When I first got my SSS number, I just thought I had one pre-employment requirement accomplished successfully. I was just happy to be able to submit my SSS number to the HR department of my first-ever job and that was it. Little did I know that my 10-digit SSS number would be my lifetime identification with the Social Security System and would be my ticket to various benefits that I would need as I traipsed my way into adulthood.
So if you are adulting (as most fresh graduates and young professionals like to call it these days), I am pretty sure you will find this article helpful. This is a summary of the benefits you can get (and are entitled to!) as a member of the Social Security System. Yes, you don’t just look forward to your pension (which, at this point, is probably one of the strangest things you’ll hear) from SSS because there are a lot of other benefits you can avail from the agency while you are still an active, contributing member.
- Sickness Benefit
You will get sick and sometimes, you will require more than just bed rest and time off of your laptop. You might get injured while working on a project. You might need to have some bladder stones removed. Should any of these happen (we hope not!), you can get a daily cash allowance from the SSS to compensate the days you were not able to go to work.
Conditions: Your confinement should last for at least four days and all your company sick leaves should already be maxed out (so yes, it has to be a serious illness). And when SSS checks your contributions, you should have at least made three months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months prior to your confinement.
How much can you get? The daily allowance is equivalent to 90% of your average daily salary credit.
- Maternity Benefit
Whether you gave birth or had a miscarriage, you are entitled to SSS maternity benefits in the form of daily cash allowance.
Conditions: You should have at least three months’ work of contributions within the last 12 months prior to confinement.
How much can you get? The daily allowance is equivalent to 100% of your average daily salary credit. If you gave birth through normal delivery or had a miscarriage, this will be multiplied by 60 days. If you had a cesarean section, this should be multiplied by 78 days.
- Disability Benefit
This applies whether you’ve been partially or totally disabled. This may be in the form of a monthly pension or a lump sum amount.
Conditions: You should have at least a month’s contribution before the semester of disability. How do you know whether you should receive a monthly pension or the lump sum amount?
If you made at least 36 monthly contributions and all these are acknowledged by the SSS, you will get the monthly disability pension. Otherwise, you get the lump sum amount.
How much can you get? Monthly disability pension ranges from P1,000 to P2,400 and a monthly supplemental allowance of P500, depending on your years of service.
- Death Benefit
If you are the beneficiary of a deceased SSS member, you may receive a monthly pension or a lump sum amount, depending on whether you are a primary or a secondary beneficiary.
Primary beneficiaries are the spouse and dependent children of the deceased SSS member. Secondary beneficiaries are dependent parents.
Conditions: If the member made at least 36 monthly contributions, the beneficiaries will receive a monthly death pension. If the contributions are lower than 36 months, the beneficiaries get a lump sum amount.
How much will the beneficiaries get? The monthly death pension ranges from P1,000 to P2,400, depending on the deceased member’s years in service. If the member has dependent minor children, they will get a pension equivalent to 10% of the member’s monthly pension or P250, whichever is higher. They also get a 13th-month pension every December.
- Funeral Benefit
An individual is entitled to claim the funeral benefits if he or she shouldered the burial expenses of a deceased SSS member.
Conditions: You should have at least one contribution if you are a voluntary, self-employed, or OFW member. Employees automatically get funeral benefits as long as they are covered by their employers.
Amount: The amount ranges from P20,000 to P40,000 depending on the member’s contributions and years of service.
- Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program
Employees who acquire a sickness or injury, leading to their permanent disability or death, due to their profession are entitled to cash benefits from the EC Program.
Conditions: The injury, sickness, or death shall undergo evaluation and should the EC find that these were caused by intoxication, negligence, and self-harm, the member shall not qualify for the EC Program.
Amount: SSS shoulders the medical services, appliances, and rehabilitation services of the injured employee. This benefit may coincide with the SSS sickness and disability benefits; this means that the EC does not supersede whatever other benefits the employee is entitled to from SSS.
- Salary Loan
Thinking of getting your mom an automatic washing machine? You can by applying for a salary loan with the SSS.
Conditions: You will qualify for the SSS salary loan if you have at least six months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months. The SSS will determine your loan payments depending on the contributions you have made.
Amount: The loan is equivalent to your average salary credits in the last 12 months. An interest rate of 10% per year will be applied to the principal amount. You may renew your loan after you have paid off at least 50% of the original amount.
- P.E.S.O Fund
P.E.S.O stands for Personal Equity and Savings Option. It is a program of the SSS that provides members with additional savings options, especially to those who are capable of contributing more than the required rates of employed and voluntary members.
Conditions: You should not be older than 55 years old and have at least six months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months. If you are an employed member, you may talk to your HR or accounting department and advise them that you have enrolled to the P.E.S.O Fund of the SSS; see if they can facilitate your monthly contributions to your P.E.S.O account through salary deduction.
Amount: Your benefits from the P.E.S.O fund will be released to you upon retirement, disability, or death claim through a monthly pension, lump sum, or combination of both.
The secret to making your SSS membership work for you is to be faithful in paying your contributions. If you should save or set aside some amount as your savings, make your SSS contributions mandatory against your personal budget, especially if you are self-employed.
Insurance is something you pay for but wish you never have to use. Yet everyone is encouraged to invest in insurance because you never know when you will need additional funds for emergency cases.
Welcome to your adult life!