Answer to a question from a reader

How can I apply for UIF death benefits if I was in a traditional marriage with no marriage certificate?

The short answer

You will have to provide some proof of the marriage, like lobola letters of a letter from the chief.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

What documents can I submit in lieu of a marriage certificate to apply for UIF death benefits if my husband and I were married traditionally? Alternatively, can my child claim on my behalf? What documents would they need?

The long answer

You will need to show UIF some proof that you were married. They will accept lobola letters. They will also accept a letter from the chief in your area saying that you and your husband were married traditionally. These days, traditional marriages should be registered with Home Affairs to avoid problems proving that you were married.

These are the documents you need to claim the death benefits:

  • your identity document;

  • copies of your husband’s last six payslips;

  • his employer's details on form UI19;

  • a certified copy of the death certificate;

  • a certified copy of your marriage certificate (in your case, proof that you were married traditionally – lobola letters, photos of the ceremony, letter from the chief, etc.);

  • a service certificate from the employer;

  • proof of your banking details.

The official at the Labour Centre will give you Form UF128 which must be filled in by your husband’s last employer and then submitted at the Labour Centre. The death benefit is the amount your husband could have claimed if he were unemployed, and it will be paid out in one lump sum.

To answer your second question, I don’t think your child can claim the UIF death benefits on your behalf, because you are required to go in person to the Labour Centre and fill in Form UF126. 

If there is some reason that you cannot go in person, you could phone UIF at this number: 0800 030 007 for Queries and ask what you should do.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Nov. 11, 2021, 4:38 p.m.

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