About 70,000 jobless SSS members get benefits

Published November 18, 2021, 3:53 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

Nearly 70,000 members of the Social Security System (SSS) have been laid off from their jobs, and received unemployment benefits from the pension fund in the first three quarters of the year.

In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive officer said on Thursday, Nov. 18, that the pension fund disbursed P869.9 million worth of unemployment benefits from January to September 2021.

The unemployment benefit releases were given to 67,937 SSS members who were forced out of their jobs.

“We fully understand the plight of our private-sector workers who have been laid off from their jobs. With this milestone benefit, we remain committed in providing financial aid amid the pandemic,” Ignacio said.

“Also, with the inclusion of the unemployment benefit application in the E-Services Tab of the My.SSS portal, involuntary separated members have a more convenient option to submit their application online,” she added.

The unemployment benefit is an additional benefit to the SSS-administered programs as mandated under Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.

This covers employees including Kasambahay and overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members who were separated from their respective employments.

Members affected by involuntary separation due to installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment, business closure, and disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law may apply for this benefit.

Economic downturn and natural or human-induced calamities/ disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic are also considered as involuntary separation.

The age of the member and the number of posted contributions are the key conditions for the grant of unemployment benefit. A member should not be over 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation.

As for underground/surface mine workers and racehorse jockeys, they should not be over 50 years old and 55 years old, respectively.

As to the qualifying contributions, a member must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 months of which should be within the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

For instance, a member who has been involuntarily separated from his employment on Sept. 15, 2021 must have at least 12 posted monthly contributions from March 2020 until August 2021 to qualify for the unemployment benefit, provided that he has at least 36 posted monthly contributions or at least three years in total as of September 2021.

To avail of the unemployment benefit, members can log in using their My.SSS account in the SSS website and submit the necessary information such as employment category, date of involuntary separation, the reason for involuntary separation, and the employer’s name where the member was separated.

Member likewise will be asked to enroll a valid/active/correct disbursement account to ensure the proper crediting of their benefit proceeds once their claim is approved.