June 30, 2018

Disability Benefits in the Philippines: An Expat’s Guide

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  • Living life with a disability is not always easy. Whether one has been disabled since birth or through an accident, there are always a couple of challenges that comes with not being 100% able. Thankfully there are certain agencies in nearly every country that recognize the need to provide benefits for persons with disabilities.

    For expats living in the Philippines, you may be wondering whether you are eligible for disability benefits and how you can claim said benefits. Worry not as we at Philippine Primer try our best to put you at ease as we explain your guide to disability help in the Philippines.

    For Expats Working in the Philippines

    In the Philippines, there are two agencies in charge of benefits: GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) and SSS (Republic of the Philippines Social Security System). As the name suggests, the former is in charge of the benefits of those employed in government service while the latter is for the private sector. To avoid confusion, let’s focus on SSS.

    If you are working in the Philippines, chances are your employer registered you to be an SSS member. Should there be an unfortunate event that renders you disabled, either partially permanent like the loss of a digit, or totally permanent like blindness, you will be eligible for disability benefits, provided that you’ve paid at least one (1) monthly contribution to the agency prior to the semester of contingency.

    Types of Disability Benefits

    Under the SSS, there are 2 types of disability benefits:

    1. Monthly Pension – a cash benefit paid to a disabled member who has paid at least 36 monthly contributions prior to the semester of disability.
    2. Lump Sum Amount – granted to those who have not met the recognized 36 monthly contributions

    How Much Will You Get?

    For the monthly pension, the amount will be based on your number of paid contributions and how long you’ve been a member before the semester of contingency. Members with less than 10 credited years of service will receive a monthly pension of Php 1,000, those with at least 10 years will receive Php 1,200 and those with at least 20 years will receive Php 2,400.

    Two basic formulas are needed to calculate the lump sum amount:

    • Permanent Total Disability – lump sum is equal to the monthly pension multiplied by the number of monthly contributions paid to SSS, or 12 times the monthly pension. Whichever is higher of the two will be the lump sum benefit.
    • Permanent Partial Disability – lump sum is equal to the monthly pension multiplied by the number of monthly contributions, multiplied by the percentage of disability in relation to the whole body, or the monthly pension 12 times the percentage of disability. Again, whichever is higher of the two will be the lump sum benefit.

    Collecting Payment

    For both benefits, members can receive payment through a new or existing savings account at any SSS-accredited bank of their choice.

    Receiving Disability Benefits from Abroad

    There are times when foreigners are already disabled before even coming to the Philippines. This usually means that they receive disability benefits from their home country.

    If this is the case, it’s best for them to discuss if and how they will be eligible to continually receive disability benefits should they leave their home country and settle in the Philippines since policies change per agency and country.

    For more information regarding the disability benefits of SSS, you can visit their website sss.gov.ph

    Written by Katherine Zaballa
    Sources: sss.gov.phncda.gov.ph

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