The Social Security System (SSS) announces that it provides sickness benefits to members who cannot work due to sickness or injury, including those who contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said that the sickness benefit is a daily cash allowance paid for the number of days that a member cannot work due to sickness or injury.
Under the program, a member must have paid at least three monthly contributions within the last 12 months prior to the semester of sickness or injury, may be confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four days, has used up all his current company sick leaves for the current year and has notified his employer regarding his sickness or injury.
“We are aware that many of our members are getting sick right now. Some of them even got infected by the current Omicron variant. We want to assure them that SSS is providing them with sickness benefit to augment their lost income,” Ignacio said.
Employed, self-employed, voluntary, and overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members could avail of the sickness benefit which is granted up to a maximum of 120 days in one calendar year to qualified members.
For example, Juan dela Cruz got sick for ten days this January 2022. The semester of his sickness will be from October 2021 to March 2022 while the last 12 months before the semester of his sickness will be from October 2020 to September 2021. He should have paid at least three monthly contributions for this period to qualify for the sickness benefit.
For those members who contracted COVID-19, they must provide a positive Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.
The daily cash allowance is equivalent to 90% of the member’s average daily salary credit (ADSC). For example, if the total of member’s six highest monthly salary credit (MSC) for the 12 months is P96,000, he will have an ADSC of P533.33, and 90% of his ADSC will be P480, which is his daily sickness allowance (DSA). Then, multiply the DSA or P480 by the approved number of days (example ten days), to get the member’s total sickness benefit which is P4,800.
For humanitarian consideration, for contingencies starting March 2020, SSS extended the filing period for the sickness notifications and sickness benefit claims of members and employers.
With the extension, SSS is giving its members 60 calendar days after the lifting of the community quarantine to submit their Sickness Notification Forms of their home confinement to their employers. Normally, SSS would give them five calendar days to submit the said form to their employers.
For employers, SSS is giving them 60 calendar days after the receipt of the notification form from the employee to submit this to the SSS. If the country is still on community quarantine on the last day of submission, the employer may still submit the said form within 60 days after the lifting of the community quarantine. Under normal circumstances, employers should submit this form to the SSS within five calendar days after receiving it from their employees.
For self-employed, voluntary, and Overseas Filipino Worker members, they can submit their Sickness Benefit Application Forms for their home confinement to SSS within 60 calendar days after the lifting of the community quarantine.
Effective July 2020, employers may file their Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Applications (SBRAs) using their My.SSS accounts.
Before they could use the online facility, employers must have a registered My.SSS account and enrolled disbursement account in the SSS Disbursement Account Enrollment Module (DAEM). They should also have an SSS-approved sickness notification of their employees and they have paid in advance the sickness benefit to their employees.
Employers must log in to their My.SSS account, proceed to the E-Services tab and click on “Submit SS Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Application (SBRA).” On December 27, 2021, the online filing of Sickness Notification (SN) and Sickness Benefit Application (SBA) were implemented together with the enhanced online filing of SBRA.
Online filing of the SN and SBA allowed employers and individually filing members to submit their application forms in the comfort of their homes or offices without having to go to the branches. The program is among the E-services available in their My.SSS account and required the filers to upload scanned documents such as medical certificate and other supporting medical documents. On the other hand, under the enhanced online filing of SBRA, system shall display all approved SNs of employees of the particular employer. After this, employer shall select the claim reference number from the list and then, click proceed.
Employer must fill out the necessary additional information and tick the certification checkbox to certify that the information provided is true and correct and that the amount of benefit was paid in advance to the employee in accordance with the Social Security Law before clicking submit and OK. SSS will send a notification to the registered email address of the employer stating that the application was submitted successfully with the transaction details of their reimbursement application and at the same time email notification shall also be sent to the employee for the confirmation of advance payment of sickness benefit. Employee is given seven (7) working days to confirm that the amount of sickness benefit was advanced by the employer. Failure to confirm within the given period or opted to click “I do not confirm” shall mean rejection of the filed SBRA by the employer.
For members, proceeds of the approved sickness benefit payment will be released through the member’s Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card enrolled as an ATM card or through their disbursement accounts in participating banks under the Philippine Electronic Fund Transfer System and Operations Network (PESONet). For employers, proceeds of the sickness reimbursements shall be credited to their enrolled disbursement bank account enrolled in DAEM.
“We want to remind the employers that under Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, they should pay in advance the approved sickness benefit of their employees which is one of their primary obligations,” Ignacio concluded.
From January to November 2021, SSS has released around P3.30 billion to 399,455 members who availed of the said benefit.