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Laid Off from Work? A New Law President Duterte Just Signed Says You're Entitled to Unemployment Insurance

But you can only receive its benefits for two months.
IMAGE Freepik - Yanalya
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There’s now a (very small) silver lining to getting laid off from your job.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018. It details many additions and revisions to the Social Security System (SSS), or the country’s pension fund for non-government workers (civil servants get theirs from the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS).

Among these additions is unemployment insurance, which provides monetary benefits to people who were involuntarily separated from their work (i.e., they got fired or laid off instead of resigning). The law states that these individuals “shall be paid benefits in the form of monthly cash payments equivalent to 50% of the average monthly salary credit,” which is determined by the amount of their SSS contributions in their previous job.

Such a benefit does have several requirements for individuals availing it, primarily that they have to have made at least 36 monthly contributions before then, with at least 12 being made in the 18 months before they got separated from their job. That’s three years’ worth of SSS contributions.

Moreover, the law also states that the individual who wants to avail of the benefit shouldn’t be over 60 years old. It also states that an individual can only receive unemployment insurance once every three years.

Lastly, the insurance period only lasts for two months. So no, you can’t depend on these benefits for too long.

Among the other major provisions of the Social Security Act of 2018 are its changes to how much employers and employees will be contributing each month. Starting this year, the monthly contribution rate will be 12% of a person’s monthly salary, an increase from 11%. This will continue to rise by one percentage point every two years until 2025, where it will cap off at 15%.

The Social Security Commission (SSC), the governing board of the SSC, is tasked to create the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for the new law. 

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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