Are you an SSS member yet? If yes, then you’re one step towards securing yourself as well as your family’s future should you decide to return back to the Philippines for retirement or for good.
As there is no final say yet as to whether SSS membership for OFWs will become mandatory, the idea of getting membership must be taken into consideration because there are several benefits which not only the member can enjoy but also their family, as well. In this post, we will share some of these benefits and provide additional information for those who would like to become a member, as well.
Here are 7 Benefit Enjoyed by SSS OFW-Members
The Social Security System (SSS) is a government-run insurance program that offers health and retirement benefits among others to private-sector employees and to voluntary members, which include self-employed, non-working spouses, as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Active SSS members can expect to avail any of the following member benefits:
- Maternity Benefit
Female SSS members who recently delivered a child (or experienced a miscarriage) may avail of a daily cash allowance from SSS. Among the qualifications for this benefit is that you need to have at least three (3) months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months.
- Sickness Benefit
Daily cash allowance is also available to those who are unable to work due to sickness or an injury. Similar to the maternity benefit, you will need to have at least three months’ contributions within the last 12 months. This benefit also applies if you have been confined at home or in a hospital for at least three days.
- Disability Benefit
In the event that a member becomes ill or injured which results in partial or total disability, they may apply for the disability benefit. Those who have made at least 36 monthly contributions qualify for a month disability pension. On the other hand, those who have not reached this requirement would be granted a lump sum amount instead.
- Unemployment Benefit
This is a relatively new benefit offered to those who have been laid off (terminated) from their jobs. As such, this does not apply to those who have resigned from their jobs.
This benefit is equivalent to 50% of the average MSC. To give you a clearer picture, if your average monthly salary is PHP 30,000, you could receive half of it or PHP 15,000. To qualify for this benefit, you need to have at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 of which should have been made within the last 18 months prior to your termination from work.
- Retirement Benefit
Members who could no longer work due to old age may avail of this benefit as a monthly pension or lump sum amount. Those who have reached 60 years of age and are no longer working may apply, as long as they have made at least 120 monthly contributions during their employment history. Meanwhile, members who have reached 65 years will automatically get this benefit, regardless of whether they are working or not.
- Death Benefit
Primary beneficiaries (i.e. spouse or dependent child) of a deceased SSS member who has made at least 36 monthly contributions can avail of a monthly death pension. Meanwhile, those whose contributions are below 36, will get a lump sum amount from SSS.
And for those without primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries (i.e. dependent parents) would receive this benefit instead.
- Funeral Benefit
Anyone who settles the burial expenses of a deceased SSS member may claim funeral benefits – granted that they have made at least one monthly contribution as a self-employed, voluntary, or OFW member.
Here are the benefits offered by SSS to OFW-members based on the Social Security Act of 2018:
Becoming an SSS OFW-Member
For those who already have an existing SS number prior to becoming an OFW, you may simply continue paying your contributions after you change your membership status to OFW by ticking the box for Overseas Worker on the SS Form (RS-5).
However, for those who do not have an SS number yet, you will be required to fill out and submit an SS Form OW-1 or the Overseas Worker Record. Also, you need to submit the original and photocopy of a primary ID or any two secondary IDs accepted by the SSS.
Despite being physically absent in the Philippines, OFWs can still benefit from the programs offered by the Philippine government – one of which is the SSS fund, but you will need to continuously pay your contributions to meet the eligibility requirements for a number of their member benefits.
Disclaimer: The information discussed in this article is for information-sharing purposes only. To learn more about your SSS membership and the benefits that come along with it, you may visit the SSS official website.