The Social Security System (SSS) issued guidelines on the payment of the expanded maternity benefits following the signing of a law in February, setting the eligibility date at March 11 for those making claims for child deliveries, stillbirth, and emergency terminations.
Following the new maximum salary credit of Php 20,000 that was implemented last April, SSS will also increase its maximum maternity financial assistance to Php 70,000 by January 2020, which is more than double the previous benefit of Php 32,000.
SSS president and CEO Aurora Ignacio said a total of 122,571 female SSS members have enjoyed a 105-day leave which took effect on March 11 this year.
Ignacio also clarified some concerns of their self-employed and voluntary members and those who have paid their maternity benefit adjustment in advance.
“Employers who have paid in advance the corresponding adjustment in maternity benefit to their qualified female employees in accordance with RA 11210, they have to submit to SSS a proof of advance payment with their letter request for adjustment and a photocopy of solo parent ID — if applicable,” she explained.
According to the circular, the maternity benefits program under RA 11199 covers all female workers in the private sector, including employees, the self-employed (SE), Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and voluntary members (VMs).
The circular requires employers to fully pay maternity benefits in advance, within 30 days from the filing of the maternity leave application.
SSS will reimburse the employer in full for advances upon receipt of satisfactory proof of payment.
Under the new law, qualified members will receive P70,000 worth of maternity benefits regardless of the means of the child’s delivery, from the previous P32,000 for normal delivery, based on the P20,000 monthly salary credit.
In March, SSS said its fund life was depleted by a year to 2044 due to the net impact of expanded maternity benefits and proposed a new round of hikes in member contribution rates to fund its increased commitments.