DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 1 (PIA) -- Members of the state-run social insurance program Social Security System (SSS) in Dumaguete City and nearby areas who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic can still apply for the SSS unemployment benefit.
SSS Dumaguete City Branch Manager Elisa Llavan confirmed this during a PIA-IATF-EID "Straight from the Source" Press Briefing held recently at the IATF Media Briefing Area recently.
"Ang atong unemployment benefit ongoing siya. Wala siya deadline because it is one of the benefits na gina-offer ng SSS sa tanan mga members (We are continuously providing the unemployment benefit because it is one of the benefits we extend to all SSS members)," Llavan said.
The unemployment benefit is a form of cash aid extended to private sector workers including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and kasambahays who are SSS members who were separated from their company or employer involuntarily.
Llavan noted that there are employees of private companies who were displaced during the pandemic because employers or businesses are facing financial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.
The SSS branch manager said SSS will pay half of the member's average monthly salary for two months.
Llavan advised SSS members who would like to avail of this benefit to submit their application online.
"Tandaan sa aton nga member na naga-submit, dapat ang ilang i-upload na document dapat clear. Pareha gyud ang data kay kung iba ang data sa separation day na gihatag sa ila employer, iba man nahatag sa DOLE, ma-deny siya or ma-reject siya and then ma-refile sila (When they upload a copy of the document, it should be clear and the data should be consistent. For example, the separation day encoded by the employer must coincide with the data submitted to DOLE. In case the records don't match, the application will be denied or rejected and they would have to re-file it)," Llavan advised SSS members.
She also reminded them to encode their actual savings account number.
"Ang i-encode dapat ang savings account number hindi (ang) card number kay daghan mi kaayo na-reject na unemployment benefit kay ang ilang na-encode ang card number sa ATM (They should encode the actual savings account and not the ATM card number)," Llavan added.
SSS members should also ensure that the accounts they submit are active accounts and not dormant or inactive to avoid any problems in claiming the said benefit.
Apart from the unemployment benefit, SSS members can also file for other loan programs of the agency provided they have paid the number of contributions needed to avail of the loan.
In line with this, Llavan also announced that the agency is shifting to online platforms for most of its transactions as some programs and services have been transferred online.
She explained the shift is part of the agency's move towards digital transformation and checkless disbursements.
It is also in compliance with the call of Ease of Business Law and part of the agency's measures to limit face-to-face transactions during this time of pandemic.
Some of the mandatory online transactions include filing of sickness notification, maternity notifications, unemployment benefit, retirement benefit, funeral benefit, filing of salary, and calamity loans.
Llavan said the application of maternity benefit will also be available online soon.
Although most of the transactions are now done online, Llavan also cited that hard copies of documentary requirements especially those needed for sickness benefit must still be submitted to their office for further evaluation.
She added that inquiries can be coursed through online or through drop boxes placed in front of the SSS office.
She assured SSS members that there is a personnel who will handle their concerns.
"Gapangayo lang siguro mi ug pag-intiende siguro sa inyo. As to kung ano kadali namon siya matrabaho ang mga online submissions ninyo, everyday we see to it na matrabaho na siya (We also appeal for your understanding and patience. As to how fast can we respond to online inquiries, we see to it that we are working on it everyday)," Llavan explained.
She also encouraged SSS members to enroll at My.SSS for quick access to the agency's online services. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)