Having a newborn isn’t that simple. We may be psychologically prepared but if you come to think of it, are you financially ready? A lot of expectant mothers are using their SSS Maternity Benefit for this purpose. In definition, the SSS Maternity Benefit is the daily cash allowance given to every female SSS member who is not capable to attend to work after giving birth or after miscarriage.
Recently, the Expanded Maternity Leave Act has been approved. This seeks to provide new mothers a 120-day paid leave benefit. In this article, we will be giving details on how a woman can file for her maternity benefits through SSS. Moreover, we will be giving you a computation on how much you can expect to get in this benefit.
To start, what makes an SSS member eligible for the Maternity Benefit?
A. The SSS maternity benefit is for all members of SSS regardless of employment status;
B. All female employees, married or not, who has given birth, had an ectopic pregnancy, or even a miscarriage, are eligible to get the SSS maternity benefit;
C. In order to qualify a female member must have at paid at least three monthly contributions for the last 12 months immediately before miscarriage or childbirth. For instance, if your due date is in December last year, you are qualified to avail of the benefit if you had paid contributions for at least three months between July 2016 to June 2017. Count six months before your due date, then start checking your SSS contributions from that month up to 12 months prior;
D. The female employee has given her employer or notice and proof of her pregnancy or directly given the notice to SSS if self-employed, voluntary, or members who are already separated from employment. Here’s how:
1. Duly accomplish the SSS Maternity Notification form as soon as a member becomes pregnant. Notify the employer about the pregnancy and the probable date of childbirth. If you are an employee, your company will file your papers to the SSS. Submit your papers to your Human Resources Management (HR) as soon as you can because the filing must be accomplished at least 60 days from the date of conception. Failure to notify SSS beforehand can be grounds to deny the application.
2. Submit the Maternity Notification form with proof of your pregnancy. Some companies may ask for a combination of any of the following proofs:
- Pregnancy test stick;
- An ultrasound report; or
- A medical certificate from your doctor
3. The employer must in turn notify the SSS through the submission of the maternity notification form and proof of pregnancy immediately after the receipt of the notification from the employee member;
4. Notification can also be made over the counter at an SSS branch, or may be online using the SSS website in which the member or employer must be a registered user;
5. Prepare photocopies of:
- Unified Multi-Purpose ID card (UMID);
- SSS biometrics ID card;
- Two other valid IDs, both with your signature and at least;
- One with photo and date of birth
NOTE: If you don’t have these IDs, you will need to get one to ensure the smooth flow of your application.
6. After notifying the SSS, ensure that you get a copy of the SSS Maternity Notification Form you filed, duly stamped, and received by SSS. This will serve as one of the requirements when applying for reimbursement of the SSS Maternity Benefit.
7. After giving birth, here’s what you’ll need:
- Your SSS Maternity Notification Form duly stamped and received by SSS.
- Accomplished SSS Maternity Benefit Reimbursement Form.
- Prepare photocopies of your UMID or SSS biometrics ID card plus two other valid IDs, both with your signature and at least one with photo and date of birth.
- Proof of live birth. For normal deliveries – SSS will need a certified true or authenticated copy of the duly registered birth from your local civil registrar (use the one with the original “Certified True Copy” stamp or mark) or from NSO although it can take two to four months to get it. You cannot use the birth certificate given by the hospital where you gave birth.
For Caesarean (C-section) deliveries
SSS requires documents that prove a C-section apart from the certified true copy of birth certificate. These can be:
- Certified true copies of the operating room record;
- Discharge summary report;
- Delivery report; or
- Detailed invoice showing C-section delivery charges for those who delivered overseas.
- Medical clinical abstract;
- Surgical memorandum;
For miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
They need to present an obstetrical history indicating the number of pregnancies they’ve had signed by their doctor. In addition, proof of the circumstances of their miscarriage, or failed pregnancy. These include the pregnancy test sticks before and after a miscarriage; ultrasound report as evidence of pregnancy; a medical certificate about the circumstances of their pregnancy; a dilation and curettage (D&C) report; or certified true copies of hospital or medical records, among others. If it was a stillbirth, you need to submit a registered death or fetal death certificate.
How much can you get from your SSS maternity benefit?
The SSS maternity is equivalent to 100% of the member’s average daily salary credit (ADSC) multiplied by 60 days for normal delivery, or miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy without operation. However for Hydatidiform mole (H-mole), C-section delivery, or ectopic pregnancy with operation, it’s multiplied by 78 days.
1. Know first the semester of your delivery. If a quarter refers to three consecutive months ending in March, June, September, or December. A semester refers to two consecutive quarters ending in the quarter of sickness;
2. Count 12 months backward starting from the month immediately before the semester of contingency;
3. Then, identify the six highest monthly salary credits within the 12-month period;
4. Add the six highest monthly salary credits;
5. Divide the total monthly salary credit by 180 days to get the average daily salary credit. This is your daily allowance;
6. Multiply the daily maternity allowance by 60 for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarean section delivery. This is the total maternity benefit.
Under the law, companies are required to pay for in advance their employee’s maternity benefit within 30 days from the filing of the maternity leave application. The company will then reimburse it from SSS
For self-employed SSS members
- Self-employed members, voluntary members, and members separated from their employer will need to submit the Maternity Notification form at the nearest SSS branch;
- They can also notify SSS of your pregnancy online via its website or through the SSS Self-service Information Terminal (SSIT);
- After birth, fill up the Maternity Benefit Application Form and attach your SSS Maternity Notification Form duly stamped and received by SSS;
- If you submitted your pregnancy notification online or through SSIT, the “Maternity Notification Submission Confirmation” would be enough;
- Don’t forget your certified true copy of registered birth and photocopies of your UMID or SSS biometrics ID card plus two other valid IDs, both with your signature and at least one with photo and date of birth. You also need to attach the proof of birth;
- Members separated from their employer will need to provide a certificate of employment that shows the date of separation and a certification of no advanced payment from the last employer. Under the law, you cannot avail of the maternity benefit when you have already claimed your sickness benefit.
Stay-at-home moms or currently unemployed members can also avail of the benefits as long as they’ve posted at least three monthly contributions before the semester of their date of delivery. It is important to check membership status first by requesting a Static Information Sheet from SSS.
Take note that under the current law, you can only apply for SSS Maternity Benefit for your first four pregnancies or failed pregnancies whether you’ve claimed them before or not. Now that you know how much you can get if you file for an SSS Maternity Benefit, you can now be sure about it and can question in the event that your company and institution is not in line with what the SSS has.