If you are a private employee, it is actually mandatory for you to register in this Social Security System. Whether you like it or not, you have no choice but to register and pay the set amount. But you don’t have to worry because all those salary deductions are actually good for you! You can enjoy several benefits and perks just by being a member! Social Security System, is the state-run insurance program in the country which aims to protect the privately employed and self-employed individuals. It is mandated through the Republic Act No. 1161 or the Security Act of 1954. These institution basically offers three main services – the social security program, the medicare program, and the employee’s compensation program. Above all these, a member regardless of classification can avail of the institution’s salary loans or calamity loans depending on the severity of the circumstance they are faced with; examples are in cases of death, disability, sickness, maternity, old age and other unpredictable circumstance.
The Social Security Program is the widest service of the institution which both caters to the self-employed and privately employed individuals. This strand offers help in episodes of sickness, maternity, disability, retirement, death, and funeral. The following points will explain how each episode is being attended by the institution:
Sickness benefit is a daily cash allowance paid for the number of days a member is unable to work due to sickness or injury. This benefit is to be enjoyed by a member for a maximum of 120 days in one calendar year. However, not all can be receive this benefit. he/she must meet these qualifications first:
- A member is unable to work due to sickness or injury and confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four (4) days;
- He has paid at least three (3) months of contributions within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of sickness or injury;
- He has used up all current company sick leaves with pay; and
- He has notified the employer or the SSS, if unemployed, voluntary or self-employed member regarding his sickness or injury.
This next type of benefit is exclusive to all female members who were unable to attend to work because of childbirth or miscarriage. This benefit entitles the recipient a certain amount of cash allowance, in case she is able to qualify in these conditions:
- She has paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage.
- She has given the required notification of her pregnancy to SSS through her employer if employed; or submitted the maternity notification directly to the SSS if separated from employment, a voluntary or self-employed member.
It is notable to emphasize that this maternity benefit shall be paid only for the first four (4) deliveries or miscarriages starting May 24, 1997 when the Social Security Act of 1997 (RA 8282) took effect.
This benefit is of some special codes because the program makes use of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems codes and takes into account the medical management of illnesses and injuries and their corresponding impairment ratings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), disability is defined as any “restriction or lack (resulting from impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being”. This benefit is further divided into two: whether the member is partially or totally disabled.
- For Partial Disability:
A complete and permanent loss or use of any of the following body parts, but which does not totally prevent a member from engaging in any gainful occupation.
- one thumb
- one index finger
- one middle finger
- one ring finger
- one little finger
- hearing of one ear
- hearing of both ears
- sight of one eye
- one big toe
- one hand
- one arm
- one foot
- one leg
- one ear
- both ears
- For Total Disability:
- complete loss of sight of both eyes;
- loss of two limbs at or above the ankle or wrists;
- permanent complete paralysis of two limbs;
- brain injury resulting to incurable imbecility or insanity; and
- such cases as determined and approved by the SSS.
The next benefit which is the retirement benefit is exclusive only to the members who are in the old age and for those who cannot work anymore. This benefit entitles these members of a cash benefit either in monthly pension or lump sum. However, there are still qualifications to be met; age is not solely the determining factor for a member to avail of this benefit. The qualifications are as follows:
- Member is 60 years old, separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Member is 65 years old, whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Underground Mineworkers:
- Aged 55 years old and is an underground mine worker for at least 5 years (either continuous or accumulated) prior to the semester of retirement but whose actual date of retirement is not earlier than March 13, 1998; separated from employment or has ceased self-employment; and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
- Aged 60 years old, whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
Death benefit is given to the member’s family or the member’s beneficiaries in form of a cash benefit which is either in monthly pension or lump sum form. The beneficiaries, are carefully carved out in this benefit. The Social Service Program has specified the different kinds of beneficiaries. The primary beneficiaries are the legitimate dependent spouse until the person remarries, and the member’s dependent legitimate, legitimated, or legally adopted, and illegitimate children who are not yet 21 years old. In the absence of primary beneficiaries, the dependent parents shall be the secondary beneficiaries. In their absence, any other person designated by the member as beneficiary in the member’s record.
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of cash benefits that should be given to the member’s beneficiaries. These are, in lump sum form or pension form. To get hold of a benefit, here are the qualifications:
- For Pension: the deceased member must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death.
- For Lumpsum Amount: granted to the primary beneficiaries of a deceased member who had paid less than 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death. Also, in the absence of primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries are granted the death benefit in lump sum amount.
The last benefit under the social service program is the Funeral benefit. This is cash benefit given to whoever pays the burial expenses of the deceased member or pensioner. These are the following qualifications to get hold of this benefit:
- For self-employed/ non-working spouse/ OFW members: the deceased SSS member must have paid at least one (1) monthly contribution, for his/her beneficiaries to be entitled to the funeral benefit.
- For employed members and those separated from employment: the deceased must been reported for coverage by his/her employer, even if no contribution was paid, for his/her beneficiaries to be entitled to the funeral benefit.
The other service which is being offered by the Social Security System is the Employee’s Compensation (EC) Program. This type, unlike the Social Security program is exclusive only to members who are employed. This program’s objective is to basically provide assistance to workers who suffers from work-related or work-connected sickness or injury resulting in disability or death. This benefit can also be received simultaneously with the Social Security benefits as effective on June 1984. The different benefits under this program are the following:
- Medical services, appliances and supplies provided to the afflicted member beginning on the first day of injury or sickness, during the subsequent period of disability, and as the progress of recovery may require. However, this benefit is allowed only under ward services only of an accredited hospital and physician.
- Rehabilitation services, consisting of medical, surgical and hospital treatment.
- Income cash benefits for:
- Temporary total disability or sickness
- Permanent total disability (loss of two limbs, permanent complete paralysis of two limbs, etc.).
- Permanent partial disability (such as loss of one thumb, finger, leg).
But, similar with the Social Security Program, there are qualifications that must be met. These are as follows:
- Employees should be duly reported to the SSS;
- Employees’ sickness, injury or death is work- connected; and
- The SSS has been duly notified of such sickness, injury or death.