One of the Social Security System branches in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
The Social Security System (SSS) on Thursday assured members infected with COVID-19, particularly those who just stayed at home instead of a medical facility, that they can avail themselves of sickness benefits.
The state-run pension fund issued the statement to correct any impression that only those confined in hospitals were eligible.
Citing its rules, the SSS said "members who cannot work due to sickness or injury and are confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four days could avail of the sickness benefit."
The benefit also covers overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as well as self-employed and voluntary members of the SSS.
"COVID-19-infected members in home confinement can qualify if they have paid at least three monthly contributions within the last 12 months before the semester of sickness or injury and are confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four days," the SSS said.
"For employed members, they should have used all their current company sick leave with pay and notified their employer about their sickness. Self-employed, voluntary, and OFW-members and those separated from employment must notify the SSS directly by filing a sickness benefit application," it added.
The SSS allows online filing of sickness benefit reimbursement applications via the My.SSS portal.
Members can avail themselves of a maximum of 120 days' worth of sickness benefit during one calendar year.
The daily cash allowance to be paid to beneficiaries will amount to 90 percent of the computed average daily salary credit.To apply, those infected with COVID-19 must present a positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test or rapid antigen test done in a Department of Health-accredited facility.
The SSS will also accept the result of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved rapid antigen test kit.For those with non-FDA-approved rapid antigen test results, the SSS also requires them to submit copies of certificates of completion of quarantine, which must be issued and signed by a medical officer from their local government units or their barangay's health emergency response team. —Ben O. de Vera
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