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Pregnancy and childbirth can be both exciting and stressful, especially when it comes to finances. Fortunately, in the Philippines, female employees are entitled to a maternity benefit provided by the Social Security System (SSS).
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Maternity Benefits for SSS Members
The 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which became effective on March 11, 2019, boosts the number of days a woman can take a leave from work after giving birth. It increases the period from 60 days for normal delivery or 78 days for C-sections to 105 days. For single mothers, the leave period extends to 120 days. In case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy (ETP), a woman can avail of a 60-day leave.
Furthermore, the law provides greater support for women as it expands maternity leave for all pregnancies, miscarriages, or ETPs, without restriction on frequency, which used to be limited to the first four deliveries or miscarriages.
SSS Maternity Requirements
Before you start your application, make sure that you meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You must be an SSS member, with at least three (3) posted monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of your delivery or miscarriage.
- If you are employed, you must have notified your employer of your pregnancy and your intention to avail of the maternity benefit.
- You must have undergone childbirth or miscarriage not earlier than the 60th day before your expected delivery date or within the covered period.
- You must have submitted all the required documents.
To apply for an SSS maternity benefit, you will need to prepare and submit the following documents:
- Maternity Notification Form (SSS Form MAT-1) – This form should be submitted to the SSS at least 60 days from the date of conception but not later than the date of delivery or miscarriage.
- Proof of Pregnancy – You can submit a medical certificate or ultrasound report as proof of your pregnancy.
- Birth Certificate of the Child – If you have already given birth, you will need to submit the child’s birth certificate.
- Your SSS ID or two valid IDs – You must present your SSS ID or two valid IDs when you file your application.
Steps to Apply for SSS Maternity Benefit
Now that you have all the necessary documents follow these steps to apply for an SSS maternity benefit:
Step 1: Register with SSS
If you are not yet an SSS member, you will need to register by filling out the SSS membership form (SSS Form E-1) and submitting it to the nearest SSS office. If you are an employed member, your employer will register you with the SSS.
Step 2: Notify SSS of the Pregnancy
Submit the Maternity Notification Form (SSS Form MAT-1) to the SSS at least 60 days from the date of conception but not later than the date of delivery or miscarriage. You can submit the form online through the SSS website or go to the nearest SSS office.
Step 3: Submit Required Documents
Submit all the required documents to the SSS office. You can submit the documents personally or through an authorized representative.
Step 4: Receive Benefit Payment
Once your application has been processed and approved, you will receive your benefit payment through your bank account or through an SSS-accredited bank.
- Apply online for Maternity Benefit at MyWelfare.ie if you have a verified MyGovID account.
- Fill in the online questions and upload the supporting documentation (either a completed MB2 or MB3 form).
- The MB2 form must be completed by your employer.
- The MB3 form must be completed by your doctor if you’re not working or you are self-employed. Your doctor will not charge you for completing the MB3 form.
- Fill in a Maternity Benefit application form and send it to the Maternity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection.
- The form includes an MB2 section which must be completed by your employer.
- If you’re not working or you are self-employed, you must get a section of the form completed by your doctor. Your doctor will not charge you for completing the MB3 section of the form.
If you are unhappy with a decision about your application for Maternity Benefits, you can make an appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. You should appeal within 21 days of getting the decision.
Tips and Reminders
If you plan to apply for an SSS maternity benefit, there are some tips and reminders you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, make sure to check your eligibility and prepare all the necessary documents before filing your application. Double-check all the documents that you will submit to avoid any errors or delays in processing your application. Keep track of your benefit claim status through the SSS website or by calling the SSS hotline.
Once you have received your benefit payment, make sure to only use it for your and your child’s needs during your maternity leave since it is designed to ease your financial burdens. Remember that the SSS maternity benefit is a helpful support for working mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.
By following these tips and reminders, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free application process for your benefit claim. – WhatALife!/Jayve
Also read: GUIDE: How to Check Your SSS Contribution
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