How to Get SSS Unemployment Benefits In This Time of Coronavirus

It’s been a rough few months for all of us, but some more than others.

Suck at money? Congrats. You’re part of the 99 percent of people in their 20s floundering when it comes to finance. Adulting is hard, and money is harder—especially when it’s your own and not your parents. My Two Cents is here to break down everything you need to know about finance, business, and entrepreneurship. We’ll tackle all the basics, from how to get a business permit to how to invest in stocks, to educate the fledgling adults on how to not go broke.

Welcome to the idiot’s guide to money. Lesson #29: How to get unemployment benefits.

It’s been a rough few months for all of us, but it’s been particularly hard for those who have suddenly found themselves without a job or stable source of income. According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), more than 90,000 Filipinos have become unemployed after 3,000 local companies closed down and retrenched its workforce. Another two million have been affected by temporary company closures. And these numbers only account for the companies that have reported to DOLE since the pandemic and quarantine began.

That leaves millions of Filipinos in a precarious situation, with many now struggling to find a new job to support families back home. Luckily, the Social Security System (SSS) has a plan in place for those who have found themselves fired, retrenched, and/or unemployed. It’s called the SSS unemployment benefit, a lump sum given by the government to a recently unemployed SSS member. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to keep you afloat while you look for a new job.


Here’s everything you need to know about how to get SSS unemployment benefits.

How Much is it?

About one-month worth of your salary, give or take a few thousand. It’s calculated by taking the average monthly salary credit (ASMC), multiplying it by 50 percent, and multiplying that amount by two. The amount should be equivalent to twice the half of the ASMC closest to your actual salary. In simpler terms, that’s basically one month of your salary.

Who is Eligible?

Only those who were laid off are eligible for unemployment insurance. Consider it the government’s severance pay. That means if you resigned, you’re not actually eligible for the benefit.

Any SSS-paying member younger than 60 years old can avail of the benefit, and that includes in-house helpers and overseas Filipino workers. But you must have paid at least three years or36 months of SSS contributions.

How Do You Get the Benefit?

SSS launched its online applications for unemployment benefits on Thursday, June 25, so you no longer need to go to the office in person.

1| Log into your My.SSS account and look for “Apply for unemployment benefit claim.” Fill out all the boxes that are necessary, and then wait for a notification to be sent to your email.

2| Reply to the email with the scanned image of your DOLE certification confirming your unemployed/laid off status, as well as the termination notice from your employer.

3| Now you wait for the one-time sum to be deposited to your: UMID-ATM, PESONet bank account, or electronic wallet, depending on your preference. You can also receive the amount via remittance transfer, like Cash Padala.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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