March 4, 2024

Dear Manang,
I was happy to accept the fact that I was a common-law wife until my partner died and I had nothing. I am trying to claim his SSS pension with my son’s birth certificate as evidence and the fact that his ex-wife had abandoned him more than 30 years ago. But I wonder if there are other ways that the law could allow me to live on with a little more funds. The person at the SSS wants evidence that the wife was remarried and disinterested in claiming this SSS. I got the relatives to give the evidence but it has been more than a year since, I wonder if I have hope.
Pat, Liteng

Dear Pat,
Under Republic Act 8282, of the Social Security System, it is clear that only the legal spouse of the deceased member is qualified to be the beneficiary of the latter’s SS benefits. It is unusual that your partner had not corrected his files to include you. If he corrected his files and showed his marriage as dissolved, you could get his pension. But can you imagine how the government would be swamped with claims of common-law wives if a provision was included? I feel for you but this is the law.
Be at peace,
Manang

Dear Manang,
How people can manipulate situations to their own advantage is a mystery and also cruel. I have been taken for a fool. I don’t know how some documents were not forwarded since we were in a group applying for a visa and paid for it. There were many other papers needed and complied with but not submitted or something. An opportunity was lost and that was not for personal gains but for improving services. Can I confront him?
Pol of Bakakeng, Baguio City

Dear Pol,
We are surrounded by all types of persons, there must be a reason for the manipulation that is going on. People have reasons for doing such. Maybe one person is not acceptable to whoever is in charge but I would also complain about it because it could be settled without everyone caught in the melee. If only someone could be braver to inquire about it. It could clear the air. Until and unless it is formally mentioned and spoken about, doubts will prevail and trust will be lost.
Take the step,
Manang