Social Security System or SSS provide members with benefits that are essential to every individual to be insured for emergencies, retirement, and funeral grant. However, this will depend on how much contribution a member has given. There has been a news announcement that SSS is mandatory for OFWs, but even if it is not, it is really important to contribute to SSS to enjoy its benefits and claims once become a member.
The SSS is a government-run insurance program that offers health and retirement benefits to private sector employees as well as voluntary members, which include the self-employed, non-working spouses, and of course, overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed the Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018. The new policy involved increasing the Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) of land-based, OFW-members from PHP 5,000 to PHP 8,000. It also raised OFW-members’ minimum SSS contributions from PHP 550 per month to PHP 960 per month. Consequently, this has also led to greater benefits for all members.
Here are the lists of SSS Benefits that an OFW member expects to avail:
1. Sickness Benefit
You should have at least three months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months. You can receive a daily cash allowance for each day that you are unable to work due to a sickness or injury. It also applies if you have been confirmed at home or in a hospital for four days or more.
2. Maternity Benefit
Similar to sickness benefit, you need to have at least three months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months to qualify for maternity benefits. Female SSS members who recently gave birth or experienced a miscarriage may avail of a daily cash allowance from SSS.
3. Disability Benefit
Those who have made at least 36 monthly contributions can qualify for a monthly disability pension. In case a member becomes partially or totally disabled because of an accident, he or she can apply for the disability benefit. Those who have not reached the same number of contributions would be granted a lump sum amount.
4. Unemployment Benefit
This is a new SSS benefit offered to those who have been laid off (terminated) from their jobs. It doesn’t apply to those who have resigned from their jobs.
The unemployment benefit is equal to 50% of the average MSC. For example, if your average monthly salary is PHP 20,000 – you could receive PHP 10,000. To qualify for this benefit, you should have at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 of which should have been made within the last 18 months preceding your involuntary unemployment.
5. Retirement Benefit
This benefit is given to those who no longer work due to old age, and is provided as a monthly pension or lump sum amount. Members who have reached 60 years of age and are no longer working may apply, as long as they have made at least 120 monthly contributions.
Members who have reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 years will automatically receive this benefit, regardless of whether they are still working or not.
6. Death Benefit
If you are the primary beneficiary (i.e spouse or dependent child) of a deceased SSS member who had made at least 36 monthly contributions, you can avail a monthly death pension. If the contributions are less than 36, you would still get a lump sum amount.
For those who have no primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries (i.e. dependent parents) would receive this benefit instead.
7. Funeral Benefit
If you paid for the burial expenses of a deceased SSS member, you may avail of funeral benefits – provided that you have made at least one monthly contribution as a self-employed, voluntary, or OFW member.