The Social Security System (SSS) has temporarily extended the filing periods of sickness notifications and sickness benefit claims for contingencies starting on 1 March until 30 April 2020.
SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio said the initiative is for its members and employers to avoid the penalties of late filing while there is the occurring threat of COVID-19.
For sickness notifications of home confinement, under the temporary extension, employed members may submit their Sickness Notification Forms to their employers within 60 calendar days after the end of their confinement. Their employers, on the other hand, are also given 60 calendar days from the receipt of the said forms to submit them to SSS.
Self-employed (SE), voluntary members (VM), and Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members are likewise given 60 calendar days after the end of their confinement to submit their applications to SSS.
Meanwhile, sickness benefit claims for home and hospital confinement with filing deadlines that fall within the said temporary extension period will not be reduced or denied.
Employers and SE/VM/OFW members may still file their sickness benefit claims until 30 June 2020.
“We understand the situation that our members are currently experiencing due to this public health crisis. As part of our mandate in providing meaningful social security protection in times of contingencies, we have adopted a flexible schedule to accommodate their sickness benefit claims,” Ignacio said.
Before the temporary extension, the filing of sickness notifications for employed members is within five calendar days after the start of their confinement, and another five calendar days is given to the employers to notify the sickness of their employees to SSS. The same applies to SE/VM/OFW members on the submission of their applications to the SSS. OFW members, however, are given a 30-day grace period to submit their respective applications given the nature and location of their employment overseas.
The prescriptive filing period for sickness benefit claims, on the other hand, is within one year from the last day of confinement, if in a hospital, or one year from the start of the illness, if at home.
Employers are also encouraged to pay in advance the sickness benefits of their respective employees, which is one of their primary obligations under the Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.