Did you know that the Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines offers a handful of benefits to its members? It’s not just the pension you get once you retire. If you’re a first-time member, or even if you’ve been a member for years, it’s important to know what they are.
When in need, you can claim any of them as long as you are eligible. So, whether you’re just starting out in your career or nearing retirement age, read on and learn more what’s available for you.
What is SSS?
The Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines is a government-run pension fund that provides financial assistance to its members in times of need, such as during retirement, disability, unemployment, or death.
The agency is primarily funded through payroll taxes and contributions from its members. It also offers investment products and services to help grow its members’ retirement savings. It has been in operation since 1957 and currently has over 40 million members.
The SSS main function is to provide social security coverage to its members. In addition, it helps protect workers and their families from the financial hardships of losing a breadwinner’s income. It also provides benefits for medical emergencies and other contingencies.
What are the SSS benefits that a member can avail of?
Perhaps the most well-known benefit is the SSS retirement pension which provides a monthly source of income for retirees on top of the lump sum they will receive. But did you know there are other eight benefits you can avail of? You can enjoy the following if you pay your monthly premiums on time and in full.
1. Maternity benefit
This cash benefit is given to women who have given birth or had a miscarriage. It’s intended to help with the medical expenses associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Here are the highlights of this benefit:
- Paid maternity leave benefit of 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for cesarean delivery.
- The cash benefit is equivalent to 100% of the member’s average daily salary credit (ADSC). For normal and cesarean delivery, it’s multiplied by 105 days, for solo parents, it’s multiplied by 120 days, and for miscarriage and stillbirth, it’s 60 days.
- The mother can transfer seven days of leave to her spouse, whether legally married or not. SSS will only pay the maternity benefit of 98 days.
- Self-employed and workers in the informal sector who have complete contributions can avail it.
Read more about the SSS maternity benefit guide on how to file online and eligibility requirements.
2. Paternity benefit
The paternity benefit comes from the transferred leave from the mother, which is up to seven days only. This leave is available to couples who are legally married or cohabitate. It’s only applicable to the first four deliveries of the mother.
Here are the highlights of this benefit.
- This seven-day leave should be filed separately from the seven-day leave granted to fathers under the RA 8187 or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996.
- In total, the father can have a total of 14 days paternity leave.
- This benefit is not convertible to cash, and the child’s father should be living with the mother at the time of the birth or miscarriage.
3. Unemployment benefit
SSS unemployment benefit is a social security program in the Philippines that provides financial assistance to qualified members who lost their jobs due to retrenchment, installation of labor-saving devices, or closure of business. Here are the highlights of this benefit.
- Cash assistance is not a loan and should only be used to find a job.
- The cash benefit is 50% of the member’s monthly contribution. The maximum amount is ₱10,000 even if the monthly wage of the member is more than ₱20,000.
- If the member resigned or committed AWOL (absence without leave), he or she’s not eligible to claim the benefit.
4. Retirement benefit
SSS retirement benefit is available to its members as a form of financial security in their old age. This is in the form of a pension, which is given monthly or a lump sum amount.
Here are the highlights of this benefit:
- The monthly pension is based on the contributions for at least 10 credited years of service and up to 20 years.
- Pensioners receive an additional 13th-month pay every December
- To receive a monthly pension, the member should have at least 120 monthly contributions before the semester of the retirement. Otherwise, the member should pay the contributions in lump sum to qualify.
5. Funeral benefit
This benefit is intended to help cover the costs associated with a funeral, including transport, burial, and other related expenses. The cash benefit ranges from ₱20,000 to ₱40,000, depending on the member’s contribution and credited years of service.
Other things you should know about this benefit:
- SSS allows e-filing of funeral claims via SSS online portal.
- The coverage of the deceased employee-member should be reported by the employer.
- Self-employed, a non-working spouse, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), and voluntary members must have at least one-month contribution to be eligible.
- Supporting documents, including receipts, are required, such as proof of funeral expenses.
6. Death benefit
The death benefit is given to the surviving family members of a deceased SSS member. A legitimate spouse or children are the primary beneficiaries of this benefit. Its coverage is a monthly pension, depending on the deceased member’s contribution, and a 13th-month pay that is credited every December.
Here are some of the highlights and things you should know about this benefit:
- The cash benefit is either paid monthly or in a lump sum.
- The monthly pension is based on the member’s contribution. The minimum that you can receive is ₱1,000.
- The legal spouse can file the death claim benefit via SSS online portal.
- The documents required include a copy of the death certificate, a copy of the claimant’s ID, and proof of relationship to the deceased member.
7. Sickness benefit
The sickness benefit in the Philippines is a cash benefit paid to an eligible member who cannot work due to sickness or injury. The benefit is equivalent to the member’s average daily salary credit (ADSC) and can claim up to 120 days.
Here are some of the highlights of this benefit:
- To be eligible, the member must have at least three months of contributory membership within the 12-month period before the sickness or injury.
- The sickness or injury is either in the hospital or confinement at home for at least four days.
- A member is granted 120 days of sickness benefit. If there’s unused in the current year, it can’t be carried over to the following year.
8. Disability benefit
Disability benefits in the Philippines are granted to those who have contributed to the Social Security System (SSS) and have become disabled due to an illness or injury, preventing them from working and earning an income.
The coverage includes a monthly cash benefit or monthly pension. It can also be given in lump sum.
Here are some of the things you should know:
- The qualified member will receive supplemental cash aid of ₱500 on top of the monthly pension.
- The monthly pension starts at ₱1,000 if the member has less than 10 years of credited years of service.
- The member must have paid at least 36 months of contribution before the semester to qualify for the monthly pension.
- The member can claim the benefit, whether he has a total or partial disability.
9. Access to salary loans
The SSS salary loan is a government-sponsored financial assistance program for Filipino workers. The loan is designed to help eligible SSS members cover unexpected expenses or tide them over during financial hardship.
Here are some of the important details you should about this benefit:
- The program is available to all employee, self-employed, and voluntary members.
- The maximum loanable amount is determined by the worker’s salary and contributions.
- The interest rate per annum is 10%, payable for up to 24 months.
How can I claim my SSS benefits?
SSS allows you to claim the benefits in two ways: branch visit and online filing or claiming. Branch visits may be overwhelming for some as you need to get a number and spend almost half a day completing your transaction.
Luckily, SSS encourages its members to do the online filing on My.SSS online portal.
If you haven’t registered yet, we have written My.SSS online portal guide to walk you through registering your SSS account.
As a registered member, you can access the benefits and loans in the portal.
The Social Security System or SSS benefits and programs benefit employees, self-employed, OFWs, and voluntary members.
Simply put, it’s a social security system that provides members monthly pensions, disability income, and survivorship benefits. If you are eligible for membership, it’s definitely worth signing up for – especially given the current economy.
Have you tried claiming one of the benefits mentioned above? Let us know your experience in the comments section.