To help families cope with financial distress caused due to Covid-related deaths, the Central Government recently enhanced the insurance cover under the EDLI scheme from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh for Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account holders. 

But what is the EDLI scheme exactly?

Let’s understand EDLI

Employee’s Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme, was introduced by the Government in 1976 to provide income security to families of private-sector employees after their death. 

Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) offers insurance cover to salaried private sector employees holding an EPF account. You should be part of this scheme unless your employer (private) has opted out of it by providing their own group cover.

It is one of the three schemes formulated under the EPF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. 

While for the other two schemes – the EPF scheme (1952) and Pension scheme, 1995 (EPS) – members have to make regular monthly contributions, there are no contributions required for EDLI. In fact, only their employer contributes towards it.

While the maximum cover was raised from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh in April 2021, the minimum cover was also enhanced to Rs 2.5 lakh. These limits will be applicable for three years starting April 28th, 2021.

How does it work?

Beneficiaries of all employees working in an organization enrolled under the EPF scheme are eligible for benefits under the EDLI scheme. However, the employee under consideration has to be in continuous service for one year. But it need not be from a single organization and the employee can shift jobs as long as he is working continuously for a year.

The beneficiary becomes eligible for two sets of benefits:

  • Firstly, they are paid 35 times the average wage earned by the employee in the last 12 months. For the purpose of calculation, the wage comprises Basic and Dearness allowance and it has a maximum limit of Rs 15,000 per month. So, the maximum cover one can get in this manner is Rs 5.25 lakh (3515,000). Earlier this limit was only Rs 4.5 lakh at 30 times the wage (3015000).
  • In addition, the cover is provided based on the EPF outstanding balances – 50% of the average balance in the preceding 12 months. Again, it is subject to a maximum of Rs 1.75 lakh (it was Rs 1.5 lakh earlier).

Put together, one gets a cover worth Rs 7 lakh (5.25+1.75) as against Rs 6 lakh earlier.

Eligibility

The benefits can be claimed by the nominee of the member. It is usually mentioned at the time of opening an account by filling the nomination form (Form 2). It needs to be noted that nominees mentioned before marriage becomes invalid once the member marries. 

If the nominees are not mentioned, it is paid to the surviving family members (spouse and children). And if there are no eligible family members, it is payable to the person legally entitled to it.

How to make claims

Instead of filling three separate claim forms for PF withdrawal (Form 20), pension claim (Form 10-D) and EDLI (Form 5-IF), the nominee can fill a composite claim form which is signed and certified by the employer

Along with the form you need to provide the following documents:

  • Death certificate of the member
  • Guardianship certificate if the claim is made on behalf of a minor
  • Succession certificate if the claim is made by a legal heir
  • Copy of cancelled cheque of the bank account in which payment is to be credited

Once the claim form is attested by the employee, they send it to the jurisdictional Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) for processing the claim along with the nomination details. The claim is usually settled within 30 days of submission of the form.

Any delay on the part of the RPFC attracts interest at the rate of 12% p.a. 

Takeaway

EDLI provides financial succor to the bereaved family members on the demise of an earning member working in the private sector.