Typhoon Tisoy-hit members, pensioners can now avail of calamity loan – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019   •   1701

Children frolic in floodwater in Naga city, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/JONNEL MARIBOJOC

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Social Security System (SSS) who were affected by typhoon Tisoy may now apply for the Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) loan.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said members and pensioners in Southern Luzon and Visayas hit by Tisoy may now avail of the calamity loan, direct house repair and improvement loan as well the advanced three-month pension program.

She added that the CAP program, which has a total fund allocation of more than P614 million, covers members and pensioners residing in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

These areas include Batangas City; Mabitac, Laguna; Provinces of Quezon, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque; Corcuera, Romblon and San Fernando in Romblon; and Province of Northern Samar.

“The CAP includes a loan assistance program which is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan,” Ignacio said in a statement Monday.

“Members can borrow up to P40,000 in calamity loan depending on their average last 12 monthly salary credit. The financial assistance is also open to pensioners who can avail three months advance of their monthly pension. Moreover, members can also apply for direct housing repair and improvement loan,” she added.

Loan application for Tisoy-hit SSS members is open from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.

“Members who would like to avail of the Calamity Assistance Package are required to be registered in the My.SSS application to facilitate their billing requirements in the future,” Ignacio said.

The SSS Chief, however, clarified that members who still have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) and previous CAPs, as well as those receiving pensions for total permanent disability and retirement, and those who have availed of the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are not qualified to avail of the calamity loan.

The SSS said the calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments.

To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee, it added.

Aside from the calamity loan, the SSS said that members with damaged properties can also avail of the direct house repair and improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments.

“Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program which will run for one year or until 20 December 2020,” Ignacio said.

“To qualify, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” she added.

SSS to provide calamity assistance to members, pensioners in typhoon-hit areas

Maris Federez   •   November 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Social Security System (SSS) on Sunday announced that it will open an assistance package for its members and pensioners in areas declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as under a state of calamity due to Super Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Quinta, and Typhoon Ulysses.

On its Facebook post, the SSS said the assistance program will be open on 27 November 2020.

The assistance package will include the Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP), Three-month Advance Pension for SS and Employees’ Compensation pensioners, and the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan. 

“Applications for CLAP and the Three-month Advance Pension will be open from 27 November 2020 until 26 February 2021. The Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan will be open for one year from the issuance of its corresponding circular,” the advisory added.

The SSS added that it will be coordinating with its media partners and shall utilize its Facebook page for the release of the complete guidelines for the said programs.

The SSS concluded that it “commiserates with everyone who was affected by the said typhoons. It hopes that through the assistance package and its regular benefit programs, it may help its members and pensioners during these difficult times.” —/mbmf

SSS shifts to digital processing of benefit claims

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The online filing and registration of new employees as members of the Social Security System along with the submission of most forms and benefit claims has been made mandatory as of July 15, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement, the DOF said that the move is in compliance with the directive of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to shift to digital technology to further improve its services.

In its report to Dominguez, the SSS said the release of loans and benefits to members except for unbanked pensioners, have also been made “cheque-less” through the use of PesoNet and other electronic payment systems as of July this year.

SSS President-CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio said the state-run firm is targeting to include unbanked pensioners in the “cheque-less” release of benefits by October this year.

She said that since July 15, the submission of the Maternity Notification Form for pregnant female SSS members and the Sickness Notification Form were required by the SSS to be done online.

The filing of Retirement Benefit Claim of members who are at least 65 years old and the application for Unemployment Insurance Benefit (UIB) have also been shifted to digital.

The online filing of the applications for the Calamity Loan and Salary Loan were made mandatory by the SSS a month earlier on June 15, while the filing of the Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Claim of employers was required to be done online as of July 1 this year.

The online enrollment of bank accounts in the My.SSS or SSS online portal is already mandatory for members since June 2020 and for employers starting August 2020.

The SSS said the online enrolment will enable to agency to automatically deposit benefits to the member’s and employer’s enrolled bank account.

Dominguez, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the Social Security Commission (SSC), last year urged the SSS to use digital tools to make it easier for its members to access its services.

The Finance chief said modernizing the SSS’ system will also help cut overhead costs for the pension fund.

He said the SSS needs to be prudent in managing its expenses, given that its task involves taking care of the hard-earned savings of Filipino workers.

“We have to do some serious investments in technology because it will not only save us money, but will also save time for the transacting public. Online transactions are easier and more convenient,” Dominguez said.

The SSS said it has also made mandatory the online filing of applications for the COVID-19 Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) since the program was launched last June 15.

Online filing of Funeral Benefit Claims for SSS member-claimants was made available starting July and will be mandatory by August, Ignacio said.

Meanwhile, the online filing of the Retirement Benefit Claim of OFW and voluntary members who are 60 to 64 years old has also been made mandatory starting August.

P15.63B calamity loans, P190M unemployment benefits of COVID-hit workers approved in July – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) has so far approved P15.63 billion in novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) calamity assistance loans, as of July 28, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.

The SSS also approved P190.02 million in unemployment insurance benefits from July 1 to 27 this year, to tide over members heavily hit by the pandemic’s economic fallout, the DOF added.

According to SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio, they have approved more than one million applications for its Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) for the COVID-19 outbreak since its online filing was launched last June 15.

Ignacio said the Calamity Loan for COVID-19 will run for a period of three months starting June until September 14, 2020 only.

Online application for the loan is now mandatory, she added.

The calamity loan for COVID-19 carries a six percent interest per annum commencing on the 4th month with a 27-month term, inclusive of a three-month moratorium.

The SSS said members who are involuntary separated from work can avail of unemployment insurance equivalent to a half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months.

To qualify, they should have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years, twelve of which should have been made in the eighteen-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

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