Published: May 8, 2020 | Updated: February 9, 2021 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Government Services
Getting laid off from work is undoubtedly one of the most traumatic things to experience in one’s career. Aside from the pain of rejection, a terminated employee has to deal with the challenges that come with the sudden loss of income. There are bills to pay, mouths to feed, and other financial responsibilities that won’t go away.
Government employees enjoy unemployment benefits from the GSIS, which protect them from the financial impact of involuntary separation from the service. Private employees now have a reprieve as well through unemployment insurance mandated by the newly enacted Republic Act 11199 or Social Security Act of 2018.
Qualified SSS members are entitled to unemployment benefits that help ease their financial burden while they’re looking for a new job. Even if you think your chances of getting terminated from work are slim, it’s important to know what the unemployment insurance provision means.
Read More: A Guide to Separation Pay in the Philippines
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The SSS Unemployment Benefits program provides cash assistance to involuntarily separated employees, including household employees and overseas Filipino workers. The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC).
The program will last for only two months, which means members can only receive them once every three years. This cash grant is just meant to help you get by while you’re out there looking for a new job.
To find out your MSC, check out the table below from SSS. Find your salary bracket under the Range of Compensation column and check the corresponding MSC under the next column. Make sure you are looking at the right column based on your status.
|Range of Compensation||Employed, Self-employed, Voluntary Member, and Non-working Spouse Monthly Salary Credit||Household Employer and Kasambahay Monthly Salary Credit||Land-based OFWs and Sea-based OFWs Monthly Salary Credit|
|1,250 - 1,749.99||N/A||1,500||N/A|
|1,750 - 2,249.50||N/A||2,000||N/A|
|Below 2,250||2,000||Check the right ranges above||N/A|
|2,250 - 2,749.99||2,500||2,500||N/A|
|2,750 - 3,249.99||3,000||3,000||N/A|
|3,250 - 3,749.99||3,500||3,500||N/A|
|3,750 - 4,249.99||4,000||4,000||N/A|
|4,250 - 4,749.99||4,500||4,500||N/A|
|4,750 - 5249.99||5,000||5,000||N/A|
|5,250 - 5,749.99||5,500||5,500||N/A|
|5,750 - 6,249.99||6,000||6,000||N/A|
|6,250 - 6,749.99||6,500||6,500||N/A|
|6,750 - 7,249.99||7,000||7,000||N/A|
|7,250 - 7,749.99||7,500||7,500||N/A|
|7,750 - 8,249.99||8,000||8,000||N/A|
|Below 8,250||Check the right ranges above||Check the right ranges above||8,000|
|8,250 - 8,749.99||8,500||8,500||8,500|
|8,750 - 9,249.99||9,000||9,000||9,000|
|9,250 - 9,749.99||9,500||9,500||9,500|
|9,750 - 10,249.99||10,000||10,000||10,000|
|10,250 - 10,749.99||10,500||10,500||10,500|
|10,750 - 11,249.99||11,000||11,000||11,000|
|11,250 - 11,749.99||11,500||11,500||11,500|
|11,750 - 12,249.99||12,000||12,000||12,000|
|12,250 - 12,749.99||12,500||12,500||12,500|
|12,750 - 13,249.99||13,000||13,000||13,000|
|13,250 - 13,749.99||13,500||13,500||13,500|
|13,750 - 14,249.99||14,000||14,000||14,000|
|14,250 - 14,749.99||14,500||14,500||14,500|
|14,750 - 15,249.99||15,000||15,000||15,000|
|15,250 - 15,749.99||15,500||15,500||15,500|
|15,750 - 16,249.99||16,000||16,000||16,000|
|16,250 - 16,749.99||16,500||16,500||16,500|
|16,750 - 17,249.99||17,000||17,000||17,000|
|17,250 - 17,749.99||17,500||17,500||17,500|
|17,750 - 18,249.99||18,000||18,000||18,000|
|18,250 - 18,749.99||18,500||18,500||18,500|
|18,750 - 19,249.99||19,000||19,000||19,000|
|19,250 - 19,749.99||19,500||19,500||19,500|
|19,750 and above||20,000||20,000||20,000|
Proponents of the unemployment insurance provision in the law clarify that this benefit isn’t a loan. The unemployment benefits are a new addition to the six existing SSS benefits (sickness, maternity, retirement, disability, death, and funeral benefits) that qualified members can avail. This means you don’t need to pay the SSS for the financial assistance you will receive.
The criteria for receiving SSS unemployment benefits borrows some qualifications from other SSS benefits, together with termination conditions that basically boils down to this: If you were fired with or without notice, you can apply for this SSS benefit.
Note that you can only apply for SSS unemployment once every three years.
Losing your job doesn’t automatically qualify you to receive SSS unemployment benefits. It will all depend on the nature of your separation. The law clearly states that only those who are “involuntarily unemployed” are entitled to SSS unemployment benefits.
On the other hand, if your unemployment is voluntary—meaning you resigned from work, the SSS won’t give you unemployment benefits. Here are some more exceptions.
Due to the enhanced quarantine, members can’t go to their nearest SSS branches to apply for this benefit. According to SSS, they are working on an online filing system to make it easier for members to apply. But due to the limited workforce, the agency has yet to tally the number of displaced workers, but they promised to launch the online filing system by the end of April.
To check the status of your SSS Unemployment Benefit application, you may contact SSS through their call center hotline at 920-6446 to 55 or send an email at email@example.com.
RA 11199, which requires SSS to pay unemployment benefits to jobless members, is the same law that raises the SSS contribution rate from 11% to 12% in 2019, 13% in 2021, 14% in 2023, and 15% in 2025. Two-thirds of the increase will be shouldered by the employer, while one-third will be deducted from the employee.
And according to SSS, they have set aside PHP 660 million for the distribution of unemployment benefits, and another PHP 1.2 billion “under a worst-case scenario.” The current cash position of the agency is PHP 21 billion and the actuarial life of SSS earnings is projected to last until 2045.
Losing your job may look bad now, but it doesn’t spell the end for you. Thanks to these cash assistance programs, you can still bounce back and find a new job in no time. Just be patient, be more resourceful, and don’t waste your cash aid on trivial things.
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.