By Poyen Ramos on August 8, 2016
You may have already seen or read on the news about President Rodrigo Duterte granting the Social Security System (SSS) pension hike. While this news might not be as relevant to us today since we're far from going into retirement, it is, however, crucially important for the retirees. A P2000 hike on their monthly pensions can do a great deal of help with their needs.
But why should this be important? Simply because we are paying for it, and wouldn't we want to know where our hard-earned money goes and what benefits we're oblige to have, right?
If you're working, take a look at your payslip. Notice those deductions? Yes, that three to four digit on the side that says 'contributions' on them? Well, those are not taxes, those are actually your basic contributions for your benefits. And part of our salary goes to the social security system. The SSS was formed in order to provide or assist private employees, together with their families, protection against old age, sickness, disability, and death. Simply put, the SSS is like a insurance program mandated by our government for all employees in the Philippines.
So what are the assistance we can actually get from the SSS? Let's break it down:
The sickness benefit is a daily cash allowance paid for the number of days a member is unable to work due to sickness or injury.
A member is qualified to avail of this benefit if:
- A member is unable to work due to sickness or injury and confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four (4) days;
- He/she has paid at least three (3) months of contributions within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of sickness or injury;
- He/she has used up all current company sick leaves with pay; and
- He/she has notified the employer regarding his sickness or injury by filing the sickness benefit application; if he/she is unemployed, voluntary or self-employed member, the sickness notification should be submitted directly to SSS.
The maternity benefit is a daily cash allowance granted to a female member who was unable to work due to childbirth or miscarriage.
The maternity benefit is offered only to female SSS members. A member is qualified to avail of this benefit if:
- She has paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage.
- She has given the required notification of her pregnancy to SSS through her employer if employed; or submitted the maternity notification directly to the SSS if separated from employment, a voluntary or self-employed member.
A cash benefit granted - either as a monthly pension or lump-sum amount - to a member who becomes permanently disabled, either partially or totally.
The redesigned SSS Disability Benefit program adopts the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems codes and takes into account the medical management of illnesses and injuries and their corresponding impairment ratings.
A member who suffers partial or total disability with at least one monthly contribution paid to the SSS prior to the semester of contingency is qualified.
The retirement benefit is a cash benefit either in monthly pension or lump sum paid to a member who can no longer work due to old age.
- Member is 60 years old, separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Member is 65 years old, whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
It is a cash benefit either in monthly pension or lump sum paid to the beneficiaries of a deceased member.
The primary beneficiaries who will be assisted with this is the legal spouse, and the member's children (legitimate or illegitimate under 21 years old). If there are no primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries will be given the lump-sum amount, which in this case would be the member's dependent parents.
To qualify for pension and lump-sum amount, the member must have met the following:
- For Pension - the deceased member must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death.
- For Lump-sum Amount - granted to the primary beneficiaries of a deceased member who had paid less than 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death. Also, in the absence of primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries are granted the death benefit in lump-sum amount.
It is a cash benefit of P20,000 to P40,000, and will be given to whoever pays the burial expenses of the deceased member or pensioner.
For self-employed/ non-working spouse/ OFW members - the deceased SSS member must have paid at least one (1) monthly contribution, for his/her beneficiaries to be entitled to the funeral benefit.
For employed members and those separated from employment - the deceased must been reported for coverage by his/her employer, even if no contribution was paid, for his/her beneficiaries to be entitled to the funeral benefit.
A cash loan granted to an employed, currently paying, self-employed member. This is intended to meet the member's short-term financial needs.
A member must have at least six posted monthly contributions in the last 12 months prior to the month of filing of loan application.
And because every month our salary gets deducted with taxes and contributions, it's always the best and smartest way for us to know how and when we can use these benefits to our advantage.
For more information on your SSS benefits, check this detailed summary.