents can claim the death benefits from the labour centre they choose. In the event that the dependents receive more money, they should pay the excess amount back to the UIF.

Death Benefits on the Worker’s Retirement Fund?

The Pension Funds Act, Section 37C stipulates that the trustees have an entire year to look for the deceased worker’s dependents. The trustees need to do this, even if there is a nominated beneficiary. The beneficiary nomination is only a guideline. They need to be discrete in finding the dependents, so that they can give the death benefits to whomever they deem worthy. The trustees should consider the following factors in awarding the benefits:


Age of the beneficiaries and dependents

Extent of dependency on the deceased worker

Financial affairs of the beneficiaries or dependents

Relationship with the deceased worker

Earning potentials of the dependents or beneficiaries


It is a comfort that even in the death of a worker; the dependents will always receive death benefits. This way, they can move on in life, even without their breadwinner.


About the Author

Charl Oosthuizen
Independent Financial Advisor / Onafhanklike Finasiële Adviseur Ultrafin Finansiële Oplossings (Edms) Bpk / Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd FSP 35757 Cell: 083 377 1441 | Fax: 086 617 8137 | Tel: 086 111 4602 Besturende Direkteur. Charl is sedert 1990 betrokke by versekring. Verantwoordelik vir oorhoofse bestuur van maatskappy, met spesifieke fokus op die Kort Termyn Afdeling as ‘n boer in murg en been lê die landbou vir Charl baie na aan die hart. Dus vorm Agri Versekring en gepaardgaande NIS produkte ‘n belangrike deel van Ultrafin se Potefeulje.

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