In a statement, SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said the state pension fund has approved 4,392 online applications for unemployment benefits from June 22 until July 6, 2020.
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SSS jobless benefits hit P60 million
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - August 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two weeks into the implementation of its online application system, the state-run Social Security System (SSS) has released nearly P60 million in unemployment benefits to members who were displaced from their workplace due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said the state pension fund has approved 4,392 online applications for unemployment benefits from June 22 until July 6, 2020.

“We expect that these figures will continue to increase as more companies announced retrenchment and closure of businesses due to the pandemic crisis,” Ignacio said.

SSS said the highest number of online applicants came from Luzon with 1,697, followed by the National Capital Region with 972, Visayas with 894 and Mindanao with 822 applicants.

Majority or 99 percent of the members received benefits through their savings accounts, while the remaining one percent received theirs either through unified multipurpose identification cards or through remittance companies and cash payout outlets.

“As part of our digital transformation efforts, SSS aside from shifting its transactions online is also geared towards a checkless payment system,” Ignacio said.

SSS members who were involuntarily separated from work may apply for unemployment benefits equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months.

To qualify for this benefit, employees, including household workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 of which should have been paid within the last 18 months before the involuntary separation.

Reasons for involuntary separation should be retrenchment or downsizing, closure or cessation of business operations, and other reasons brought about by the pandemic.

Furthermore, the member must not be more than 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation, except for underground and surface mineworkers, and racehorse jockeys whose age should not be more than 50 and 55 years old, respectively.

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