How To Apply for SSS Unemployment Benefit: An Ultimate Guide

Losing your job suddenly can be an extremely terrifying experience, especially if you are the primary provider for your family. How To Apply for SSS Unemployment Benefit: An Ultimate Guide This is an unfortunate reality for many Filipinos who rely solely on their employment for income. Fortunately, the Social Security System (SSS) offers an unemployment benefit as a key provision of the Social Security Act of 2018 (Republic Act 11199). This benefit can provide temporary financial assistance for Filipino employees who have recently been laid off while they search for new employment. This guide will walk you through the process of applying for and filing an SSS unemployment benefits claim so that you can maintain financial stability during this challenging time. Remember, while unemployment may be difficult, it is not the end of the world.

What Is the SSS Unemployment Benefit?

The SSS unemployment benefit, also known as unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit, provides cash assistance to Filipino employees, including kasambahays and Overseas Filipino Workers (both sea-based and land-based), who have lost their jobs unexpectedly. This benefit is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. It is the newest benefit offered by the Social Security System (SSS), which also provides other benefits such as maternity, sickness, disability, retirement, funeral, and death benefits.

The Social Security Act of 2018 (RA 11199) made unemployment benefits a reality and is implemented through Rule 27 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). During the COVID-19 pandemic, SSS approved over Php 1.2 billion in unemployment benefits for up to 60,000 premium-paying members who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. As of September 2021, the total number of recipients has reached 196,000 members, who have received PHP 2.35 billion worth of SSS unemployment benefits since March 2020.

SSS can finance unemployment benefits due to the increased SSS contribution, as mandated by RA 11199. This law increased SSS contributions from 11% to 12% in 2019, 13% in 2021, 14% in 2023, and 15% in 2025, with two-thirds to be shouldered by the employer and one-third by the employee.

When Did the SSS Unemployment Benefit Become Effective?

The SSS Circular No. 2019-0113 states that the regulations concerning unemployment benefits will be applicable to employees who have been involuntarily separated from their jobs on or after March 5, 2019. This implies that Filipino workers who have been terminated from their employment from March 5, 2019, onwards will be eligible for SSS unemployment insurance, subject to fulfilling the necessary qualification criteria, which will be elaborated on later.

When Should You File a Claim for SSS Unemployment Benefit?

The claim for unemployment benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) needs to be submitted within one year from the date of involuntary separation. In case the deadline falls on March 5, 2020, the member can still file the claim within 60 days from the last day of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or General Community Quarantine (GCQ) declared by the government.

To put it differently, if you are eligible for unemployment benefits in the Philippines, you can receive an amount equivalent to 50% of your monthly salary for a maximum of two months. For example, if your monthly salary is PHP 10,000, then the amount of insurance you can claim is PHP 5,000 per month, for a total of PHP 10,000.

Another way to calculate your unemployment benefit is to use the Average Monthly Salary Credit (AMSC) formula. The Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) is the basis for determining the amount of contribution that will be deducted from your salary. The MSC is calculated as the median of the range of compensation, with the minimum and maximum MSC set at PHP 3,000 and PHP 25,000, respectively.

Suppose you have a monthly salary of PHP 10,000, and your MSC is PHP 10,000 according to the SSS contribution table. However, your AMSC is calculated differently. According to the Social Security Act of 2018, your AMSC will be the higher of either:

  • The sum of the last sixty monthly salary credits divided by sixty, or
  • The sum of all the monthly salary credits paid prior to the semester of contingency divided by the number of monthly contributions paid in the same period.

Assuming your salary remains the same, your AMSC will also be PHP 10,000. Therefore, you can receive PHP 5,000 for one month, which is 50% of your AMSC.

If a member is unemployed, they are covered for a maximum of 2 months and will receive PHP 5,000 per month. Therefore, the total unemployment benefit a member can receive is PHP 10,000.

To calculate this benefit, you can multiply PHP 5,000 by 2, and then multiply the result by 50% (0.5), which gives you PHP 10,000.

However, in early 2021, a new bill was filed that proposes to triple the insurance benefits for unemployed members. Under this bill, the unemployment benefit would be equivalent to 50% of the member’s monthly salary for up to 6 months, instead of the current maximum of 2 months. For example, if a member earns PHP 10,000 per month, they could receive a total of PHP 30,000 in unemployment benefits if the bill is passed.

Who Are Qualified To Get SSS Unemployment Benefits?

The SSS unemployment insurance, also known as involuntary separation benefit, can be availed by employees, including kasambahays and OFWs, who meet the qualifying requirements.

  1. To qualify for SSS unemployment benefits, the individual must be no older than 60 years old at the time of losing their job, except for underground/surface mineworkers and racehorse jockeys who must be no older than 50 and 55 years old, respectively.
  2. The individual must have paid a minimum of 36 months’ worth of monthly contributions, with at least 12 of those months paid in the 18-month period preceding the month of involuntary separation/unemployment.
  3. The individual must not have received SSS unemployment benefits within the last three years before becoming unemployed. Only one application for this benefit is allowed every three years, so if the individual has already received it within that period, they will not be eligible for another one.

The individual must have been involuntarily separated or laid off due to a valid reason. This reason can be one of the authorized causes for termination under Articles 298 (283) and 299 (284) of P.D. No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines)7, as amended, or one of the causes that allow an employee to quit their job without notice to the employer, as stated under Article 300 (285) of P.D. No. 442 (Labor ode of the Philippines), as amended. Other causes of termination include economic downturn, natural or man-made disasters/calamities, and other similar cases to be determined by the SSS or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

who Is NOT Qualified To Get SSS Unemployment Benefits?

“Some employees who were laid off against their will may not be eligible for unemployment insurance provided by SSS. If the cause of termination falls under the circumstances listed in Article 297 (282) of P.D. No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines), as amended, employees cannot receive unemployment benefits. These circumstances include: [list the causes mentioned in the article].”

  • Serious misconduct;
  • Willful disobedience to lawful orders;
  • Gross and habitual neglect of duties;
  • Fraud or willful breach of trust/loss of confidence;
  • Commission of a crime or offense; or
  • Similar cases like abandonment, gross inefficiency, disloyalty/conflict of interest/dishonesty. To put it differently, you can only receive the benefits of unemployment insurance if your layoff was not caused by your own actions and was beyond your control. If your behavior led to the layoff, you will not be eligible for benefits, and your employer will have the power to prevent you from receiving them.

What Are the SSS Unemployment Benefits Requirements?

1. Original copy and photocopy of at least one (1) valid ID

You can bring any one of the following primary ID cards/documents:

    • Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) Card (SSS/GSIS);
    • SS card;
    • Alien Certificate of Registration;
    • Driver’s License;
    • Firearm Registration;
    • License to Own and Possess Firearms;
    • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance;
    • Passport;
    • Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence;
    • Postal Identity Card;
    • Seafarer’s Identification & Record Book; or

Voter’s ID Card.
In case you do not possess any of the valid IDs mentioned above, you have the option to present the original copies and photocopies of any two (2) ID cards or documents that are not included in the list. However, it is necessary that both of these documents bear your signature and at least one of them displays your photograph.

2. DOLE Certification (also known as Certificate of Involuntary Separation) with the attached Notice of Termination or Affidavit of Termination of Employment.

Employees who are eligible and interested in availing of the SSS unemployment benefits must obtain a certification from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to establish the date and nature of their involuntary separation. To apply for the DOLE certification, you must have at least one valid ID, although some DOLE offices require two valid IDs, one original and one photocopy. You also need to provide either a Notice of Termination of Employment issued by the employer or a duly notarized Affidavit of Termination of Employment, along with an original and photocopy of the document. The Certification Form will be provided by the DOLE.

To file an application for DOLE certification, local employees and kasambahays should visit the DOLE Field or Provincial Office where the employer is located or where the employee resides. For OFWs, they must visit the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) where the employer operates, or the DOLE Field/Provincial Office where the OFW resides. The DOLE or POLO will issue the DOLE certification within one day after verifying and receiving the complete documentary requirements submitted.

You can now request DOLE certification and submit the required documents online through the newly launched DOLE-NCR website if you are in NCR. This is a positive development for government services as it aims to reduce physical contact during the pandemic. To combat the spread of fake DOLE certificates, the DOLE and SSS will soon sign a joint memorandum circular to improve the process of filing for SSS unemployment benefits. Once the circular takes effect, applying for the DOLE Certification of Involuntary Separation can be done electronically.

3. Disbursement account

If your application gets approved, you will not receive unemployment benefits in the form of cash or check. The SSS requires beneficiaries to have a disbursement account enrolled with them through the Disbursement Account Enrollment Module (DAEM). The SSS will then disburse the unemployment benefits through any of the following payment channels:

  • UMID card enrolled as an ATM;
  • UBP (Union Bank of the Philippines) Quick Card. Your bank statement/certificate containing your name, account number, bank branch, and address is also accepted;
  • SSS-enrolled Bank Account. If you have an existing savings account from Union Bank or any other local bank, you may enroll it in SSS so you can receive the money directly from your account. Take note that the savings account must be a single account and from a PESONet-accredited bank.
  • Electronic wallet such as PayMaya or GCash.
  • Pick-up arrangement with remittance transfer companies (RTCs).

After approval, the unemployment benefits will be credited to your account so it’s imperative to have one of those mentioned above.

If you don’t have a bank account, you’ve got the following options:

To have a convenient and hassle-free way of receiving your Social Security System (SSS) benefits, you can apply for a UMID-ATM card, create an account with PayMaya or GCash, or get a UBP Quick Card at Union Bank of the Philippines.

If you already have a UMID card without ATM functionality, you can apply for a UMID-ATM card as a replacement. However, among the three options, getting a UBP Quick Card may be a more attractive choice because:

It’s a Visa card, so you can use it as a debit card for both online and offline purchases.

It has no maintaining balance, which means you won’t have to worry about keeping a minimum amount in your account.

It can be used as a personal bank account. If you need to transact with a bank, the UBP Quick Card can be a viable alternative.

It can be used for remittances, which is useful if you need to send or receive money from your loved ones.

It’s easy to obtain because you can apply for it at the same SSS branch where you file your application. UBP kiosks can be found at select SSS branches, including the main branches in Diliman, Makati, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao.

It can be used to receive other SSS claims, making it a versatile and convenient card to have.

How To Apply for SSS Unemployment Benefits Online: 7 Steps

The nationwide lockdown has resulted in a sudden increase in unemployment, prompting the Social Security System (SSS) to develop an online filing system. This system aims to expedite the process of applying for SSS unemployment benefits. SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio announced that the online filing system could be accessible to all affected workers as early as April 9. However, the exact number of displaced workers is still uncertain due to the limited workforce of the SSS.

Update: As of June 25, 2020, displaced workers eligible for SSS unemployment benefits can file their applications online. To apply online, follow the steps below.

1. Go to the new SSS online portal

You may access it by clicking this link. There are three portals to choose from MemberEmployer, and Small Business Wage Subsidy Program.

Since the SSS unemployment benefits are only available to members who have recently lost their jobs, choose Member.

2. Log in to your My.SSS account

Enter your user ID and password on the SSS Member Login page. Tick the captcha box and then click Submit to access your My.SSS account.

In case you have forgotten your user ID or password, read the instructions here to retrieve it.

If you haven’t created a My.SSS account yet, go to this SSS online registration guide to know about the process.

3. Select ‘Apply for Unemployment Benefit’ from the list of SSS E-Services

Hover your cursor over the E-SERVICES menu and then click Apply for Unemployment Benefit to proceed with the online application.

4. Fill out the online filing form

At the top of the page, you’ll see your mailing address, contact number, and email address connected to your account. Make sure they’re updated. You may click the link provided should you need to make any changes.

Then, fill out the online filing form.
Use the following guide to ensure you’ll provide accurate answers to the required fields:

Bank Details “If you have multiple savings accounts linked through the Disbursement Account Enrollment Module (DAEM), you can choose your preferred account from the options provided. If you haven’t registered any savings account yet or wish to use a different bank account to receive your unemployment benefits, you can click on the given link to enroll in a new bank account.”

Employment Category. Choose the employment category you belong to (e.g., Covered EmployeeOFW, Mine Worker, or Racehorse Jockey).

Date of Separation. This must be the date of your involuntary separation as indicated in your termination contract. The date is in MM/DD/YYYY format.

Reason for Unemployment.”If you have multiple savings accounts linked through the Disbursement Account Enrollment Module (DAEM), you can choose your preferred account from the options provided. If you haven’t registered any savings account yet or wish to use a different bank account to receive your unemployment benefits, you can click on the given link to enroll in a new bank account.                                                                                                        Employer Name.To proceed with claiming your benefits, ensure that your SSS account is up-to-date. Then, select your previous employer’s name from the provided drop-down list if you were involuntarily separated. It is important to carefully review the encoded details for accuracy and completeness. Any mistakes in the information provided may cause issues in receiving your entitled benefits. Once you have verified everything, click on the Proceed button.”

5. Read the certification

If you agree with the information provided, click Submit to proceed with the application.

6. Wait for the email notification from SSS

After receiving it, you must respond by sending scanned copies of the necessary documents, which include the certification issued by DOLE or POLO, as well as the notice or affidavit of termination from your employer. To learn more about these requirements, click on the provided link.

Ensure that the photo or scanned image of your document/s meets the file size requirement set by the SSS to avoid application rejection. If the attached document’s file size is either too small or too big, it could lead to rejection. If the required file size is 2 MB, adjust the size of your scanned images accordingly. If you only took a photo of the document, you can reduce the size by taking a screenshot of the same photo in your gallery.

Once you have submitted your requirements, the SSS will send you another email confirming that they have received your message and have started processing your application. Remember to save or take note of the ticket number, as you will need this when following up on your application later.

7. Wait for the release of your unemployment benefits

About 5 to 10 days from the date of your application, SSS will release the money either to your enrolled savings account or other payment channels approved by SSS such as your UMID-ATM card, PayMaya, and remittance transfer companies.

Tips and Warnings

An employee who is eligible for SSS unemployment benefits can only claim it once every three years from the date of involuntary separation or unemployment. If there are multiple compensable contingencies within the same period, only the highest benefit will be provided. This means that SSS cannot issue two benefits simultaneously. If an employee is qualified for both sickness and unemployment benefits during the same period, they can only receive the higher of the two.

If an unemployment benefit has been settled or approved, it may be deducted, partially or in full, from any future benefits that the employee may receive if: (1) there are overlapping benefits, (2) the employee files a case against their employer and the resolution shows that the termination was due to just cause or the employee is reinstated with back wages, (3) false claims are made, or (4) the employee is rehired within the same period.

It is important to avoid submitting a counterfeit or unofficial copy of the DOLE Certificate of Involuntary Separation. This illegal practice is known to the DOLE, and anyone caught will be subject to legal action.

For more information about SSS unemployment benefits, you can contact SSS through email (, hotline (1455), call center (7917-7777), or any of their social media channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I resigned from my job. Can I avail of SSS unemployment benefits?

The SSS unemployment benefit is only available to those who have been involuntarily separated from their job, meaning they were fired or laid off without their choice. If an employee voluntarily quits their job, they will not be eligible for the DOLE certificate required to qualify for SSS unemployment benefits.

2. My application for DOLE certification has been denied/rejected. Why?

There are various reasons why DOLE may decline to provide you with a certification. The following are the most common ones:

  1. You were terminated from your job, but your employer didn’t give you a termination contract.
  2. Your termination was due to redundancy, retrenchment/downsizing, business closure, etc., but your employer didn’t inform DOLE before giving you the termination contract.
  3. You were terminated due to serious misconduct or other reasons mentioned in Article 297 (282) of P.D. No. 442. (For more information, please refer to “Who are NOT eligible for SSS unemployment benefits?”)
  4. You voluntarily resigned from your job, which means you are not entitled to the “involuntary” separation benefit.
  5. Your termination contract contains inaccurate information, typographical errors, or spelling errors. In this case, request a revised contract from your company’s HR department.
  6. You are requesting a DOLE certification more than a year after your termination date. Keep in mind that you must file your claim within one year of your involuntary separation.3. I’m an SSS voluntary member. Can I avail myself of this unemployment benefit? the SSS unemployment benefits or insurance is solely offered to employed individuals, including kasambahays and OFWs, in case they lose their jobs. As a voluntary member who requires immediate funds for short-term necessities, you can consider applying for an SSS salary loan as an alternative option.

    4. Can I still apply for unemployment benefits even if I have an outstanding/existing SSS loan?

    “Absolutely. The unemployment benefit is considered a benefit, not a loan. So, if you have an existing loan, it won’t hinder you from receiving this benefit. You can apply for it as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria mentioned here and you haven’t voluntarily resigned from your job.”

5. How long is the processing time of the SSS unemployment benefits?

You’ll receive the cash benefit after 5-10 working days from the date of application.

6. I’ve been temporarily laid off. Am I qualified to get SSS unemployment benefits?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have been permanently laid off from your job. Being temporarily laid off will result in your application being rejected.

Layoffs occur when employees lose their jobs for reasons unrelated to their job performance. This means they are involuntarily separated from their work and may qualify for unemployment benefits.

However, layoffs can be either temporary or permanent. The Social Security System (SSS) only provides unemployment benefits to employees who have been permanently laid off and are already considered jobless without the company benefits they previously received.

7. I’m on floating or furlough status. Can I avail myself of the SSS unemployment benefits?

“Furloughed employees are still classified as employees, even if they are temporarily not being paid. They still have their employment rights and may still receive some company benefits. It’s important to note that they differ from laid-off workers, who are no longer considered employees of the company.

Because furloughed employees are still technically employed, they cannot be given the necessary termination contract and DOLE certificate required to qualify for SSS unemployment benefits.”

8. I became unemployed after my contract officially ended. Can SSS members like me who became jobless due to “endo” still apply for unemployment benefits?

“The SSS unemployment benefit is only available for workers who have been laid off or terminated from their job without their consent. If your contract has simply ended, and you have not been terminated, you will not be eligible for the SSS unemployment benefits, as a termination contract is required to qualify for the same.”

9. I was laid off from my job but got hired by a new employer soon after. Can I still apply for SSS unemployment benefits?

The SSS Circular No. 2019-011 does not contain any indication that employees who were laid off and subsequently hired by a new employer are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

However, there is a provision in the circular that stipulates that if an employee is rehired or re-employed during the compensable period, any settled unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit will be subtracted, either wholly or partially, from the employee’s future benefits as a member.

The compensable period is the duration in which an SSS member is entitled to receive unemployment benefits, which are limited to a maximum of two months. This implies that if an individual applies for unemployment benefits and is rehired or re-employed within two months following their involuntary separation from their prior employer, they may still receive benefits, but these benefits will be deducted either completely or partially (depending on how soon they are rehired) from any other SSS benefits they may apply for in the future.

10. Can members still apply for unemployment benefits over the counter?

The SSS is now promoting the submission of unemployment benefits claims through its online platform. This not only provides convenience but also safeguards members from various health hazards that may arise from going outside.

11. I already filed my application but haven’t received the benefit yet. How can I check the status of my SSS unemployment benefit?

It is not possible for SSS to send you a notification confirming the transfer of money to your account. The recommended course of action is to allow 5 to 10 days for the money to appear in your bank account, and you can also check your My.SSS account to see if the unemployment benefit has been processed and delivered.

Alternatively, you can reach out to SSS through their email address ( or social media platforms for assistance.

It is important to note that the most effective method of verifying the status of your unemployment benefits is via email. To make an inquiry via email, please provide the following information in the English language to

  1. Full name
  2. SSS number
  3. Details of your concern
  4. Photo or scanned copy of any of the following: UMID Card/PhilID/one (1) primary card/document; or Two (2) valid ID cards/documents, both of which must have your signature and at least one of which must contain your picture
  5. Photo/selfie of you holding your ID cards/documents

To avoid your request from getting rejected, please ensure that the size of your file attachment/s doesn’t exceed 4 MB.

To follow up on an email inquiry sent to SSS without receiving a response yet, you can visit their official Facebook page and leave a comment on one of their posts. However, in order for SSS to check the status of your inquiry, you will need to provide them with the ticket number, which can be found in the auto-generated response sent to you after your initial email inquiry.

Another option available to you is to contact the SSS hotlines on weekdays, though you should be prepared for lengthy wait times since their call center receives a high volume of calls daily. Here are the contact numbers for the SSS Call Center:

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