The SSS Has Allocated ₱1.2 billion For Unemployment Benefits To Its Qualified Members
The Social Security System (SSS) has announced that it has aside ₱1.2 billion for thousands of private-sector workers who were retrenched or lost their job due to the pandemic, which are still subject to certain conditions.
This unemployment benefits package is part of the government’s ₱595.6-billion spending plan to provide emergency support to vulnerable groups and residents during the coronavirus crisis.
According to the SSS, their funds can accommodate up to 60,000 members for its unemployment benefits program. Currently, the number of Filipinos who are jobless due to the lockdown is 7.3 million.
Meanwhile, The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier bared that it is ready to release the cash grant to workers expected to lose their jobs due to strict quarantine rules. The financial assistance of DOF is capped at ₱20,000 per individual.
SSS has rolled out a set of criteria and requirement for members applying for their cash grant, it’s as follows:
- An applicant must be below 60 years old when they were removed from their job. For miners, they should be 50 years old or younger, while racehorse jockeys seeking the benefit must be aged 55 or younger.
- An applicant must have paid contributions to the SSS for at least 36 months, with at least 12 payments remitted in the last 18 months before they were booted out of work.
- A worker must not have received an unemployment benefit in the past three years when he/she applied for the perk.
Reasons for unemployment that are qualified for the said financial assistance program are the following:
- Introduction of machines that will replace human labor, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses, company closure or cessation of operations
- Having an ailment that may affect coworkers or is banned from rendering labor, an economic collapse, natural disasters, and other cases decided on by the Department of Labor and Employment.
- Workers who stopped reporting for work due to serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee, inhumane and unbearable treatment, the commission of an offense or crime against a worker or his family, and similar situations can likewise seek to avail of this benefit.
All-private sector workers, including household helpers and overseas Filipino workers who were laid off, terminated, or “involuntarily separated” from their work can apply for this benefit.
Meanwhile, employees who lost their jobs but were rightfully dismissed under the Labor Code are disqualified from receiving the benefits. These instances classified as rightful dismissal by the Labor Code are as follows:
- Serious misconduct
- Gross and habitual neglect
- Fraud or willful breach of trust
- Commission of a crime against his/her employer and immediate family members
An unemployment benefit is a new form of assistance from SSS which was introduced in August 2019. It’s part of reforms introduced through the Social Security Act of 2018 which was patterned after similar programs offered by European countries. Its primary goal is to assist workers while they’re in search of a new job or source of income.
Members of the SSS must file for the assistance within one year after he or she lost his job. It can be availed once every three years.
How to apply and claim the funds?
The application is simple, just provide the following document to SSS:
- A government-issued primary ID
- Certification from DOLE certifying the date of their termination from work. You can get this by presenting your notice of termination of employment to DOLE field offices, provincial offices, or overseas labor offices in the case of OFWs.
Once approved, the cash will be deposited to the SSS UMID card or Quick Card of the applicant.
To learn more about the Social Security Service, go through our informative guide to SSS requirements, benefits, and contributions and get to understand the basics of what SSS can do for all of its members.
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