SSS: Definition and Benefits

Are you an SSS member? Read on

In the Philippines, the Social Security System (SSS) is a social insurance program for workers. Founded in 1957, it is a government agency that provides retirement and health benefits to all enrolled employees in the country. Employees of the Philippine national government do not contribute to SSS, but rather have their own system in the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS. If you are an employee working in a private institution or employer, you surely are paying or remitting monthly contributions for your SSS. The member's employer also pays part of the member's monthly contribution. Moreover, the salary bracket determines how much a member must pay every month and how much benefit he or she receives. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), household workers, and all employees under the age of 60 (aside from those who are working in government agencies) are entitled for the social security benefits. But you might wonder, “What if I am not working in a company, can I contribute and become a member of the SSS?” Definitely! If you are self-employed working at home or giving freelance services or operating your own business, you can certainly apply to become a member and pay your contributions monthly or quarterly. The same thing applies if you are not employed but possess the capability to pay monthly contribution. It is called voluntary contribution.

Sickness Benefits

In case of sickness or injury, SSS members can avail for sickness benefits which is a daily cash allowance paid to the member for the number of days he/she is unable to work for at least four days. The member should had paid at least three months monthly contributions within the 12 month period prior to his sickness, and all company sick leave pay for the year has been used. An SSS member is entitled to receive 90% of his average daily salary credit per day.

Maternity Benefit

Obviously, this particular benefit is intended only for female members of SSS who could not possibly work because of childbirth or miscarriage. Any female member is qualified for daily cash allowance as long as she has contributed at least three months within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. Normal delivery or miscarriage entitles the member to 60 days worth of daily maternity allowance; while those who delivered through caesarean section will get 78 days worth of daily maternity allowance.

Retirement Benefit

When you retire, you will have your benefit in monthly pension or lump sum. It is a lifetime cash benefit paid to the retiree every month after he retired or after he stopped working reaching the age of 60 or 65. Any old age pensioner can receive his monthly SSS pension provided that he paid at least 120 m0nthly contributions prior to retirement. If not, you'll get a lump sum amount instead of the monthly pension. A retiree is also entitled to receive 13th month pay every December. Qualified beneficiaries will receive 10% of the monthly pension benefits or P250 whichever is higher. This stops when the child reaches the age 21, gets married, or gets employed.

Disability Benefit

In case a member suffers from a permanent total or partial disability, he or she is entitled to receive disability benefits. A medical and functional assessment is a requirement for the benefit claim to be approved. An annual assessment is also required for all pensioner. The member should had paid at least one monthly contribution before the semester of unforeseen event. The amount of monthly pension depends on the number of contributions and years of membership. Similar benefits for dependent children of retired members apply to disabled members.

Death Benefit

In case a member dies, his or her beneficiaries receives monthly pension or lump sum payments. Beneficiaries are usually the spouse and children of the member. The children of the deceased member are entitled to dependents' pension similar to a retired member. Beneficiaries are also entitled to a 13th month pension payable every December. Funeral grant amounting to 20,000 pesos will be available for burial expenses of the deceased member.

Mark Hugh Neri

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