Pregnant and getting ready to give birth? You need all the help you can get financially. Here’s a quick how-to on how to avail SSS maternity benefits.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Who’s entitled to claim SSS maternity benefits
- How to avail sss maternity benefits
- New guidelines based on the Expanded Maternity Leave Act
The day you find out you’re pregnant is one of the happiest and scariest moments in your life. But it comes with a multitude of responsibilities.
As you welcome another member of the family, you’ll soon find out that giving birth and becoming a parent is expensive. From paying hospital bills to buying the baby’s things, the expenses tend to pile up. So it’s always good to have extra support that will help you get you through it.
Good thing there is some form of financial assistance that expectant mothers can avail. Here in the Philippines, it’s the government-mandated SSS maternity benefits.
As a first-time mom, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time for that. I’m employed. Isn’t that automatic?” or “I’m unemployed. Can I still avail of the SSS maternity benefits?” Well, it’s not that simple. But worry not, mommy. We’re here to walk you through the steps on how to avail your SSS maternity benefits.
SSS maternity benefit
The Social Security System (SSS) is a state-run, social insurance program in the Philippines that is intended to give assistance to workers in the private, professional and informal sectors.
According to the SSS website, the maternity benefit is a daily cash allowance granted to a female member who is unable to work due to childbirth or miscarriage/emergency termination of pregnancy.
This benefit is open to all female members including those who are working in private sectors, those who are self-employed, overseas Filipino workers, voluntary members and non-working spouse of a male SSS member.
However, while it is open to all female SSS members, not everyone can avail of the maternity benefit without going through the process of applying and claiming.
How to avail SSS Maternity Benefits
Who’s eligible to apply?
Any expectant mother may claim her SSS maternity benefits if she is a member. There are qualifying conditions that makes the member entitled to claim the benefits. Moms, if you want to avail SSS maternity benefits for your pregnancy and upcoming maternity leave, take note of the following:
- The member has paid at least three (3) months of contributions within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage/emergency termination of pregnancy.To understand this, let’s take a look at the calendar system of SSS:
A semester consists of six months (January to June and July to December). Then, a quarter is referred to as three consecutive months in a year (January to March, April to June, July to September, October to December). Say, a mother gave birth or had a miscarriage on November 10, 2021, this means the date falls in the July to December semester.
For her to claim her SSS maternity benefits, she should have paid her contributions for at least three consecutive months from July 2020 to June 2021.
- If employed, she must have given notification of her pregnancy through her employer. The employer will submit the maternity notification form to SSS within 15 days upon receipt of the notification from the employee.
- She must directly notify the SSS if she is separated from employment, a self-employed or voluntary member including OFW member.
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How to apply for SSS maternity benefits
To obtain these SSS maternity benefits without a hitch, file the necessary paperwork as soon as you start announcing the bun in the oven.
Fill out the Maternity Notification Form or the SSS FORM MAT-1 with proof of pregnancy (like a pregnancy test, transvaginal ultrasound report, or medical certificate from the doctor or OB-Gynecologist at least 60 days from the date of conception) to her employer if employed or to the SSS if separated/voluntary/self-employed member.
For employed members, fill out another form, the SSS Form MAT-2 for maternity reimbursement. This is so your employer can initially provide your salary credit due from SSS. This should be given by the time you go on your maternity leave. You can then submit these forms to your HR representative, who should give notice to SSS on your behalf.
For voluntary/work-at-home/separated members, only the SSS FORM MAT-1 form is necessary. This is because the cash allowance is given directly to the member.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, as of June 2021, SSS has already started accepting Maternity Benefit Applications (MBA) and Maternity Benefit Reimbursement Applications (MBRA) filed onlinethrough the My.SSS portal on the SSS website.
“We recognize the current situation of our female members who are high-risk individuals to COVID-19 infection. Their health and safety remain our top priority,” said SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio .
The sooner this process is done, the more you can enjoy your pregnancy with one less thing to worry about.
New SSS Maternity Benefits guidelines
Before we talk about the computation of the benefits, it’s important to know that there have been updates with the number of compensable days, in accordance with the Expanded Maternity Leave Law or Republic Act No. 11210.
Based on the new law that was implemented in March 2019, the number of compensable days of maternity leave have increased, from the initial 60 days for normal delivery, or 78 days for caesarian section delivery, to 105 days for live childbirth, regardless of the type of delivery.
Also, in accordance with Republic Act 8972 (Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000), an additional 15 days paid leave will be given if the female worker qualifies as a solo parent.
With these new laws in place, new mothers are given more financial assistance to shoulder the cost of childbirth and child-rearing, and also more time to focus on their pregnancies, their newborn and also their own health.
Computing SSS Maternity reimbursement
According to the SSS website, the amount of the member’s daily Maternity Benefit allowance is equivalent to the Average Daily Salary Credit (ADSC) multiplied by the number of compensable maternity leave days. Check out the formula below:
ADSC = Ave. Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) / 180 (number of days in 1 semester)
x 60 days for miscarriage/emergency termination of pregnancy
x 105 days for live childbirth (normal or cesarean section delivery)
x 120 days for solo parent under R.A. 8972 (105 days + 15 days)
It is important to note that the maternity leave period is counter in calendar days, inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. This is in consonance with the rule that maternity leave should be availed of in a continuous and uninterrupted manner.
For example, your MSC is 40,000, divide it by 180, that will be your ADSC. In this case, your ADSC is Php 222.20. Multiply it to the number of compensable days, depending on the instance of pregnancy. If you gave birth via cesarean delivery, the formula will be ADSC x 105 days. Your maternity leave reimbursement benefit will be Php23,333.30.
You can avail SSS maternity leave benefit for each pregnancy that you will have.
So if you want to be able to avail of the SSS maternity benefits, the key is to process it as early as possible and make sure that your membership and contributions are updated. Regardless of the amount that you will be receiving, it will be able to add to your budget for your baby.
Should you have any more questions about the SSS maternity benefit, check out their website, or talk to your company’s HR officer about it.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
SSS, Philippine Commission on Women, SSS Inquiries