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Qualifying Conditions For SSS Benefits

Last week, I discussed the value of SSS membership by providing a quick overview of various benefits and privileges. Just a recap, an SSS member can enjoy seven benefits under the Social Security (SS) Program in his lifetime namely Maternity Benefit for female members, SSS Sickness Benefit, Unemployment Insurance Benefit, Disability Benefit, Retirement Benefit, Funeral Claim, and Death Benefit.

In this week’s column, allow me to discuss in detail the applicable qualifying conditions for each benefit.

To qualify for Maternity Benefit, a member should have paid at least three months contribution within the 12-month period prior to the semester of child birth or miscarriage. For example, a member who is about to give birth this March 2021, her semester of contingency is from October 2020 to March 2021. Therefore, she should have at least three posted contributions within October 2019 to September 2020.

Prior to the submission of Maternity benefit application, the member should directly notify SSS if self-employed, voluntary, and separated from employment or notify her employer if currently employed. Submission of maternity notification can be done through the My.SSS account.

Contribution requirement under the Sickness Benefit is at least three posted contributions within the 12-month period prior to the semester of sickness or injury. Qualified to avail of the sickness benefit are members under hospital confinement for at least four days or home confinement for not more than 120 days; has notified his employer (if employed) or directly to SSS (if voluntary, self-employed or OFW); and has used up all current company sick leave with
pay.  
 
Employed members who are involuntarily separated from work can avail of the Unemployment Benefit. Meaning, the employee was displaced or separated from work due to downsizing of employee, pandemic, natural or man-made disaster causing the company to shut down, repatriation for OFWs, and other similar instances. To qualify for this benefit, the employee, including Kasambahay and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) should not be over 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation, except for underground and surface mineworkers whose age should not be over 50 years old and racehorse jockey whose age should not be over 55 years old at the time of their separation from work. Member should have paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 months of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation and has no settled unemployment benefit within the last 3 years prior to the date of involuntary separation. Interested applicants should also note that Unemployment benefit shall be filed within one year from the date of separation.

Under the Disability benefit, there are two different contribution requirements. To qualify for the monthly pension, members should have paid at least 36 monthly contributions prior to the semester of disability while members who only paid less than 36 months and whose approved pension duration is less than 12 months are qualified to receive the lump sum amount.

Meanwhile, there are two qualifying conditions under the retirement benefit– member’s age and number of posted contributions. Member ages 60 years old are qualified for optional retirement while member ages 65 years old shall file technical retirement. However, in the case of underground and surface mineworkers, their optional retirement age is lowered to 50 years old while their technical retirement is at 60 years old. Likewise, for racehorse jockey’s technical retirement is at 55 years old. Since this benefit is intended for “retired” members only, a member who is beyond 60 years old but has not reached 65 years old and still employed or self-employed are not yet qualified for Retirement Benefit. They need to be separated from work or ceased their business operation for them to be eligible.

As to the contribution requirement, member should have paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement to qualify for the monthly pension. If the member turns 60 years old this March 2021, he should have at least a total of 120 monthly contributions by September 2020. For members with less than 120 posted contributions, they may opt to avail of the lump sum amount or continue paying their contributions to qualify for the retirement pension.

Out of the seven SSS benefits, Funeral Benefit has the lowest contribution requirement. The deceased member should have paid one month of contribution. However, the amount of benefit ranges from a minimum of P20,000 to a maximum of P40,000, depending on total number of posted contributionss and monthly salary credit (MSC). For Death Benefit, the
deceased member should have paid at least 36 monthly contributions for his beneficiaries to qualify for a monthly pension. In case the deceased member paid less than 36 monthly contributions, SSS will grant lump sum amount to the rightful beneficiary.

After discussing the qualifying conditions, I would like to emphasize the importance of paying SSS contributions regularly to make sure that members are eligible to receive these benefits. For the complete list of banks and non-bank collecting partners where you can pay your SSS contributions, kindly access the link https://bit.ly/3qZltcK.

Any queries and topic suggestions related to SSS, you may send an email to [email protected]

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