By CHINO S. LEYCO
State-run Social Security System (SSS) has effectively implemented its insurance program for members who were involuntarily separated from employment.
In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive said that P178 million worth of benefits were released last year under the unemployment benefit or involuntary separation insurance program.
According to the SSS, the pension fund received 15,151 unemployment benefit applications last year, of which 14,895 were approved.
The unemployment benefit program, one of the key features of Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 which took effect in March 5, is the newest among the benefits being offered by SSS.
Under the program, qualified SSS members who are involuntarily separated from work can claim a cash allowance equivalent to two times his average monthly salary credit.
“We are hoping that with the newest benefit, we will help more SSS members during times of unexpected job loss. The program was patterned after the unemployment benefit program in European countries,” Ignacio said.
Our primary objective is to assist them while they are looking for another job after they were involuntarily separated from their work. They may also use the benefit for their retooling and capacity building to find a better job or work that will suit their skills,” she added.
To qualify for unemployment benefit, members must not be more than 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation, except for underground and surface mineworkers, and racehorse jockeys whose age should not be more than 50 and 55 years old, respectively.
“The unemployment benefit can be claimed only once every three years starting from the date of involuntary separation from work. If two or more compensable contingencies occurred within the same period, SSS will only pay the highest benefit from the recorded contingencies,” Ignacio said.