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On 31 May 2021, EPFO has come up with a better process of withdrawing from EPF, while you are working, for medical purposes like emergency hospitalization on account of serious life-threatening diseases including Covid 19. Earlier, EPF scheme rules allowed withdrawal of money from one’s account due to a medical emergency, but the amount was based on estimation of medical expenses or reimbursement of medical bills. Now one can apply for a medical advance of up to Rs 1 lakh. How one can avail of EPF Advance for Medical Emergencies? What is the process? What should be one aware of?

EPF Advance for Medical Emergency

If you contribute to EPF you can also take up to Rs 1 lakh medical advance for the treatment of any life-threatening diseases including Covid-19. You don’t have to submit an estimate of the hospitalization cost to the EPF office for withdrawing your advances. Earlier, EPF subscribers had to share an estimation of medical expenses for the withdrawal of funds

  • One can apply for medical advance for the treatment of specified procedures of self and family members.
  • One can apply for it any time after joining the EPF scheme.
  • A medical advance of up to Rs 1 lakh will be granted without insisting on the estimate of expenditure from the hospital/other documentation.
  • This medical advance will be granted immediately preferably on the same day
  • The patient must be admitted to a government/CGHS empanelled hospital for treatment. If due to an emergency one is admitted to a private hospital, then the competent authority will examine the case and only then medical advance will be given.
  • Additional advance can be given if EPFO withdrawal rules permit. However, such advance will be issued only after the receipt of estimate for treatment subsequently but before the discharge of the patient of the hospital. However, the additional advance will be reduced by the previously sanctioned amount.
  • The medical advance amount can either be credited to the salary account of the employee or can be paid to the hospital concerned at the request of a family member.

After discharge from the hospital

  • An employee will be required to submit medical bills within 45 days from the date of discharge.
  • The amount of medical advance will be adjusted from the final bill of the hospital as per the EPF withdrawal rules.
  • Depending on the amount that an EPF member is eligible to receive, the adjustment of medical bill or recovery of advance will be done while processing the medical bills of the employee.

Concerns about EPF Advance for Medical Emergency

The intent seems to be right but there are questions about implementations>

A letter written by an employee or a family member citing that estimate is not known must be sent to EPFO to get the medical advance. 

How that letter will be sent? How will the money be discharged in 1 day?

The patient must be admitted to a government/CGHS empanelled hospital for treatment. If due to an emergency one is admitted to a private hospital, then the competent authority will examine the case and only then medical advance will be given.

Wish they had allowed private hospitals too. Who is a competent autthority? Will this not add delay?

After discharge from the hospital, one has to submit medical bills. Depending on the amount that an EPF member is eligible to receive, the adjustment of the medical bill or recovery of advance will be done while processing the medical bills of the employee.

This again seems to be the grey area and has high chances of it being not used properly.

EPF Partial Withdrawal for Medical Treatment?

EPFO allows one to do partial withdrawal while one is working for various reasons such as repaying the housing loan, Marriage, Treatment, subject to prescribed conditions. For Medical Treatment the EPF Partial withdrawal from our article  EPF Partial Withdrawal or Advance is given below.

  • Whose Treatment:
    • Self :
      • Hospitalization for 1 month or more
      • major surgical operation in a hospital
      • suffering from TB, leprosy, paralysis, cancer, mental derangement, or heart ailment and having been granted leave by his employer for the treatment of said illness
    • Family: spouse, son, daughter, dependent father, mother
      • major surgical operation in a hospital and 1 month or more hospitalization for the operation
      • suffering from TB, leprosy, paralysis, cancer, mental derangement, or heart ailment
  • Eligibility: No minimum service required.
  • How often can one withdraw for the same purpose: Whenever required for treatment?
  • Maximum Amount that one can withdraw: 6 times of Wages OR Full Employee share (whichever is less)

How to apply from EPF Advance for Medical Emergencies

The medical advance will be given to the employee or the family member of the patient by following the below-mentioned steps:

b) Employee or a family member will be required to submit a request letter mentioning the details of the hospital and patient. The letter must mention that estimate is not known, thus, a medical advance must be given.

1. Visit the official EPFO portal: https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/

2. Log in to your account by entering your UAN, password, and captcha details.

3. Go to the ‘Online Services’ tab and Click on the ‘Claim (Form-31, 19, 10C & 10D)’ option.

4.  On the new page, verify your bank account details connected with the UAN and accept EPFO’s terms and conditions after reading carefully.

6. Tap ‘Proceed For Online Claim’ and from the options applying for withdrawal, select ‘Medical emergency’. Only eligible members will be able to see the option.

Checklist to file withdrawal from EPF online

A) Universal Account Number (UAN) must be activated;
B) Aadhaar number should be linked and verified with UAN;
C) Bank account with correct IFSC should be seeded with UAN;
D) EPF account must be KYC-compliant;
E) Mobile number linked with Aadhaar should be active;
F) In case of retirement, the correct date of birth should be updated in the EPFO records.

The EPF Circular

The EPF Circular is shown below

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