The SSS Unemployment Benefit is a great help to those who have lost their jobs so that they do not fall into their limbs. If you are a qualified SSS member, you are entitled to get this benefit from the government as you slowly cope up and find a new job.
Unemployment due to involuntary separation or termination is one of the concerns of employees whose only source of income is their job. Especially if you are a breadwinner in your family and do not know where you are going to get the money to pay for the huge expenses and bills that keep on lining up if you are one of those unlucky employees that have been laid off.
Luckily, through the provisions of the Republic Act 11199 or also known as the Social Security of 2018, the SSS Unemployment Benefit would provide Filipino employees a temporary source of income as support while looking for a new job.
WHAT IS THE SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS PROGRAM?
The Social Security System (SSS) Unemployment Benefits Program is one of the key features of the Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 that allows qualified SSS members who are involuntarily separated or terminated from work to claim a cash allowance that is equivalent to two (2) times of their half average monthly salary credit (AMSC)
This provision has taken effect last March 5, 2019. This means that Filipino employees who lost their jobs from March 5, 2019, onwards are covered in the SSS unemployment benefits program as long as they meet the qualifications and requirements.
According to SSS, unemployment Benefit is not a loan that SSS members have to pay. Rather, it is an additional benefit offered by the SSS to support the Filipino workers in addition to the maternity, sickness, disability, retirement, funeral, and death benefits.
WHO CAN AVAIL OF THE SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
The SSS unemployment benefit is applicable to employees as long as they meet the following qualifications:
- Members who are 60 years old and below at the time of sudden unemployment.
- Members who have paid at least 3 years’ worth of monthly contributions, 12 months of which should’ve been paid within the last 18 months prior to the separation
- Members with no settled SSS unemployment benefit within the last 3 years prior to the date of unemployment.
- Members who have been involuntarily separated or laid off due to a valid reason.
Authorized reasons under the articles 298 and 299 of P.D. No. 442 of the Labor Code of the Philippines:
- Installation of labor-saving devices;
- Retrenchment or downsizing;
- Closure or cessation of operation; or
- Disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his or her co-employees health.
Authorized causes under Article 300 of P.D. No. 442 of the Labor Code of the Philippines:
- Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee
- The inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his/her representative
- Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his/her representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his/ her family
Other causes of involuntary separation:
- Economic downturn
- Natural or human-induced calamities/disasters
- Other cases as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and SSS
WHO CANNOT AVAIL OF THE SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
However, not all employees who were laid off or terminated involuntarily can apply for benefits from SSS. According to the law, the employees can’t avail of the unemployment benefits if the basis of termination is one or more of the causes stated under Article 297 (282) of P.D. No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines), as amended. These are:
- Serious misconduct;
- Willful disobedience to lawful orders;
- Gross and habitual neglect of duties;
- Fraud or willful breach of trust or loss of confidence;
- Commission of a crime or offense; or
- Similar cases like abandonment, gross inefficiency, disloyalty/conflict of interest/dishonesty.
SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS REQUIREMENTS
- Original and photocopy of at least one valid ID
- Unified Multi-purpose ID (UMID) Card
- SSS card
- Driver’s License
- Alien Certificate of Registration
- NBI Clearance
- Firearm Registration
- License to Own and Possess Firearms
- Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence
- Postal ID
- Voter’s ID
- Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book
You can bring original copies or photocopies of any two (2) IDs if you don’t have any of the valid IDs mentioned above as long as it contains your signature and a photo.
- Certification from DOLE of the nature and date of involuntary separation
To get a DOLE Certification, you will need the following:
- Certification form (given by the DOLE)
- Your Affidavit of Termination of Employment or the Notice of Termination of Employment
- Original and photocopy of your valid ID
Once you completed your requirements, go to the DOLE office to file your application for DOLE certification. Expect to receive your certification within the day.
- Notice of Termination or Affidavit of Termination of Employment
This is also known as the “Termination Contract” which will be issued by your employer. Make sure to bring the original copy and the photocopy of this document.
- UMID-ATM Card or a Union Bank of the Philippines Quick Card
- Your unemployment benefits will be credited to your account if your application has been approved.
SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT APPLICATION: STEP-BY-STEP PROCEDURE
STEP 1: COMPLETE ALL THE SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT REQUIREMENTS
Make sure to complete all your SSS Unemployment Benefits before applying to avoid any delays in your application. Refer to the qualifications and requirements mentioned above so you can know if you are eligible to apply for this benefit so you won’t waste your effort, time, and money in applying and get disappointed in the end if you’re not qualified.
STEP 2: FILING YOUR SSS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Go to any SSS branch or office to file your claim after you completed all your requirements.
The SSS will advise you on when you will receive your SSS unemployment benefits once your application has been approved.
(TAKE NOTE: You should file a claim within a year prior to the date of your involuntary separation)
STEP 3: RECEIVE THE CASH BENEFIT
Once your application is approved, expect your unemployment benefit to be credited to your UMID ATM Card or to your UBP Quick Card Account.
- As of now, the online filing system is not yet available due to the national health crisis brought by the pandemic. This crisis has caused SSS workers to be on a limited number.
- Involuntarily terminated employees can only claim the SSS unemployment benefit once every three (3) years prior to the date of their separation.