No ID = No Maternity Benefits. What are you waiting for? Read on!
I originally posted this at our family blog, Manila Reviews
One of the things I looked forward to while I was pregnant was getting the maternity benefit. Honestly after having my pay docked for the last 10 years it was high time that I got something out of SSS.
The SSS Maternity Benefit according to the SSS website “is a daily cash allowance granted to a female member who was unable to work due to childbirth or miscarriage.” For one to avail of the benefit, the mom must, “have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage”. Also, most importantly “that she has given the required notification of her pregnancy through her employer if employed, or to the SSS if separated, voluntary or self-employed member.”
To get the benefit, you need to accomplish a MAT-1 form or a Maternity Notification Form 1, which you could get from your HR or you could download from the SSS website here: SSS Downloadable Forms. You need to submit the form together with the latest ultrasound that you’ve had as proof of pregnancy.
How much you’ll be receiving depends on your monthly contributions but it is capped at Php30,000 (or roughly $600) The SSS website also provides a table and info on how to compute the benefit (click here). The benefit is usually advanced by your employer. SSS in turn reimburses the employer upon the latter’s submission of the Mat-2 form or the Maternity Reimbursement Form along with a duly registered birth certificate and in the case of a caesarean delivery, a certified true copy of operating room record/surgical memorandum (or whatever document the hospital will provide as proof of the procedure).
One of the requirements of the company being reimbursed is the submission of the employee’s Digitized SSS ID. Not the old cardboard, laminated ID (which I had) but the new one. No Digitized ID = no reimbursement and the company will have to deduct what they’ve advanced to you from your salary. ARAY.
So, with husband in tow (he doesn’t have the new ID as well) we went to the East Avenue head office last June 26 and found ourselves pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of this particular government office. Hey our taxes sometimes do work for us!
But folks, the lines for the SSS are to get SCHEDULES and not the actual IDs though. Yep you line up to get yourself a piece of paper that says when you need to get back to the SSS office to get your mug taken. Trust me though, it only sounds worse because in reality, our day at the SSS East Ave office was very easy breezy 🙂
Here are the Three Things to Remember When Going to the SSS Main Office:
- Only the first 100 applicants will be entertained – NOT TRUE. I heard about this from our HR and officemates but when my hubby and I arrived we were numbers 116 and 118 and that was at 7 a.m. already. There were still people coming in at 9 and 10 am also and they weren’t being turned away at the door.
the line at 7 am
- Bring a good book or a game. You will be waiting for at least one hour though so bring something to keep yourself entertained.
- Bring 2 Valid IDs with pictures. A company ID will do and then bring one government ID. There were some applicants who didn’t bring any IDs and had to be turned away.
consider yourself warned! hala ka!
The line was kept orderly by a security guard inside the well-lit and spacious office. He kept everyone informed of the procedures and processes by barking reminders every now and then which kept people up and alert. When we went in, two ladies in a booth checked the IDs we brought. I brought my marriage certificate and my passport. All applicants must bring two valid IDs, with one bearing a recent picture of yourself. After checking my IDs, they stamped a number at the back of my E6 and the long wait began.
where the IDs are inspected
playing the waiting game
Numbers are called out by a person behind one of booths inside the SSS office. At 7 am, it was impressive to know that there were at least 5 booths open that serviced the taxpayers. The “emcee” called out numbers and the booth they had to go to. The SSS ladies would raise a flag with their booth number to let the emcee know that they’re open. (There’s an electronic sign board in the building but it’s at the other side of the waiting area where no one can see it….hmmm).
The whole process was orderly although the wait was a bit long. However, 2 hours isn’t much if you think about the sheer number of people that the office has to process. If your records are in order, the ladies at the booth would only need to enter a few details about you, ask a few questions and then send you on your way. The last stop is a booth near the exit where a lady would staple a piece of paper which shows your schedule. Mine was Aug. 6.
Honestly, I expected worse knowing how notorious government offices can be. But SSS that day was clean, efficient, cool (the aircon was turned up high) and orderly. My hubby, who just found out that his ID number was temporary, was not given a hard time either. He was asked to photocopy his ID and to come back after two weeks though to get his schedule. By 10 am, we were done.
Picture Taking Day
I returned last Aug 6 and I was in and out in an hour. Only people who are present at the scheduled window are allowed to sit down on the chairs though. If you’re an hour early for your “photoshoot” for example, the manong guard will ask you to line up.
Even if one does not have the digitized ID, companies can submit the acknowledgement receipt of the E-6 to get their reimbursement As for the actual digitized ID it may take up to 3 months before the ID is sent to our house (they send the ID to your mailing address). Ergo, mawala na ang lahat, huwag lang ang stub.
this stub is in locked in my drawer. i am praying that i don’t lose the key 😛
For a list of SSS Branches that have ID Capture Facilities click HERE.
**UPDATE: SSS has a FB page where you can post your concerns and have someone from SSS address them. Click HERE to go the SSS Facebok page.