SSS Maternity Benefit: What You Need to Know
Are you one of those couples dreaming of being pregnant or are you already expecting?
Then, you should check if you are eligible to apply for the government’s maternity benefit from the Social Security System or SSS.
So, what is the SSS Maternity benefit?
The maternity benefit in the Philippines allows a woman to have paid maternity leave for 60 calendar days for normal birth delivery. For moms who gave birth via cesarean section, you are entitled to an additional 18 days or 78 calendar days of paid leave.
The maternity leave allows time to for mothers to rest and heal after giving birth. It is also a good time to use to bond with the baby. However, keep in mind that your maternity leave may start a few weeks before your due date, so if you can, try to take your leave the latest possible unless your OBGYN advices you otherwise.
Women who cannot go back to work due to death of newborn or miscarriage are also eligible for this benefit.
Who can claim the maternity benefit?
Any pregnant Filipina who is either employed, self-employed or even those unemployed may be eligible for SSS maternity benefit as long as they are a member of SSS. This means, a woman should be a regular SSS contributor.
Only just started to contribute? Do you have payment gaps or you are not yet a member?
Do not fret, you might still qualify.
How to qualify for the maternity benefit?
Check your membership status with SSS. You can claim maternity benefit if you paid at least 3 months in the last 12 months before the semester of your due date.
What does this mean exactly?
When are you due?
Let us break that sentence down:
minimum contribution = 3 months
valid months of contribution = last 12 months (before semester of child birth)
semester = 1st semester January to June, 2nd semester July to December
Let us say for example that you are due on October 2016, this means that you are giving birth on the second semester. To avail of the benefit, you should have paid at least three months from July 2015 to June 2016.
On the other hand, if you are due March 2017, this means that your due date is on the first semester of the year 2017. You still have time to contribute and qualify until December of this year (valid months of contribution: January 2016-December 2016).
Now that you know your SSS status:
If you are employed, check with your employer if they are up to date with your SSS contributions.
If you self-employed, then you are in charge of your own SSS contribution, make sure you are paying diligently.
Not yet a member? Enroll yourself as a voluntary paying member as soon as possible. Monthly contributions start P110 to a maximum of P1, 760 according to the new contribution table.
For self-employed and voluntary members, make sure you pay on time. Contribution dates vary according to the last digit of you SSS number.
How much to expect from the maternity benefit?
As said earlier, SSS allows an expectant woman to have paid leaves. In short, SSS will pay the amount of money you should earn in the 60 days (or 78 days) that you are absent from work due to child birth.
Bear in mind however, that the money you will receive may not be the same amount you earn because there is a ceiling in the amount of money you can receive. Not all pregnant women are equal in this respect either.
To compute your benefit:
1. Find your highest salary credit
In the last 12 months before the semester of your birth, identify the six highest monthly contribution (plus other benefits included in your monthly salary). These six highest contribution will play a lot in finding out how much you’ll receive from SSS. Note that the maximum covered income is P16, 000 as of 2014.
2.Get your monthly salary credit
To get your monthly salary credit, add the six highest salary credits.
3. Find your average daily salary credit
The average daily salary credit is your monthly salary credit divided by 180.
4. Learn your final maternity benefit due
Your total maternity benefit due is your average daily salary credit multiplied to 60 (for normal delivery) or 78 (for cesarean section delivery).
SSS Monetary Benefit
Do you think SSS maternity benefit is enough?
Let’s try to find out how much an expectant woman may receive from SSS.
Step 1: Say all the six highest salary credit is P12,500.
Step 2: Add P12, 500 six times (12,500+12,500+12,500+12,500+12,500+12,500) or
Simply, 12, 500x6 = P75, 000 monthly salary credit
Step 3: Divide P75, 000 by 180.
75, 000/180 = P416.66 average daily salary credit
Step 4: Multiply the average daily salary credit with the number of entitled maternity leaves
P416.66x60= P24, 999.60 for normal birth delivery
P416.66x78= P32, 499.48 for cesarean section delivery
How to apply for it?
For employed women, visit your HR office and let your employer know that you are expecting. You will need to fill the SSS Maternity Notification form at least 60 days after getting pregnant.
You also need to submit:
- an ultrasound report as proof of pregnancy
- your UMID or SSS ID or 2 valid IDs with signature and at least one of the two IDs have your photo.
Submit all these to you HR representative and they should be the ones to submit it to SSS. You may need to follow up with your HR representative, just in case.
The HR office will also be the one in charge of the reimbursement. Why reimbursement? Your company would usually shoulder your SSS benefit and then apply for reimbursement from SSS.
On the other hand, for self-employed or unemployed expectant moms, visit the nearest SSS offices in your area. You need the same documents as those above (plus photocopies just to be on the safe side), so make sure you have them before lining up at the SSS office.
Click to find the nearest SSS office.
Now, to apply for the reimbursement, you need to visit SSS and bring your Maternity Notification form received by SSS. It should also bear the SSS stamp. Ask for the maternity reimbursement form (if you don’t have it yet) and your IDs (UMID, SSS or 2 valid ID with signature and one with photo).
SSS How to File Maternity Notification
For both employed, self-employed and unemployed mothers, you also need to provide a certified true or authenticated copy of:
- Duly registered birth certificate for normal and cesarean section delivery
- Operating room record/surgical memorandum for cesarean section delivery
- Duly registered death or fetal death, in case of death or stillborn baby.
For miscarriage or abortion please provide the following:
- Pregnancy test before and after abortion with age of gestation
- Hystopath report for complete abortion
- Dilation and curettage (D&C) report for incomplete abortion
- Obstetrical history “stating the number of pregnancy certified by the attending physician.”
The monetary amount may be just a fraction of a cost compared to what you already spent (and will spend more) for your baby but it is still a benefit that you are entitled to have. Whether or not the SSS benefit is a little or a big help for you, know that all the people around you are there to support you as well.
Congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy.