State-run Social Security System said its payments for death benefit claims declined last year due to the quarantine protocols that limited people’s movements.

In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive said on Tuesday, March 23,  that death benefit claim disbursements under the Social Security (SS) Fund went down by 2.3 percent in January to December last year to P54.65 billion.

Ignacio said the death benefit claims were paid to 1.05 million members  

Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive
Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive

“Considering that filing of death benefit claims is still being done thru the drop-box system, branch appointment, or thru number coding system, the number of benefit claims received and processed were also affected,” Ignacio said. 

“Our employees are also on an Alternative Working Arrangements (AWA)—in compliance with Civil Service Commission (CSC) guidelines which means only 50-70 percent of our personnel works in the office permanently,” she added.

To compare in previous years, death benefit disbursements in 2016 reached P38.36 billion to 797,337 members; P52.29 billion to 0.95 million members in 2017; P53.38 billion to 1.01 million members in 2018; and P55.93 billion in 2019 to 1.06 million members.  

SSS grants death benefit cash allowance to beneficiaries of a deceased member, either as a monthly pension or lump sum amount. 

A monthly pension is given to primary beneficiaries of the deceased member who has paid at least 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death. 

They are also entitled to a 13th month pension payable every December and an additional P1,000 benefit on top of the monthly pension. 

However, a one-time lump sum amount is given to the beneficiaries of a deceased member who has paid less than 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death.

In similar news, death benefit payments under the Employees Compensation (EC) Fund reached P1.05 billion in 2020 to 16,252 members; P1.13 billion in 2019 to 16,264 members; P1.34 billion in 2018 to 16,366 members; P851.19 million in 2017 to 15,971 members; and P848.76 million in 2016 to 13,929 members.

Source: Manila Bulletin (