Nearly 40,000 workers who have filed jobless claims during the coronavirus pandemic have been rejected by the Social Security System (SSS) due to multiple problems including failing to submit sufficient documentation.
In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive, said yesterday that about 40,000 online applications for unemployment benefits were denied by the pension fund, that is more than the 29,413 approved claims.
Ignacio said some members were blocked from receiving payments due to discrepancies and incomplete information in their submitted documents.
She also noted that a number of claimants have filed unreadable, blurred, or altered scanned documents, while some applicants failed to attach any supporting documents.
Ignacio urged the applicants to be careful in encoding their information to avoid delays as well as submit clear copies of their supporting documents.
“Despite the issuance of a DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment] Certification, the SSS has the sole authority to deny a member’s unemployment benefit application based on its assessment and guidelines,” the pension fund said.
Despite higher denials, Ignacio said that the SSS has disbursed 391.28 million in unemployment benefits since the coronavirus arrived.
The highest amount of disbursement was recorded in Luzon with P143.60 million, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR), Mindanao, and Visayas with P102.71 million, P86.43 million, and P58.54 million, respectively.
Ignacio said that 29,413 unemployment benefit applications were approved from March 17 to August 11, 2020 and released an average amount of cash benefit equivalent to P13,303.
“SSS will continue to accept online applications so that we can immediately respond to their needs in times of contingencies such as during this pandemic. We also encourage them to create their own My.SSS account through registration at the SSS website,” Ignacio said.
She had earlier said that unemployment benefit claims were expected to continue piling up after the coronavirus pandemic-fueled lockdowns forced businesses to lay off their workers.