Anyone who has ever received a paycheck is familiar with the little pang of surprise you feel when you see the slightly-less-than-expected amount on your first-ever pay slip. But before you get annoyed that a chunk of your hard-earned money disappears into your SSS contribution every month, listen up.
You want to be a contributing member of the SSS.
The social security system is there for a reason! It protects its members against economic and social distress caused by unforeseen circumstances like sickness, childbirth, disability, retirement and death—if they have been making monthly contributions to the fund. Here are some benefits you might not have known you can get from SSS:
If you find yourself sick at home or confined at the hospital for at least four days, you may be eligible for a daily cash allowance to be paid for the amount of time you are unable to work due to illness or injury. Take note—this only applies if you have already used up all your paid sick leaves with your current company, and if you have maid at least three monthly contributions to the SSS within the year preceding the sickness. If you qualify for this benefit, you will receive 90% of your daily salary credit.
EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION PROGRAM
If an SSS member’s sickness or injury is work-related and leads to disability or death, they may also be eligible for the Employees’ Compensation Program. The benefits of this program—medical services, appliances, and supplies, rehabilitation services, or income cash benefit—can be enjoyed simultaneously with the benefits of the Social Security Program for illness and disability, which means workers who qualify can claim double compensation.
Though receiving twice the benefits might sound tempting to some, be warned: the SSS (wisely) includes limitations of this program, namely injuries sustained due to intoxication, from a willful intention to harm or kill oneself or another, and notorious negligence.
Pregnant women don’t only rely on their paid maternity leaves to get by—contributing members can also enjoy a daily cash allowance granted when they are unable to work due to childbirth. In the unfortunate event of a miscarriage, members are also covered under this benefit. In both cases, the equivalent benefit is 100% of the member’s average daily salary credit, multiplied by 60 days (or 78 days for those who undergo caesarian deliveries). Again, workers only qualify for such benefits if they paid at least three monthly maternity contributions within the year before childbirth or the miscarriage.
If you were pregnant but unaware of this benefit, you can still claim your application within ten years from the date of the delivery or miscarriage, but this compensation is only given to the first four pregnancies.
An SSS member who suffers from a permanent partial or total disability can be granted a monthly pension or lump sum amount—this is dependent on the number of contributions that have been made by the member in question. The benefit is paid according to the SSS-approved number of months, which is determined by the nature or degree of impairment.
Disabilities are split into two types, the first being permanent total (such as the complete loss of sight in both eyes, brain injury resulting in insanity, or permanent complete paralysis). Permanent partial disabilities include the complete and permanent loss of use of body parts such as a hand, leg, or even a finger, or the loss of use of one of the senses, including deafness and partial blindness.
Members who have the capacity to contribute more to the SSS are given the opportunity to save more as well through the Personal Equity and Savings Option. This is a voluntary provident fund offered to members in addition to the regular SSS program.
Through this program, members can save a portion of their paychecks and benefit from tax-free benefits, contributions placed in investments, and guaranteed earnings. Each member is allowed a maximum contribution of P100,000 per annum and a minimum of P1,000 per contribution. For more information on the PESO Fund, as well as qualifying conditions and account allocations, click here.
If a member has short-term credit needs, the SSS can provide them with a cash loan, as long as they are eligible. The loan is charged a 10% interest rate per annum based on diminishing balance, and will be amortized over 24 months. This loan can be renewed as long as 50% of the original principal amount has been paid off and at least 50% of the term has already lapsed.
For more information on the qualifying factors of the salary loan, as well as the other benefits listed above, click here. The more you know about the SSS, the better you’ll feel about that little deduction listed on your pay slip—you might even want to contribute even more