Last week I thought of writing this week about disputed claims filed by several wives of an SSS member, a very common situation during claims filing. I almost missed a very important event when this year marks a milestone for the Social Security System. SSS turns 60 this September 1, the day when the Social Security Act of 1954 was implemented. She should be retiring if she were a member who would decide to throw in the towel on her job. But the work of SSS is far from being over, and for this, your SSS continues to serve amidst the challenges.
If our readers are expecting anything special for this year’s celebration, let me make it special by enlightening our SSS members on our SSS forms:
For starters, if you are not yet an SSS member, I would encourage you to become a member by manually filling up our membership form, the SSS E-1 or our Personal Data Record. The form asks for information like the name of your spouse and children (primary beneficiaries), your parents (secondary beneficiaries) and your other beneficiaries (designated beneficiaries). The form gives you a choice to check the category you belong to– whether employed, self-employed, overseas contract/Filipino worker, or a non-working spouse. Note that our new members cannot become voluntary members in their initial membership, but can later become voluntarily paying members after they have qualified in any of those categories I mentioned. If you pay as a voluntary member at the onset, your membership will be invalidated unless you can show proof that you were employed, self-employed, worked as an OFW or you are a non-working spouse when you remitted your initial contribution. Submit your duly accomplished E-1 with your birth certificate, marriage contract and your children’s birth certificates, if you have any. Additional documents like your business permit, DTI or SEC registration are required of self-employed members.
For our more internet savvy would-be members, you can also all go online and apply for an SSS ID number. Simply ready your email address and go to our website: http://www.sss.gov.ph. Click on the bottom middle portion that says: No SSS Number Yet? Apply Online! This will prompt you follow a step by step procedure to later generate an SS number and a form that you have to submit to the SSS (Counter 7 for SSS Baguio) together with your birth certificate, marriage contract and your children’s birth certificates, if you have any. Similarly, for self-employed members, you need to show proof of your business like your permit or DTI registration.
If you are employed, however, another important form is the form R1 or Employer Registration which is mandatory for all employers in order to be registered and be issued an SSS Employer ID number. Attached to the form R1 is the form R1-A or Employment Report where the initial employees are listed together with their date of birth, date of employment, monthly compensation and date of separation. Subsequent to this, the employer should submit quarterly, the SSS form R3 or the Employee Collection List, to assign the payments made by the employer for his employees.
Employers are required to pay the contributions of their employees, monthly, using their employer ID number, through the Contributions Payment Form to avoid a three percent accruing monthly penalty. The same Contributions Payment Form which also serves as the “receipt”, is likewise used by self-employed and voluntarily paying members who, using their employee ID number, can pay either monthly or quarterly. The former separate payment forms of R-5 for employers and RS-5 for self-employed and voluntarily paying members are now contained on the same payment form so write the details on the blank spaces applicable to you.
If you are member but stopped paying or neglected your monthly contributions due to fund limitations, use the same SSS Contributions Payment Form to update your contributions. Just fill up the applicable months you are paying for. There can be no retroactive payments for self-employed and voluntarily paying members. However, SSS can collect and compute retroactively for contributions not remitted by employers in favor of their employees. I shall soon discuss on this lengthily if only to emphasize on what awaits employers who fail to remit their employee/s’ monthly contributions.
As to the schedule of your payment, to avoid the long queues, take note of our payment dates. For SS numbers ending in 1 and 2, you can pay your monthly contributions on the 10th of the month following the applicable month to be paid; for SS numbers ending 3 and 4, your deadline is every 15th of the following month; for 5 and 6, pay every 20th of the following month; for 7 and 8, every 25th of the following month and 9 and 0, every end of the following month. This also applies to quarterly payments: for SS numbers ending in 1 and 2, first quarter is payable every 10thof April; second quarter shall be payable by July 10th ; third quarter contributions are due on or before October 10 and the last quarter should be paid not later than January 10th of the following year. The same holds true for the other ending numbers, where SSS numbers ending in 3 and 4 should be paid quarterly on April 15, July 15, October 15, all of the current year, and January 15of the following year. It is similar to the number coding for vehicles, only the numbers are assigned due dates for contributions payment every 10th (ending in 1 and 2); 15th (ending in 3 and 4); 20th (ending in 5 and 6); 25th (ending in 7 and 8); and by the end of the month for SS numbers ending in 9 and 0.
For any changes in your name, birthdate or beneficiaries, fill up our Member Data Change Request (MDCR) form or form E-4 and present documentary basis for such changes like the birth certificate of your beneficiaries or your marriage contract. This same form is also used to put your SSS record in order by changing your membership type say, from voluntary to self-employed, in order to reflect a valid “date of coverage”. As mentioned earlier, initial membership as voluntary member will be invalidated and have the effect of having no coverage date on record, thus, your contributions may be refunded by the System. Your middle name is likewise strictly recorded by the System as there are many instances of individuals bearing similar first, middle and family names. For married women, using the same MDCR, you may opt to use your maiden name (our gender sensitive recognition of the woman’s right to retain her surname) but do not forget to update your “dependents”.
More forms are needed for other SSS needs, but we shall reserve that for later. Meanwhile, we should emphasize on the perks of becoming an SSS member. Due to your continued remittance, we offer you the following benefits:
Sickness- a daily cash allowance paid for the number of days a member is unable to work due to sickness or injury. This is applicable to illness lasting for at least four (4) days. To avail, one must have paid at least three monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of sickness or injury.
Maternity- a daily cash allowance granted to a female member who is unable to work due to childbirth or miscarriage. This requires three monthly contributions in the twelve month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. This is only applicable for the first four pregnancies or miscarriage. If you are carrying a fifth child and yet to avail of this benefits, you are no longer qualified for the benefit. This is equivalent to 100 percent of the mother’s average daily salary credit for sixty (60) days for normal delivery and seventy eight (78) days for caesarian delivery. Note that the Expanded Maternity Leave Law allowing an increase in maternity leave credits, is yet to be of approved.
Disability- a cash benefit granted either as a monthly pension or lump sum amount to a member who becomes permanently disabled, either partially or totally. This could either be a lump sum amount or monthly pension, depending on the number of contributions paid.
Retirement- a lifetime monthly pension granted to a member who has paid at least one hundred (120) monthly contributions for members who reached the age of sixty (60) and already separated from employment or has ceased to be self-employed; or for members who have reached the age of sixty five (65) and have completed at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly premiums. The computation shall be based on the member’s average monthly salary credit and the credited years of service, including those years in excess of the minimum 120 monthly contributions. So it is not true that you should stop paying after you have completed the minimum 120 monthly contributions.
Death- a cash benefit granted either as a monthly pension or lump sum amount to the beneficiaries of a deceased member.
Funeral grant- a benefit of not less than P20,000 pesos granted to the person who defrayed the cost of funeral expenses upon the death of a member.
The SSS also grants salary, calamity or educational loans for those qualified.
There could still be a lot of questions in the minds of our members which we shall seek to respond to in the coming days. Rest assured that we are doing our best to serve our members. We have faced tough and trying times, and were criticized even by members who have already collected hundreds of thousands from the System (they who seem to be too hard to impress). The SSS caters to some 33 million members where about five thousand flock to our branches each day to be served. While we know we are holding thankless jobs, we still desire for our satisfied public to attest to the fact that there are also SSS employees who served them well (as we too are hurt when one of us is published on social media when some clients are displeased). This reassures us that in our little way, we have gone the extra mile to lighten your load when a member of your family died, became disabled, gave birth or retired from employment. Earning our members’ approval should serve as our pat on the back and continuing strength to do sixty more years and beyond. Maraming salamat po sa inyong suporta.