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Philippine Social Security System accepts benefit applications online

State-run Social Security System’s (SSS) Dumaguete Branch announced that it is accepting online applications for the unemployment benefit from members who are involuntarily out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SSS has advised members to use the My.SSS web portal, which is open for online transactions like generating the payment reference number, accessing of records, updating of members’ contact details, online filing of maternity notification, retirement claims, and salary and calamity loans.

For unemployment benefits, the SSS Dumaguete Branch Manager said that qualified members must have paid at least 36 monthly SSS contributions, wherein 12 months of it should have been paid within the last 18 months before the month of involuntary work separation.

According to a press release, qualified beneficiaries also include overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members.

Reasons for involuntary separation should be due to retrenchment/downsising, closure or cessation of business operations, and other reasons brought about by the health crisis.

However, the member must not be more than 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation, except for underground and surface mine workers.

As of May, more than 900 members already availed unemployment benefits during the community quarantine.

Before the online application of unemployment benefit, members should have their own My.SSS account through registration at the website.

Contact details, especially the mobile number, should also be registered in the My.SSS account in case the member opted to receive their benefits through remittance centres.

Disbursement accounts should also be enrolled in the respective My.SSS accounts through the bank enrollment module (BEM).

First, to submit benefit applications online, members should log in to My.SSS account and click “apply for unemployment benefit claim” under the E-Services tab.

Second, provide all the pertinent information such as the active savings account enrolled through BEM, employment category, date of involuntary separation, the reason for involuntary separation, and the employer’s name where the member was separated.

Members should read the certification carefully before clicking the “Submit” box to agree and proceed with the application. SSS will send a notification through email.

Members should reply by attaching the scanned images of the certification issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), together with the Notice of Termination from the Employer or Affidavit of Termination from Employment, whichever is applicable.

SSS will once again send a notice through email regarding their unemployment benefits application.

The unemployment benefit will be released through various SSS payment channels such as Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) cards, bank account in PESONet participating banks, electronic wallets (Paymaya), and remittance transfer companies/cash payout outlets.

Unemployment benefit can only be availed once every three years, starting from the date of involuntary separation from work, the release added.

SSS shall only pay the highest benefit from the recorded contingencies if two or more compensable contingencies occurred within the same period.

If members must physically visit the SSS branch, they are advised to book appointments via the My.SSS web portal’s appointment system. SSS branches also have drop boxes where members can drop their benefits applications.

The SSS is also implementing a number coding scheme in all its branches to avoid crowding in its offices.

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