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How to Claim SSS Unemployment Benefits

Last updated: April 11, 2024
Written by: Digido Financial Writers Team | Reviewed by: Anna Kireeva

Key takeaways:

  • Many Filipinos today work as freelancers and self-employed professionals.
  • They cannot get unemployment benefits from the SSS.
  • It is difficult for them to get loans from banks because they do not have a certificate of employment.
  • Any Filipino aged 21-70 with a working cell phone can get a Digido loan even if you are unemployed.
  • You only need to provide proof of regular income.
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Who can get a Digido loan?
You are 21-70 years old
You are a Filipino citizen
You have a valid government ID

We’re all dreaming and working for a comfortable retirement based on our regular monthly income, primarily through employment. Employees worldwide watch management activities for cost optimization, productivity enhancement, and automation with a perceived threat to their job security.

Even though an individual employee can’t do anything about macroeconomic conditions, policymakers could mitigate them efficiently and protect employment until recently.

But, the pandemic brought unprecedented and unforeseen issues to the entire world.

The governments had to declare lockdowns or restrictions to save lives. The low patronage of customers forced many businesses to down their shutters, leaving their staff unemployed for an uncertain period.

It created a complicated situation for the governments. Even with depleted revenue, they have to continuously shell out massive money from the public coffer to equip the health system to combat the deadly virus. On the other hand, the livelihood of people is severely affected.

All over the world, governments are trying to overcome this troublesome period by providing various support and financial assistance to their affected citizens.

The Social Security Act of 2018, which provides unemployment insurance and involuntary separation benefits to an SSS member, is such an initiative from the Philippine government.

From January to September 2021, the SSS released Php 869.99 million of unemployment benefits to almost 68,000 members. This was in response to the ongoing employment hardships being faced by the members brought about by the pandemic.

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What is the SSS Unemployment Benefits Program?

Private sector employees, household helpers or workers, self-employed or Overseas Filipino Workers all face the risk of job loss at any time. To provide them with some financial safety net, the government established the Social Security System (SSS) in 1957.

The law insists on mandatory registration of employees, employers, and self-employed persons with the SSS. Each member has to make a monthly contribution based on their monthly income.

The employer is duty-bound to bear a portion of their employees’ contributions to SSS, as long as he is employed.

In turn, the SSS uses the contributions to fund programs designed to help members carry the financial burden of temporarily or permanently losing their jobs due to sickness, disability, retirement, maternity, death, funeral and unemployment.

The SSS Unemployment Benefits Program (also called Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit) is the cash benefit given to members who have been involuntarily separated from their employment.

Taking into consideration the current pandemic, you can apply for SSS unemployment benefits due to COVID.

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How much is the unemployment benefit in SSS?

The SSS unemployment benefit amount that you will receive will be equivalent to 50% of your average monthly salary credits (AMSC) for a maximum of two months. You will receive the benefit as a one-time payment.

You can also use the following formula:

Average monthly salary credit x 50% x 2 months = unemployment benefit

For instance, if your monthly salary is PHP 18,000, your total unemployment benefits will be:

18,000 × 50% x 2 = PHP 18,000

There are two ways to know your AMSC. Your AMSC shall be the higher of the following:

  • The amount from dividing the sum of your last 60 monthly salary credits (MSC) prior to the semester of contingency by 60, or
  • The amount from dividing the sum of all MSC prior to the semester of contingency divided by the number of paid monthly contributions in the same period

You must file your unemployment benefit claim within a year from the date of involuntary separation from your job. For example, if you were separated from your job on August 1, 2023, you must file for unemployment benefits before August 1, 2024 to avail of the claim.

This cash benefit is not a loan. Hence, an existing loan with SSS won’t affect your eligibility for getting SSS benefits for the unemployed.

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Limitations of unemployment benefits in 2024

The SSS unemployment benefit has the following limitations:

  • You can avail of unemployment benefits only once every three years.
  • If you are eligible for two or more contingency benefits within the same period, only the highest benefit will get approval.
  • In the event of overlapping benefits, legal disputes, fraud, misrepresentation or false claims, SSS will recover the money from the future benefits of the member.
  • The maximum amount a member can get for an unemployment benefit is Php 20,000.

The SSS has already set aside a corpus fund of Php 660 million for SSS unemployment insurance alone. It is confident about its financial reserves even in “a worst case scenario” where all its premium paying members of approximately 60,000 submit SSS unemployment benefit applications for the maximum benefit.

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How to Apply for SSS Unemployment Benefit Online

During the pre-pandemic era, Filipinos used to perform all their SSS-related activities through nearby branches.

Now, neither the branches nor the transportation facilities ensure continuous availability. Besides, flocking to the SSS office may increase the risk of infection. Thus, some branch functionalities have been moved online.

Below are the steps to submit your SSS unemployment benefits application online:

  • Log in to your My.SSS Account as a “Member”.
  • Go to the “E-services” tab and then click “Apply for Unemployment Benefit”.
  • Complete the online SSS unemployment benefit form with the relevant details.
  • Confirm details such as mailing address, contact number, email address, bank details, employment category, date of separation, and employer. Make sure that the details are complete and accurate.
  • Review the certifications and click “Submit.”
  • After that, wait for the email notification about the unemployment benefit claim application.
  • Reply to the mail with the attached scanned images of necessary documents such as the certification issued by DOLE or POLO.
  • You may also need to attach other details such as “Notice of Termination” from your employer or “Affidavit of Termination from Employment.”
  • After that, you will receive an acknowledgement email from the SSS regarding your application.
  • You can check the status of your application by sending an email to member_relations@sss.gov.ph. Include your SSS number and reference number of your application to your email.
  • Usually, the processing time for unemployment benefits is 5 to 10 working days.

Once your application is approved, SSS will transfer the money through the specified channels such as your UMID-ATM card, digital wallets, or remittance transfer companies.

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SSS Unemployment Benefit Requirements 2024

Below are the SSS financial assistance requirements to avail of the unemployment benefit.

  • The age limit for the member at the time of separation is as follows:
Employment/membership type Age in years
Regular employees 60 years old
Underground or surface-mine worker 50 years old
Racehorse jockey 55 years old
  • There should be a paid contribution of at least 36 months. Of which, 12 months of the contributions should be in the 18 months immediately before the month of involuntary separation.
  • The member has not received an unemployment benefit within the last 3 years
  • The reason for the involuntary separation should be due to authorized causes such as redundancy, installation of labor-saving devices, downsizing, closure of the company, calamity, recession, etc.

Ideally, SSS accepts the certificate of separation from employment only if the involuntary separation is due to no fault of employees.

Still, suppose an employee quits the job due to violations of the Labor Code of the Philippines, such as insult, mental torture, inhuman treatment, etc. In that case, he or she is eligible for the benefit.

SSS Unemployment Benefits requirements

Have you been separated from your work? Are you interested in applying for SSS unemployment benefits?
Here are the requirements that you should take note of and prepare!

  • You should have an original copy and a photocopy of at least one valid government ID.

The SSS will accept the following:

  • UMID card
  • SS card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • NBI clearance
  • Postal ID
  • Seafarer’s ID and record book
  • Voter’s ID
  • Alien certificate of registration
  • Firearm registration
  • License to own and possess firearms
  • Permit to carry firearms outside of residence

If no primary ID is available, the applicant should submit an original and photocopy of any 2 ID cards or documents, both with signatures and at least one with a photo.

  • DOLE certification (also known as Certificate of Involuntary Separation) with attached notice of termination or affidavit of termination of employment.

To apply for this certification, you must have the following:

  • At least 1 valid ID, or an original copy and photocopy of 2 valid IDs
  • A copy of notice of termination of employment from your employer or a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment. Bring an original copy and a photocopy.
  • DOLE certification form
  • Notice of termination or affidavit of termination of employment.
  • Your SSS-approved disbursement account. This can be your:
  • UMID card enrolled as an ATM
  • UBP (Union Bank of the Philippines) Quick Card
  • SSS-enrolled Bank Accounts
  • Paymaya or GCash e-wallet account
  • Pick-up arrangement with money remittance center companies
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Who Are NOT Qualified to Get SSS Unemployment Benefits in 2024

The SSS unemployment benefit is open to everyone, but of course, there are certain limitations.

You are not qualified to receive unemployment benefits if you have been terminated from your work due to just causes as written under Article 297 (282) of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

If you are a member who have been separated from employment due to the following reasons, there is a chance of your SSS unemployment benefit rejected:

  1. Serious misconduct
  2. Wilful disobedience to lawful orders
  3. Gross and habitual neglect of duties
  4. Fraud or breach of trust
  5. Commission of a crime
  6. Similar cases like abandonment, gross inefficiency, conflict of interest or dishonesty

The employee can’t apply for the unemployment benefit if the termination was on the grounds of disciplinary action or performance issues such as serious misconduct, willful disobedience, inefficiency, fraud, etc.

If an employee challenges his termination in court, the benefit approval will be subject to the outcome of pending litigation.

SSS Loan for Unemployed Member

Good news! Applying for unemployment benefits won’t hinder you from securing a loan from the SSS even if you are unemployed.

Since voluntary members are ineligible for unemployment benefits, they can also take a loan from their contributions in the SSS account.

The requirements for a SSS unemployed loan can vary. The salary loan gives a loan up to one month of salary for a member with 36 posted contributions. Six of these contributions should fall within the last 12 months.

For members who are expecting, the SSS maternity benefit provides daily cash allowance for its female members who cannot work due to childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy.

Any female member who has paid at least 3 contributions within the 12 months immediately before the semester of her childbirth, miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy is eligible for the benefit.

In the case of employed members, the employer has to notify SSS about the pregnancy.

To avail SSS maternity benefits for the unemployed, the member has to fulfill the SSS maternity requirements for the unemployed. To do so they need to submit the maternity notification form, proof of pregnancy, and other claim documents on the SSS portal for Claim SSS Unemployment Benefits.

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Unemployed Loan at Digido

A significant portion of Filipinos now work as freelancers, call centre executives, and self-employed professionals.

Since they are voluntary members, they can’t get SSS unemployment benefits. Getting loans from banks or lenders is almost impossible due to their strict adherence to a certificate of employment for loan approval.

Digido offers a wide range of financial products, including 0% loans, with minimal formalities and maximum certainty.

Any Filipino within the age group of 21-70 years with a working mobile connection can get loans from us, even if you are unemployed. As long as you can provide proof of regular income, we don’t bother about your employment status and can issue you loans.

Unlike our off-the-shelf loans, each Digido loan for the unemployed can vary in its amount and loan conditions based on various eligibility factors.

Digido offers a fully automated loan processing system. That assures you the 24/7 availability of an online interface for loan applications with minimal inconvenience or human interference. The loan evaluation and approval take only a few minutes, and the money reaches your account within a 15 minutes.

Digido is a state-licensed and legit online lender; we adhere to the laws without any compromise. Our transparency, work ethics, customer-centric approaches, and innovative solutions make Digido the fastest-growing financial institution in the Philippines.

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A crisis opens up new opportunities and brings drastic changes in perceptions. However, the change won’t be instantaneous. Banks or traditional lenders will continue to follow the conventional notions of banking or lending for some more time.

Digido, with its business acumen and technological adaptations, enables Filipinos to dream big and achieve their dreams even during the testing times of pandemics. And now you know how to claim SSS unemployment benefits.

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  • Who can avail of SSS unemployment benefits?
    To be eligible for the claim, an SSS member should not be over 60 years old at the time of the termination; not over 50, if an underground or surface mineworker; and not over 55, if a racehorse jockey.
  • How do I claim my SSS unemployment benefit after approval?
    To submit their benefit application online, members should log in to My. SSS account and click “apply for unemployment benefit claim” under the E-Services tab.
  • How long is the processing of SSS unemployment benefits?
    You'll receive the cash benefit after 5-10 working days from the date of application.
  • Can I claim my unemployment benefits within the same contingency period as other SSS benefits?
    No. In the case of two or more contingencies within the same period, the SSS will pay for the benefit with the highest amount.
  • How many days to receive SSS unemployment benefits?
    You can receive your unemployment benefits after 5 to 10 working days.
  • How do I claim SSS unemployment after approval?
    To submit their benefit application online, members should log in to My. SSS account and click “apply for unemployment benefit claim” under the E-Services tab.
  • Who can avail SSS unemployment benefits?
    To be eligible for the claim, an SSS member should not be over 60 years old at the time of the termination; not over 50, if an underground or surface mineworker; and not over 55, if a racehorse jockey.
  • How long is the processing of SSS unemployment benefit?
    You'll receive the cash benefit after 5-10 working days from the date of application.
Disclaimer and Editor’s note


Digido Financial Writers Team is a team of experts in the field of finance and credit, specializing in writing articles for Digido blogs.
Anna Kireeva
Author pages:
Anna is a marketing communications professional who specializes in digital marketing strategies and long-form content.

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