Today, GMW News Online published this article, creating a ruckus in the HR Field:
When the employees saw the Php 20,000 cash benefit, biglang lumaki ang mata ng mga tao. “Wow, ang laki!!!! Apply tayo!”
After the SBWS’ Php 16,000 (Max of NCR), workers are now super curious on how to avail of this wonderful program that gives them Php 20,000, especially now that so many people are being laid off or have resigned from their positions.
That’s why we are going to talk about this topic.
To be honest, gulat ako by how excited people are re: SSS Unemployment Benefit. Actually, matagal na ang SSS Unemployment Benefit na yan. The unemployment benefit, one of the landmark provisions of Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, is the seventh benefit program of the SSS. Member-applicants may be granted a cash benefit equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit (AMSC) for a maximum of 2 months.
Here’s 10 Questions Answered on How To Apply for the SSS Unemployment Benefit
1. What is the SSS Unemployment Program?
The Unemployment benefit program is the newest among the benefits being offered by SSS. This program allows qualified SSS members who are involuntarily separated from work to claim for a cash allowance equivalent to two times his average monthly salary credit. Beneficiaries include household employees and overseas Filipino workers.
The purpose of the program is very noble, as the money will allow the SSS members some financial liberty during times of unemployment. The program is patterned with similar programs in Europe. The member can use the money:
- To find another job after they were involuntarily separated from work.
- To take up courses to improve themselves to find a better job.
- To use for their everyday needs.
For more details on the SSS Unemployment Benefits, see the Brochure Here.
2. How much Money Can Qualified Applicants Get for the Unemployed Benefit?
The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC) for two months. See attached for how much you will get:
Example, if you earn Php 14,000.00 or the minimum wage — meaning, your company has deposited Php 1,690.00 total per month — the Monthly Salary Credit is Php 14,000. The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC), so following the table, you will get Php 7,000 per month. The program will last for only two months.
NOTE: If two or more compensable contingencies occurred within the same period, SSS will only pay the highest benefit from the recorded contingencies. They are given one year from the time of their separation to file for their benefit claim.
3. So why did they say the Unemployment Benefit is Php 20,000?
Take a look at the chart again — If you make Php 25,000 and your company deposits Php 2,430.00 per month for your SSS benefits, you get a max Php 20,000 Monthly Salary Credit.
At 50% of Php 20,000, that’s Php 10,000 per month for two months.
This is why you will get an Unemployment Benefit of Php 20,000 in total.
4. Who is Qualified for the Unemployment Benefit?
a. The applicant should be a member of SSS. If you’re not even part of SSS, you are NOT qualified. If you are a voluntary contributer, you are NOT qualified.
b. Member-applicant must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions.
IMPORTANT: 12 months of the 36 months should have been paid within the 18-month period prior to the month of involuntary separation.
c. There is an Age Requirement:
a. For everyone else, you must be 60 years old or below at the time of separation.
b. For racehorse jockeys, aged 55 years old and below.
c. For Underground and surface mine workers, age should be 50 years old and below.
d. You can only claim it once every three years from the date of involuntary separation.
e. You did NOT resign voluntarily. That’s why it’s called Involuntary Unemployed. Once you quit, you are NOT eligible for the program.
f. You must have been fired due to the following AUTHORIZED causes:
g. You did not get laid off due to Just Causes. If so, you are NOT QUALIFIED for the Involuntary Separation Insurance Pay:
5. How much Total Budget is Allocated to the Involuntary Separation Insurance Program?
The SSS said that Php 178 million worth of benefits were released in 2019 under its unemployment benefit or involuntary separation insurance program, which is one of the key features of Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 which took effect on March 5, 2019.
As of December 2019, there is enough budget. In response to a query by Dominguez, SSS Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary Edgar Cruz said the SSS is ready, at the minimum, to provide P660 million for the unemployment benefits of affected SSS members, and up to P1.2 billion under a worst-case scenario.
Cruz said with the current cash position of the SSS at P21 billion, it can well afford to pay unemployment benefits, given that P660 million is just a fraction of the more than P16 billion that SSS paid monthly for members’ pensions in 2019.
6. What are the Chances of Me Being Approved?
Pretty high IF you are qualified.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said that out of 15,151 unemployment benefit applications in 2019, 14,895 were approved (98.31%). This translated to Php 178 million of benefit releases.
7. What are the Requirements to Apply for this Special Benefit?
Workers who are involuntarily separated from work need to secure the DOLE’s Certificate of Separation from Employment/Unemployment from the Department of Labor and Employment to avail of an unemployment insurance.
Applicants are required to submit to any SSS local branch or foreign office:
A. A DOLE-issued certification establishing the nature and date of involuntary separation
You can get them here — The electronic filing facility can be accessed through DOLE-NCR’s official website at https://ncr.dole.gov.ph or at https://tinyurl.com/dolencr-efiling. It takes them ONE WEEK to get back to you.
B. Notice of Termination from the employer or the Affidavit of Termination of Employment.
Here’s a sample of Affidavit ot Termination of Employment:
C. An original and photocopy of one primary ID card or document. If you don’t have a primary ID, any two ID cards/documents, both with signature and at least one with photo. Here’s a list of Primary IDs accepted by SSS:
8. How do I get the DOLE Certification of Separation from Employment?
You need to secure the DOLE’s Certificate of Separation from Employment/ Unemployment from DOLE first to avail of an unemployment insurance. It is a primary requisite for the application for payment of unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit of the Social Security System (SSS). You can apply it from the DOLE Field/Provincial Office where the employer is located or where the employee resides.
Applicants must be able to present one (1) valid identification card (ID) and a copy of the Notice of Termination or a duly notarized Affidavit of Termination of Employment.
“For the issuance of this certification, the DOLE will do its best to observe the one day Process Cycle Time. The certification should be duly signed by the Head of the Field/Provincial Offices of the DOLE,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.
The issuance of the DOLE certification is pursuant to Department Circular No. 01-2019 or the Guidelines on the Issuance of DOLE Certification as a Requirement for Application for Payment of Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit.
In the case of OFWs, they may file their application at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office where their employer operates or at the DOLE Field/Provincial Office where the OFW resides.
This is the labor advisory re: DOLE certification issuance:
9. How will I receive the Payment?
The benefit will be credited to the savings account under the member’s UMID card enrolled as ATM or Union Bank of Philippines (UBP) Quick Card.
If the member has no UMID card enrolled as ATM or UBP Quick Card, the member will be instructed by the branch to open or avail of the UBP Quick Card to have their benefit automatically credited to their savings account and can be availed thru UBP Kiosks in selected SSS branches nationwide.
10. Why does the SSS need a lot of requirements from me? Magbibigay na ng pera. Pahihirapan ka pa nila!
The toughest thing about living in the Philippines is that you’re already helping out your fellowmen, pero magrereklamo pa sila. Sila pa ang galit.
Look, the SSS Unemployment Benefit is ASSISTANCE given by the SSS to its qualified members. It’s NOT a loan. It’s FREE money that you don’t have to pay back IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED.
Kung hindi ka qualified, then naturally, you cannot avail of the benefit. If you did not have enough contributions, SSS is not obliged to give you a single cent because you’re not even a member of this program. When this happens, huwag nang magalit. Hindi kasalanan ng SSS na hindi kayo naghuhulog ng contributions.
Let this be a valuable lesson to everyone — Always ensure that if you’re employed, to be registered in SSS. Because there’s a lot of benefits you can get from the Social Security System Program which not only includes the Unemployment Benefits but the following:
Good luck and please proceed to the nearest SSS branch for any more queries!