The state-run Social Security System (SSS) on Friday said it will no longer disburse benefit payouts to its members through checks.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said lump sum disability, death and retirement benefits, including Employees’ Compensation (EC) disability benefit, which were previously released through checks, are now mandatorily released thru banks.
“This improvement allows the SSS to efficiently and safely administer the payment of benefits to its members and their rightful beneficiaries,” Ignacio said.
Under the program, lump sum benefit payments are remitted by the SSS to the member or claimant’s account in their preferred SSS-accredited bank.
As of writing, 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 and Trust Company, Philippine National Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, Security Bank and Trust Company, and Union Bank of the Philippines.
A qualified member or claimant for any of the said benefit programs will now be required to present to the SSS a bank document with his/her name.
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 certificate/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 enrolment 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, and 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.
For members or claimants that have no existing single savings account, the SSS will issue them a letter of introduction for them to present to their chosen SSS-accredited bank.
On the other hand, some cases are exempted from the mandatory release of the said lump sum benefits through banks. These include cases when the address of the member or claimant is beyond 30 kilometers to the nearest SSS-accredited bank or in a high-risk area where peace and order are unstable due to the presence of armed conflict.
Also, when the amount of benefit is P1,000 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 for the check-less transaction.
Similarly, 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.
“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.