THE Social Security System (SSS) has recently implemented new guidelines for the filing and claiming of funeral benefits for its deceased members.
The revision of the policy, which started last October 2023, is to “give justice to those members who are paying for a long time and those members who are paying maximum,” said SSS Davao Branch senior analyst Greta Fe Quayle during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao.
Under the new guidelines cited in SSS Memorandum Advisory Circular No. 2023-009, only qualified claimants are eligible to process and claim the benefits. Employers or companies like funeral parlors or cemeteries are no longer allowed to process and claim the benefits.
According to Acting SSS Regional Communications Officer Geneva Shaula Virrey, they are strictly following the order of priority among claimants. The top priority on the list is the surviving legal spouse of the deceased member, if married.
“Unlike before, kung kinsa ang naay resibo mao na ang mo-file sa funeral nato. Sa karon naa tay order of priority, number one na ang surviving legal spouse (whoever has receipts of the funeral expenses can file for the benefit, but for now, we have the order of priority, and our number one priority is the surviving legal spouse),” Virrey said.
However, she said that they have set mechanisms for those whose surviving spouse is separated from the deceased member or when the surviving legal spouse is not the one who is paying for the funeral expenses.
This is done through a waiver or a joint affidavit, allowing other qualified claimants to process and claim the benefits.
“If ever dili ang asawa ang nagbayad sa funeral, pwede mag waiver si asawa, or magbuhat og joint affidavit nga dili siya ang nag gasto sa funeral expenses or dili ma-locate si asawa, especially kanang mga nagbulag na (If ever the surviving spouse is not the one who pays the funeral expenses, the spouse may issue a waiver, or make a joint affidavit that the spouse is not the one who pays the funeral expenses, or if the surviving spouse cannot be located, especially those who are separated),” she explained.
The separated surviving spouse may issue a waiver so that their child, the sibling of the deceased, or anyone designated to claim the benefit, Virrey further explained.
The other qualified claimants in the order of priority include children, siblings, or any other person who has receipts of the funeral expenses.
The amount of the burial benefit that eligible claimants may receive has also been revised under the new rules. It now varies and is mostly dependent on the number of contributions the deceased member made.
Under the new guidelines, those who contributed one month to 35 months will get a fixed amount of P12,000. Those with 36 months and above will receive a variable amount from P20,000 to P60,000, depending on the actual number of contributions.
The processing and claiming of funeral benefits is now following a prescriptive period of 10 years from the death of the deceased member. Those exceeding the prescriptive period are no longer permitted to process and claim the benefits.
For information regarding the processing and claiming of funeral benefits, qualified members and claimants can visit the My.SSS Portal (www.sss.gov.ph). PIA DAVAO