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5 Must-Know Facts to Claim Your SSS Unemployment Benefit

Last Updated on 4/10/2019
We fear of suddenly losing our jobs.
Whether you are a breadwinner, a parent or just a person who aims to save for the future, losing a job could definitely change your life and future plans. Stories of people getting laid off are not new. Add to that, looking for a new job is not that easy with the unemployment rate estimated at 5.4 percent in July 2018. You also have to update your resume, perhaps get a new NBI clearance or have a mandatory medical check-up. This means you need cash to get employed again.
To help the Filipinos who suddenly lost their jobs, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed the Republic Act 11199 which is also known as the Social Security Act of 2018. While this new law has a couple of expanded benefits for the Social Security System (SSS) members, one of the most notable is the SSS Unemployment Benefit.
Here are five facts you have to know.

How much is the financial assistance?

Under the Section 14-B of Social Security Act, it is stated that the unemployed individuals shall be given a monthly cash payment equivalent to 50% of the average monthly salary credit.
This means that you can receive up to 50% of your average monthly salary. If you are earning P15,000 a month, you could get P7,500. However, the benefit will not exceed P10,000 a month. Even if you have been paying the maximum contributions and earning more than P20,000, you will only receive up to P10,000 a month.

Who can claim the SSS Unemployment Benefit?

The SSS employment insurance is offered to SSS members including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who have been laid off or terminated against their will.

“This means those who have resigned from their recent jobs will not be eligible for this benefit.”

In addition, you must not be beyond 60 years old upon application of the benefit.

What are the requirements for SSS Unemployment Insurance?

To qualify for the SSS Unemployment Insurance or benefit, you have to be an SSS member with at least 36 monthly contributions. At least 12 months of your contributions should have been remitted for the last 18 months preceding the involuntary unemployment or separation.
This means that if you have been fired or laid off you must immediately check the number of contributions you have made. Open your My.SSS account online and check if your contributions are at least a total of 36 months. Let’s say you got unemployed in December 2018. Count backward for 18 months. Your last 12 SSS monthly contributions should have been remitted by your employer within this period.

New SSS Contribution Table (Effective April 2019)

Here’s an SSS contribution guide for employed, self-employed, voluntary members and the non-working spouse.

sss contribution
Image Credit: SSS Gov PH

How many times can you apply for the unemployment benefits?

The employee who has been involuntarily separated, fired or laid off from work can only claim the benefits once every three (3) years. In case that the SSS member has been unemployed twice or thrice within the applicable period and all the requirements are sufficed, only the highest benefit will be paid. If you got have been laid off twice, your unemployment benefit will be based on the job with the higher salary.

Is this a type of loan?

The SSS Unemployment Insurance or benefit is not a loan. It is financial assistance that you can claim if you are eligible. There will be no need to repay anything. However, it is only for a maximum of two months. This period is considered enough for you to update your employment requirements and move on to your new job.
Losing a job is hard for most of the Filipinos, especially if you have a family to feed. It is best to regularly check if your employer is remitting your monthly contribution to ensure that you can claim your unemployment benefit should you need it.
According to Senator Richard Gordon, one of the authors of the bill, the law was passed to help Filipinos during the tough times of unemployment. While the maximum you can claim is up to two months, Senator Gordon hoped that it is enough to lighten the burden of looking for a new source of income.

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