The state-run Social Security System (SSS) announced it will no longer give benefit payouts to its members through check. Under the new program, lump sum benefit payments will be remitted by SSS to the member or claimant’s account on their preferred SSS-accredited bank.
Benefits that will now be released through banks are the Lump-sum for Disability, Death and Retirement Benefits, and Employees Compensation (EC) Disability says SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio. These benefits were once released via checks.
“This improvement allows the SSS to efficiently and safely administer the payment of benefits to its members and their rightful beneficiaries.” Ignacio said.
There are 67 SSS-accredited paying banks such as: Asia United Bank Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, China Banking Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, EastWest Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank, Trust company, and Union Bank of the Philippines as of writing.
Qualifications for the checkless benefit pay-out system:
- A qualified member or claimant for any of the mentioned programs will now be required to present to a bank document with his/her name.
- For members or claimants that have no existing savings account, SSS will issue a letter of introduction for them to present to their chosen SSS-accredited bank.
- Bank documents that may be presented are any of the following: a single savings account passbook, ATM card with name and account number, validated initial deposit slip or copy of bank/statement, if the name of member or claimant and/or savings account number is not indicated in the ATM card or an accomplished Visa Cash Card enrollment form.
- The bank certificate or statement shall be duly signed by the bank’s authorized signatory and shall contain the complete name of the member or claimant, savings account number, the bank’s branch name and complete address.
“Members or claimants may also use their Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card if it is enrolled as an ATM. These are UMID cards issued with EMV chips.” Ignacio said.
Also, when the amount of benefit is P1000 and below, or when the member or claimant is confined in an applicable institution such as penitentiary, correctional institution or rehabilitation center, the member is not qualified of the check-less transaction.
On the other hand, some cases are exempted from the mandatory release of the said lump sum benefits thru banks. These include cases when the address of the member or claimant is beyond thirty(30) kilometers to the nearest SSS-accredited bank or in a high-risk area where peace and order is unstable due to the presence of armed conflict.
“The program has been really effective since its implementation. It is more convenient for our members since they do not have to wait for or get their checks and personally encash it on the assigned bank. They’ll just have to wait for their benefits to be credited to their respective accounts and withdraw it whenever they need it.” Ignacio said.
When the member or claimant is physically incapable of transacting business with the bank and when there are multiple legal heirs as claimants, he/she will be exempted.