ECC compensation package for COVID-19 positive workers
The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) is a government agency mandated to provide meaningful and appropriate compensation to workers in the event of work-related contingencies. Its main functions are to formulate policies and guidelines for the effective implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP), to review and decide on employment compensation claims denied by the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System, and to initiate policies and programs towards adequate occupational health and safety and accident prevention in the work environment.
Recently, the ECC has announced the eligibility of government and private frontline workers, who contracted the Covid-19 while performing their duties or have acquired the virus at work to apply for benefits. These include loss of income, medical, cash assistance, death and funeral benefits, and rehabilitation services.
Loss of income can be compared to SSS sickness leave. This benefit may be availed of by private and government employees. But government employees may choose only between the benefit from the GSIS and ECC because of the exclusive benefit law.
Beneficiaries of this program can avail of the daily sickness benefit (temporary total disability) and medical benefits. If the worker dies due to Covid-19, his family can claim death with funeral benefits.
Daily sickness benefit given to beneficiaries is at a maximum of P480 up to a maximum of 120 days and can be extended up to 240 days for private sector employees. For the government sector, the maximum daily income benefit is P200 or P340 if worker opts to avail of sickness benefit under the GSIS Law or Republic Act 8291. This does not require the exhaustion of leave credits to avail the daily sickness benefit.
Medical benefits include the reimbursement of medical expenses incurred in the treatment of Covid-19, which shall be based on the schedule of reimbursement.
In case of death, the beneficiaries are entitled to death benefits or survivorship pension which is computed based on the number and amount of premium contributions paid by the employer. The minimum EC survivorship pension for private sector workers is P2,000 per month and the EC funeral benefit amounts to P30,000 for the private or public sector employee.
ECC also offers cash assistance to employees who acquired Covid-19 while at work and have recovered or have died. If they qualify, ECC will give P10,000 to the recovered employee while the family of an employee who succumbed to the virus will receive P15,000 under cash assistance benefit. This benefit also covers uniformed personnel. This is on top of their benefits under the Philippine National Police.
The family or spouse or children below 21 years old of an employee who succumbed to Covid-19 or any other sickness acquired while at work may also apply for the death pension, which is a separate benefit from the SSS pension. The death pension is also available for uniformed personnel.
The ECC also offers rehabilitation services to employees who were displaced from their job due to sickness acquired from work or disability caused by accident while at work by giving them skills and entrepreneurship training. If the system approves of the application, ECC will shoulder the cost of the employee’s vocational course and will provide a starter kit worth P20,000 and if the employee was able to grow his or her business, ECC will again give additional P10,000 to him or her.
Applicants for the respective benefits should fill up prescribed forms and attach supporting documents, such as a certificate of employment with job description indicated therein, medical or hospital records, incident or accident report, and EC logbook from their employers.
Frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, uniformed personnel, hospital support staff, pharmacists, employees of food industries, supermarket personnel, and security guards who have an employee-employer relationship and were found to be positive with Covid-19 due to their employment, may file for an ECC claim at any SSS or GSIS branches nearest them.
These benefits apply not only to Covid-19 but also other illnesses or accidents acquired while at work.
Interested applicants may contact ECC-Regional Extension Unit-Cordillera through [email protected] or contact them at 424-0824 or visit the office at DOLE Bldg., Cabinet Hill, Baguio City.