THE state-run Social Security System (SSS) had set additional guidelines on the receipt and processing of maternity benefit claims following the ease of doing business and to effectively implement Republic Act No. 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EMLL).
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said the guidelines will be used for maternity benefit claims of every delivery, miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy (ETP) that occurred on or after March 11, 2019.
"These new service procedures and standards, fitted to the provisions of the EMLL, are designed to expedite maternity benefit processing while still ensuring that there will be no fraudulent claims," Ignacio said.
Among the amendments is the simplification of documentary requirements for the benefit program.
For cesarean deliveries, additional documents indicating the type of delivery will no longer be required.
Also, instead of returning Maternity Claim Applications and supporting documents with minor discrepancies or inconsistencies, the SSS will now receive and process them if the member's identity can be established in them.
Female members applying for their maternity benefit claims are given the option to either update or retain their maiden names.
Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members in apostille countries now have the efficient and less costly option of submitting supporting documents issued with an apostille by the Foreign Ministry, Embassy or Consulate General, in substitute of authentication from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General.
SSS also eases maternity reimbursement claim process for employers whose employees did not return back to work and was not able to submit the documentary requirements as employed members are now required to accompany its notification forms with proof of pregnancy such as pregnancy tests duly signed by a physician or municipal health officer, or diagnostic test results such as ultrasound or blood pregnancy tests.
Additional documents will also be required for solo parents who under the EMLL may be granted an additional 15 days. They will be required to present a Solo Parent ID issued within two years from the date of delivery or certification of eligibility of the Solo Parent both issued by the Local Government Unit and signed by the social worker and the city/municipal mayor.
In addition to the said enhancements, the SSS, as part of its ongoing efforts to digitalize its processes, has been accepting maternity notifications of self-employed, voluntary, OFW and non-working spouse members through its e-channels such as the SSS mobile app or My.SSS at www.sss.gov.ph.
"With these new guidelines in place, we hope our members and their employers may conveniently access our maternity benefit program," Ignacio said.
For the complete list of documentary requirements for the program, members may inquire at any SSS branch, visit its website at www.sss.gov.ph, call its hotline at 920-6446 to 55, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maternity benefit forms are downloadable at the SSS website. Existing forms may still be used until revised forms are available. (PR)