Being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), you can still claim SSS maternity benefits if you give birth abroad. However, there are conditions that you must comply to.
In this article, I write about how to claim SSS maternity benefits if you give birth outside the Philippines and how to compute your SSS maternity benefits. They are solely based on my own experience and I may not cover other special cases.
Table of Contents:
- What is SSS maternity benefit?
- Prerequisites to claiming SSS maternity benefit as an OFW
- Things to do while you are pregnant
- Things to do to claim your SSS maternity benefit after you give birth
- How to calculate your SSS maternity benefit
- Use our calculator to know your SSS maternity benefit amount
Below is an infographic that shows a brief overview of the process of claiming SSS maternity benefits for OFW. The succeeding sections explain the details.
What is SSS maternity benefits for OFW?
Any female that is registered as an SSS member can receive the SSS Maternity benefits when you give birth or had miscarriage.
As an OFW, you can avail of this maternity benefit without any work-related conditions. Whether you are employed or not OR receiving paid leave or not, you can claim this benefit under the OFW member coverage.
Since you are based outside the Philippines, you are by default classified by SSS as an OFW member. How much SSS contribution you pay to SSS every month depends on you and is voluntary. However, if you want to avail this maternity benefit, you must pay a specific amount at a specific period of time. Continue reading to find out more.
Things to do BEFORE you claim SSS maternity benefits for OFW
1. Make sure that your SSS membership is active.
If you were employed in the Philippines before you left abroad, it is most likely that you have an SSS membership. But if you left without continuing your contributions, it may become inactive. Make sure that your SSS membership is active before you apply for a maternity benefit. To do this, log on to the SSS website.
At the same time, make sure that your personal information is updated especially your married name and self-employed status e.g. OFW. You can update them in your online account.
If you don’t have an online SSS account yet, you can register for one. To find out how, read this article: SSS online membership account guide.
2. Pay at least three (3) monthly contributions during the 12-month period prior before your semester of contingency
You can do this by paying at any international remittance centres. Or you can pay your monthly contributions online via UnionBank or any BancNet online portals.
You can pay contributions monthly OR you can make bulk payments.
For OFWs, the schedule of payments are as follows:
- To make payments for the months of January to December of a given year, you must pay within the same year.
- To make payments for the months October to December of a given year, you must pay on or before the 31st of January of the next year.
Within the 12-month period prior to your semester of contingency, you should have made at least three (3) monthly contributions.
Now what is semester of contingency?
Semester of contingency is the estimated period of time that you might give birth. One semester is basically two (2) consecutive quarters in a year. Look at the following image below:
Things to do while you are pregnant
1. Know if you are eligible for SSS maternity benefits for OFW
Before submitting your maternity notification, check first if you are eligible to claim maternity benefit via your SSS online account.
To do this, log on to your SSS online account. From the main menu, select E-Services > Member Inquiry > Eligibility> Sickness/ Maternity.
2. Notify SSS of your pregnancy
You can notify SSS of your pregnancy in two ways:
- Going to the nearest SSS branch
- Doing it online via the SSS website
Deadline for submission/ notification is not later than 60 days from the date of conception but not later than the delivery date. Now what does that mean? The date of conception is the day on which baby is conceived. Scientifically speaking, that is the day on which the father’s sperm fertilised the mother’s egg. When you know your date of conception, that is the earliest you can notify SSS. But that is not realistic. So the best practical solution is simply this: As soon as you learn you’re pregnant, you can go ahead and lodge a maternity notification. BUT you cannot lodge a notification after you give birth.
For example, you found out you’re pregnant at 6 weeks in. From this period of time until you actually give birth is the perfect time to lodge a maternity notification.
2a. Going to the nearest branch
If you choose to notify SSS of your maternity personally, you must submit the following requirements:
- SSS/ UMID card
- Maternity Notification Form SSS Form MAT-1 (can be downloaded in the SSS website)
- Proof of pregnancy bearing the Expected Date of Delivery such as ultrasound report
If you cannot do this personally, you may ask a representative to do this for you and submit the documents. Take note that additional documents may be required from your representative.
2b. Notifying SSS through your online account
If you choose to notify SSS of your maternity through online, do the following:
- Log on to your online SSS account.
- From the main menu, select E-Services > Submit Maternity Notification.
- If your submission is successful, you should receive a confirmation email from SSS.
- You can also check on your SSS online account under E-Services > Member Inquiry > SMEC> Maternity Notification.
Things to do to claim your SSS maternity benefit AFTER you give birth
You can claim your SSS maternity benefit within the next ten years.
To claim your maternity benefit, go to your nearest SSS branch and submit the following documents:
Main Requirements e.g. Normal Delivery:
- Maternity Reimbursement Form SSS Form MAT-2 (can be downloaded in the SSS website)
- OB History Form to be completed and signed by your OB Gyne
- Report of Birth from the Philippine Embassy
- Duly-received Maternity Notification Form SSS Form MAT-1 or formal letter of explanation of non-notification/ late filing
- Photocopy of SSS/UMID card OR passport and work pass
- If valid IDs are under your maiden name, photocopy of marriage contract (must be registered copy or NSO-issued)
Additional requirements in case of delivery through cesarean section:
- Operating Room Record or In-patient Discharge Summary
- Photocopy of hospital bills
After submitting these requirements, you can expect the check to be sent to your home address or the address you provided to SSS. It can take up to one month. Upon receiving the check, you can encash it at your bank.
How to calculate your SSS maternity benefit
If you don’t want to manually compute the numbers, just use the calculator we created for you.
For those who give birth January 2020 onwards, you can receive a maximum maternity benefit of P70,000 if you declare P20,000 as your maximum monthly salary credit. Read more how this is calculated.
1. Identify your Monthly Salary Credit (MSC)
How much you will benefit amount depends on your Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) during the 12-month period preceding the semester of contingency. Now, what is Monthly Salary Credit. It simply is your salary amount recognized by SSS.
Look at the table below. If you have a salary of 6000 pesos, then you belong in the bracket of below 8,250 and your MSC is 8000. See first row. If your salary is 30,000 then you belong to the 19,750 above bracket and your MSC is 20000. See last row. Based on that, look at the TOTAL CONTRIBUTION column, that is the amount you should contribute to SSS monthly.
For example, your salary belongs to the bracket in (1). That means, your monthly payments should be 2190 pesos or 2160 pesos.
Honestly, I think you can disregard looking at the columns and just pay off the maximum amount. We don’t have Philippine-based employers who supplement our SSS payments, so this table does not practically apply. And remember, you can only get the maximum amount of 70k pesos as maternity benefit if your Monthly Salary Credit is 20000 pesos.
2. Multiply your MSC by 6:
20,000 x 6 = 120,000
3. Divide the result by 180 days:
120,000/180 = P667 (rounded off)
This corresponds to the daily rate you would have received during the 180 days of your contingency.
4. Lastly, multiply by 105 days.
It used to be 60 days for normal delivery, and 78 days for cesarean. But in the 2019 changes implemented by SSS, it is now 105 days for both deliveries.
667 x 105 = 70,000 pesos This is your benefit amount
An additional 15 days is awarded to a solo parent. So:
667 x 120 = P80000 if solo parent
If you don’t want to manually compute the numbers, just use the calculator we created for you below.
Use our calculator to know your SSS maternity benefit amount
The following calculator automatically calculates the benefit amount based on your input. No need to manually compute, just answer the two questions below.
That’s it. How about you mommies or mommies-to be, were you able to process your SSS maternity benefit?