I’ve always wondered when I’ll get to benefit from the monthly SSS contributions I’ve made over the last 10 or so years that I’ve been working. The time came when I had to cash in the maternity benefit from SSS when I gave birth seven months ago. The SSS Maternity Benefit according to the SSS website “is a daily cash allowance granted to a female member who was unable to work due to childbirth or miscarriage.” For one to avail of the benefit, the mom must, “have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage”. Also, most importantly “that she has given the required notification of her pregnancy through her employer if employed, or to the SSS if separated, voluntary or self-employed member.”
When I got pregnant, our HR/Admin personnel gave me a MAT-1 (Maternity Notification Form 1) to fill-up which I submitted together with the latest ultrasound that I had of my son as proof of pregnancy.
The cash payout is capped at Php30,000 (For a guide on how to compute how much you are entitled to click here) This amount is advanced by the company to the employee. SSS in turn reimburses the company upon the submission of the SSS form MAT-2 (Maternity Reimbursement Form) along with a duly registered birth certificate and in the case of a caesarean delivery, a certified true copy of operating room record/surgical memorandum (or whatever document the hospital will provide as proof of the procedure).
Here’s where the SSS Digitized ID comes in. Without the ID, the company cannot reimburse the benefit they’ve advanced you and the company will have to deduct the benefit from your salary. Aray.
With that in mind, I went to the SSS East Ave head office last June 26 with the hubby in tow. We didn’t have the new IDs yet so we both took the day off to get our schedules. Yep, schedules, you go to SSS, fall in line to get the schedule when you would be having your picture taken for the ID.
Here are the Three Things to Remember When Going to the SSS Main Office:
- Only the first 100 applicants will be entertained – NOT TRUE. When my hubby and I arrived we were numbers 116 and 118 and that was at 7 a.m. already. There were still people coming in at 9 and 10 am also and they weren’t being turned away at the door.
the line at 7 am
- Bring a good book or a game. The queues are long but they are very orderly thanks to the manong guard who made sure that no one was cutting in line and the announcer who barked the next available booth and the next applicant to be served. You will be waiting for at least one hour though so bring something to keep yourself entertained.
- Bring 2 Valid IDs with pictures. A company ID will do and then bring one government ID. There were some applicants who didn’t bring any IDs and had to be turned away.
The line moved right away. A security guard inside the well-lit and spacious office kept everyone informed of the procedures and processes. He would bark reminders every now and then which kept people up and alert. When we went in, two ladies in a booth checked the IDs we brought. I brought at marriage certificate and my license. All applicants must bring two valid IDs, with one bearing a recent picture of yourself. After checking the IDs, they stamped a number at the back of my E6 and the long wait began.
Numbers are called out by a person behind a booth. At 7 am, it was impressive to know that there were at least 5 booths open that serviced the taxpayers. The “emcee” called out numbers and the booth they had to go to. The SSS ladies would raise a flag with their booth number to let the emcee know that they’re open. (There’s an electronic sign board in the building but it’s at the other side of the waiting area where no one can see it….hmmm).
The whole process was orderly although the wait was a bit long. However, 2 hours isn’t much if you think about it from start to finish. If your records are in order, the ladies at the booth would only need to enter a few details about you, ask a few questions and then send you on your way. The last stop is a booth near the exit where a lady would staple a piece of paper which shows your schedule. Mine was Aug. 6.
Honestly, I expected worse knowing how notorious government offices can be. But SSS that day was clean, efficient and orderly. My hubby, who just found out that his ID number was temporary, was not given a hard time either. He was asked to photocopy his ID and to come back after two weeks though to get his schedule. By 10 am, we were done.
VIP – very important paper
*Hey there! You may also be interested in: SSS Branches with ID Capture Facilities from our sister website. :)