Compensation Program From SSS Now Open To Self-Employed SSS Members
Early on Tuesday, The Social Security System (SSS) has announced that self-employed members can now register for their Employees’ Compensation (EC) program.
EC commission executive director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said in a statement that this development came after SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio signed a joint memorandum circular pursuant to the ECC Board Resolution No. 19-03-05 on promulgating the Policy on Expanding the Coverage of the Employees’ Compensation Program to the Self-Employed Compulsory Members of the SSS.
The payment reference numbers issued by SSS to self-employed members will now include EC contribution starting September. Meanwhile, self-employed members who already paid their contributions in advance will be notified via email to pay their EC contributions corresponding to the period of September until the last applicable month of the advance payment. They added that the payment deadlines for the contributions will now apply to the EC contributions of self-employed members.
The SSS further explained that the EC program is a government program designed to provide both public and private sector workers and/or their dependents packages such as loss of income benefits, medical benefits, carer’s allowance, and rehabilitation services in the event of work-connected contingencies.
The current amount of EC contributions for workers with a monthly salary credit of below ₱15,000 is only ₱ 10 a month. Meanwhile, those with salary credit of ₱ 15,000 and above will pay ₱30 monthly.
So who is considered as self-employed? Here’s the definition provided by the SSS.
A worker is considered self-employed if he or she is engaged in any trade, business or occupation with no employer other than himself or herself. He or she derives an income from his/her physical and mental efforts and is not over 60 years old for the initial coverage.
Included, but not limited to, are the following self-employed individuals:
- Self-employed professionals who have their own business offices;
- Partners, single proprietors of businesses, and directors or trustees of the board of corporations duly registered with appropriate government agencies;
- Actors, directors, scriptwriters, and news correspondents who do not fall within the definition of the term ”employee” in Section 8 (D) of the Social Security Law;
- Professional athletes, coaches, trainers, jockeys, individual farmers, and fisher folks;
- Workers in the informal sector such as market and ambulant vendors, transport workers, and those similarly situated;
- Contractual and job order personnel engaged by the government through a contract of service and who are not coverable under the Government Service Insurance System Law; and
- any other self-employed as determined by the Social Security Commission under such rules and regulations that it may prescribe.
Moreover, a self-employed worker who is not over 60 years old is subject to compulsory coverage for initial membership. About 37.8 million workers are registered under SSS currently and 2.64 million are self-employed or 7% according to their latest data. You can learn more about the basics of SSS, its benefits, and contribution requirements to give you an overall picture of its importance.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed his appreciation for this initiative. He said in an interview:
We are happy for this milestone development made by the ECC and SSS as it endeavors to cover almost 3 million self-employed workers.
He further added that the inclusion of our self-employed compulsory members of the SSS is a manifestation that the agency is true to their commitment to providing meaningful benefits and services to all workers, both in public and private sectors,