Have you been involuntarily separated from your job? Were you laid off, or your designation has been dissolved and resulted in your losing your job and source of income? Take heart. The Social Security System (SSS) is ready to help you get back on your feet!
The SSS recently announced the availability of the SSS Unemployment Benefit for all members that have been involuntarily removed from their jobs. This is part of the provisions of RA 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.
What is the SSS Unemployment Benefit?
This is the seventh benefit program of the SSS and is available to all member-applicants who have been removed from their jobs (fired, laid-off, offered separation by employer). It is a cash benefit equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit (AMSC) for a maximum of two months.
Who is covered by the Unemployment Benefit?
All SSS members who are involuntarily separated from employment, including OFWs and Kasambahays may file for Unemployment Benefit claims. Some exceptions are:
- Employees must not be over 60 years of age at the time of the involuntary separation;
- Underground mine workers must not be over 50 years of age;
- Racehorse jockeys should not be over 55 years old.
What are the conditions for claiming the Unemployment Benefit?
- The covered employee must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions
- 12 months of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.
- Must not have settled unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit within the last three years prior to the involuntary separation from employment.
- The reason for separation from employment must not be the fault of the employee or a result of the employee’s negligence. The only acceptable cases are redundancy, retrenchment or downsizing, closure of operations, the commission of a crime or offense of the employer against the employee or any of his immediate family members, and inhuman or unbearable treatment by the employer. The DOLE determines the acceptable reasons for involuntary separation.
- An employee applying for unemployment benefits may be disqualified if he or she has shown serious misconduct, willful disobedience to lawful orders, as well as gross and habitual neglect of duties.
What are the limitations of the Unemployment Benefits?
A member that has been involuntarily separated from his job must file his claim within one year from the date of his separation.
A covered employee may only claim once every three years starting from the date of involuntary separation. In case he has more than one compensable contingency within the same period, only the highest benefit shall be paid.
What are the requirements when filing a claim for Unemployment Benefits?
- Original and photocopy of one primary ID card or
- Any two ID cards or documents, both with signature and at least one with photo
- Certification establishing the nature of involuntary separation issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its regional office
- Notice of Termination from Employer or
- Affidavit of Termination of Employment
Applicants may file their claims at any SSS branch.
How will the funds be released to the member?
The SSS shall pay the member through the SSS Unified Multi-purpose ID (UMID) cards enrolled as ATM or through the Union Bank of the Philippines Quick Card account.
All involuntary separations that happened on March 5, 2019, onwards are covered by the unemployment insurance.