June 21, 2024

Nikita is a 27-year-old single mom who works in a popular restaurant in Baguio. Last June 20, she received a letter from her employer saying that the Covid-19 pandemic had a dramatic effect on all businesses. The company, with the present business situation, decided to reduce its workforce, and informed her of the sad news that her employment is terminated effective June 30.
To ease up this burden, the Social Security System unemployment benefit comes to the rescue as one of the key provisions of the Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018. Employees who just got laid off can have a temporary source of income to keep things afloat while they are looking for a new job.
Here is a simple guide on how to apply or file an SSS unemployment benefits claim over the counter:
Complete the SS unemployment benefit requirements – original copy and photocopy of at least one valid ID, Department of Labor and Employment certification with the attached notice of termination or affidavit of termination of Employment, and a UMID-ATM card or a Union Bank of the Philippines quick card; file your unemployment benefits claim at any SSS branch; and receive the cash benefit.
The SSS unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit is available to employees, including household helpers and overseas Filipino workers, provided that they meet the following requirements:
Applicant must not be more than 60 years old at the time of sudden unemployment. However, a lower age requirement is applied for those working as an underground/surface mine worker and racehorse jockey who must not be over 50 and 55 years old, respectively, and has paid at least three years (36 months) worth of monthly contributions, 12 months of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation/unemployment; with no settled SSS unemployment benefit within the last three years prior to the date of unemployment.
One can only apply for this benefit once every three years, so if one has already received this benefit within this period, one will be disqualified to get another one and has been involuntarily separated/laid off due to a valid reason.
This reason can either be one of the authorized causes for termination of the employee under Articles 298 (283) and 299 (284) of Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, which are: installation of labor-saving devices; redundancy; retrenchment or downsizing; closure or cessation of operation; or disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to the health of fellow employees.
Other causes of termination are economic downturn (e.g., job loss due to the recession); natural or man-made disasters/calamities and other similar cases to be determined by the SSS or the DOLE.
One is qualified to get the benefits if the reason why he/she was laid off is outside of one’s control and not caused by one’s negative behavior. Otherwise, one will be disqualified and the employer has the upper hand in preventing you from getting the unemployment insurance.
The SS unemployment benefits requirements are original copy and photocopy of at least one valid ID (SSS/GSIS UMID card, SS card, alien certificate of registration, driver’s license, firearm registration, license to own and possess firearms, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, passport, permit to carry firearms outside of residence; postal ID, seafarer’s identification and record book, or voter’s ID; and DOLE certification with the attached notice of termination or affidavit of termination of employment.
Employees who want to avail of the SSS unemployment insurance/benefits are required to secure a DOLE certification establishing the nature and date of the involuntary separation.
To apply for the DOLE certification, you need the following: at least one valid ID. However, most DOLE offices require an original copy and photocopy of two valid IDs so make sure you bring an additional ID on the day of your application; a copy of notice of termination of employment issued by the employer (also known as termination contract) or a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment.
The second one is preferred in case your relationship with the employer did not end in good terms and there is no way for you to obtain the notice of termination of employment. One needs to bring an original copy and photocopy of the document; and a certification form to be given by DOLE.