My mother-in-law has been struggling with her diabetes for several years now. Last year, she had her left leg amputated due to a small wound on her foot that got worse and complicated due to her diabetes. She has fully recovered from that operation but she is still undergoing therapy sessions to help her recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Upon learning that she is eligible to file disability benefit from SSS, we went to the SSS-Cubao branch in June 2017. We inquired about the SSS Disability Benefit and we were given a list of all the documents needed to file for it.
After accomplishing all the required documents, we went back to the SSS office yesterday. We submitted these documents:
- Disability Claim Application (DISCA)
- 2 Valid IDs (because she didn’t have a UMID yet)
- Member’s Photo and Signature Card
- Medical Certificate (filled out and signed by her attending physician)
- Medical Records
- Operating Records (for her amputation)
- latest lab results (taken within 1 month)
- lab results in the last 2 years or older
- Savings Account Number (she opened a new account at BPI)
The Supervising Physician of SSS-Cubao branch, Dr. Veronica Egot Oarde, checked my mother-in-law (physical examination) and explained the SSS Disability Benefit.
However, there were some concerns regarding her disability claim.
- She has paid 108 contributions to SSS as of today. She has to pay 12 more monthly contributions to complete the required 120 monthly contributions to be eligible for the SSS retirement benefit.
- She is 59 years old now and she’ll turn 60 in July 2018.
- She wants to pay the remaining 12 monthly contributions at P1,760 per month so that she could get a higher pension when she retires.
Because of these concerns, the physician advised us to discuss the matter with Mr. Arestain of the SSS Retirement Claim department.
Here’s what Mr. Arestain explained to us:
- My Mother-In-Law (MIL) can’t file both SSS Disability and Retirement Benefits at the same time.
- If her Disability Benefit Claim is approved, there’s a big chance that SSS will shoulder her remaining 12 monthly contributions.
- If she pays her remaining 12 monthly contributions today, even if she pays the maximum amount, it may not adversely affect the amount of her retirement monthly pension. Why? Because the computation of retirement pension is taken from the number of contributions and the last 5 years of contributions before her retirement age. In the SSS records, my MIL has not paid her contributions in the last 5 years. If she pays for the last 1 year (12 months) before she turns 60, her retirement pension might just be the same (very little or no difference at all) if she lets SSS pay for her remaining 12 monthly contributions through her disability benefit. So why pay when SSS can do it for her?
- Mr. Arestain also explained that even if she files for her Retirement benefit, my MIL could not enjoy it yet if she is still receiving her monthly pension from her Disability Benefit. SSS Retirement and SSS Disability Benefits must not overlap.
- If my MIL really wants to receive a higher pension, Mr. Arestain suggested paying the maximum monthly contribution for the next 5 years or until she turns 65 before she files her Retirement. But again, my MIL has to wait until her Disability Claim is approved to know how long will she receive a monthly pension and when she can continue paying her monthly contributions.
- Or, my MIL may not push through with the filing of her Disability Benefit and just pay the monthly contributions and file her Retirement Benefit instead.
But since my MIL could not decide at the moment, we just decided to file her SSS Disability Benefit and find out how much she’s going to receive and for how long. The family will just decide later on what to do next.
Dr. Oarde and Mr. Arestain could not give us an estimated amount of how much can my MIL get from her disability pension as there’s another department who does the assessment and computation. The processing of the disability claim usually takes 1-2 months and only then can we find out the actual amount and other details.
We will update this post once my MIL receives her disability benefit.