SSS to give maternity, sickness benefits to employers through Bank Program

MANILA, March 13 (PNA) — Social Security System (SSS) provides a faster way for employers to receive their sickness and maternity reimbursement for advance payment through SSS Sickness and Maternity Benefit Payment thru the Bank (SMB PB) Program.

With this program, reimbursements are coursed through the employer’s own bank account instead of waiting for SSS checks from the mail.

For the sickness benefit, SSS will reimburse for confinements within one year period upon receipt of employer’s reimbursement claim.

For example, SSS receives the employer’s reimbursement claim on Oct. 3, 2004 for the sickness period September 23 to Oct. 14, 2003. The employer will be reimbursed for the period Oct. 4 to 14, 2003 only as Sept. 23 to Oct. 3, 2003 falls outside the prescribed one-year period for reimbursement claim.

The same goes with maternity benefits where the employer is reimbursed 100 percent of the amount of maternity benefit advanced upon receipt of legal and reasonable proof of such payment.

According to Agnes San Jose, SSS Vice President for Benefits Administration, SMB PB Program eliminates the waiting period it takes for the reimbursement checks to be claimed by employers which takes a minimum of one month depending on the employer’s mailing address. Preceding the new program, checks were being delivered through Philpost.

“Companies, as well as household employers, will benefit from the SMB PB Program since it addresses concerns regarding lost, misdelivered or stale reimbursement checks that can take several months to replace,” San Jose said.

From January to November 2013, SSS disbursed a sum of P4.03 billion for maternity benefits of over 211,000 members while payments for sickness benefits over the same period totaled to P1.65 billion for 340,000 members.

Employers nationwide have been required by SSS since January 2014 to enroll in the SMB PB Program by accomplishing the official enrollment form available in any SSS branch, SSS-accredited bank and the SSS website.

SMB PB program has received over 1,000 positive feedbacks from National Capital Region who participated voluntarily in the program for the past several years. (PNA)