Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

MANILA – The Social Security System (SSS) is set to make the application for unemployment benefits available online by the end of April, an official said on Monday.

Over a phone patch interview during the Laging Handa public briefing, SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio said application for unemployment benefits is currently being done over-the-counter.

“We are working on making the application for unemployment benefit available online for online filing. As of now, it’s a new benefit so it still has to be done over-the-counter,” she said in Filipino.

Earlier, SSS said it is ready to provide PHP660 million for the unemployment benefits of affected SSS members who may lose their jobs as a result of the possible layoffs or closures of private companies hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). It will also provide up to PHP1.2 billion under a worst-case scenario.

The average unemployment benefit that qualified members receive is about PHP11,000.

SSS premium-paying members can avail of unemployment benefits equivalent to a half of their average monthly salary credit (AMSC) for a maximum of two months if they are displaced because of redundancy, installation of labor-saving devices, retrenchment, closure or cessation of operation, and disease or illness.

They should have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years to qualify for this unemployment benefit, 12 of which should have been made in the last 18 months.

The unemployment benefit is one of the landmark provisions of the Social Security Act of 2018 (R.A. 11199).

Moratorium on all loan payments

Meanwhile, she said the SSS has given its members a moratorium for all loan payments in line with the signing of the Bayanihan to Heal As One law (R.A. 11469).

“We have given an extension for the payment of the salary loan, calamity loan, emergency loan which they have availed of until February. They can pay it until May,” she said.

Under the Bayanihan law, the grace period should be at least 30 days and cover loans that are due within the period of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

SSS members who will defer loan payment during the period should not incur any interests, penalties, fees and other charges.

Person with multiple loans will also be given a 30-day grace period for every loan.

She said that should there be an extension of the quarantine period, the SSS would also extend the deadline for all loan payments. (PNA)

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