What are the Maternity Benefits in the Philippines?

What are the Maternity Benefits in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, mothers are giving birth to about 302 newborn babies for each hour. This roughly estimates to a total of 7,255 babies in a day!

Due to the increasing amount of childbirth in the country, the local government and officials have thought of ways on how to support the mothers financially and aid their overall health and wellbeing needs.

How long is the Maternity Benefit in the Philippines?

By the year 2019, former Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11210 known as the Expanded Maternity Leave Law converting the initial 60-day maternity leave to 105 days for mothers who gave birth to live babies and 60 days for mothers who experienced stillbirths or miscarriages.

This is to ensure that the mothers will be able to attend to the first 1,000 days of their infants at the same time, to have enough time to recover and heal.

Who established the New Maternity Benefit in the Philippines?

Did you know that In 2020, the SSS or Social Security System which is a state-run social insurance program provider to Filipino workforce including private, professional and informal sectors declared the release of the increased maternity benefit amounting to ₱10.49 Billion to aid and support the Filipino mothers in their financial needs and hospital expenses intended for giving birth? You’ve read it right! 

This is on top of the 105 expanded maternity leave days included in the maternity bill written by the Philippine former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and re-elect Philippine senator Risa Hontiveros, the bill also indicates assistance for solo parents as well as unmarried women.

Luckily, another institution offering Maternity Benefit programs is the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation locally known as PhilHealth.

Who is eligible to avail the Maternity Leave Benefit?

All women working in the private and public sectors can definitely apply for maternity leave and its benefits!

Those who are self-employed and are overseas workers are also eligible for the benefit given that they have contributions for at least 3 months within the 12-month period prior to the semester when the child is born through SSS.

Those who have contributed for at least 9 months within the 12 months prior to the semester of giving birth are eligible to apply for the maternity leave and its benefits through PhilHealth given that they gave birth at any PhilHealth-accredited medical facilities and/or hospitals.

How to compute for your SSS Maternity Benefit?

The generic formula in computing for the SSS Maternity Benefit is (Average Monthly Salary Credit ÷ 180) x Number of paid leave days.

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Given the formula above, you may also estimate your SSS Maternity Benefit using the below methods:

  1. Exclude the months prior to giving birth or the months before you had a miscarriage. Say, you gave birth in June 2022, do not include months January to June 2022 in the counting.
  2. Count 12 months backwards from the semester of giving birth. In the example above, the 12-month period is January to December 2021.
  3. Get the total monthly salary credit (MSC) of the 12 months (January to December 2021) period. You may refer to the table of SSS contributions to identify your monthly salary credit. 

Note: This table changes from time to time, thus, make it a habit to always keep yourself updated. 

If your monthly salary credit is at 30,000 Php (January to December 2021), your MSC will be at 20,000Php. The total amount of your six highest MSCs will be 120,000 Php given that 20,000Php is multiplied to 6.

  1. Know your average daily salary credit or ADSC by dividing your average MSC (120,000Php) to 180 days giving you an amount resulting in 666.67 Php.
  2. Finally, to get the amount of your Maternity Benefit, multiply your ADSC to the number of days you will be on maternity leave:
  • Those who have given birth via normal or C-section delivery = 105 days
  • Solo parents = 120 days
  • Those who had miscarriage/ stillbirth/ abortion = 60 days

Say for example, you gave birth via C-section, the calculation of your maternity benefit will be (120,000 Php ÷ 180) multiplied by 105 days giving you a maternity benefit total amount of 70,000 Php.

For solo parents, it will be (120,000 Php ÷ 180) multiplied by 120 days yielding a total of 80,000 Php.

As for those who had miscarriage/ stillbirth/ abortion who are entitled to avail a 60-day maternity leave days, a Maternity benefit of 40,000 Php should be granted.

Note: Expecting mothers should know that their companies should continue paying them the full amount of their salaries even if they are away from work. This is mandated under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law stating that companies should pay the salary differential which is the employee’s full income less the actual maternity benefit.

How to apply for the SSS Maternity Benefit as a Member?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how mothers can apply to claim their Maternity Benefit online:

  1. Create a My.SSS account at https://www.sss.gov.ph.
  2. Log in once your account is verified and activated.
  3. Go to “E-services” and click “Benefits”, see image below:
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  1. Choose “Apply for Maternity Benefit” and read the corresponding guidelines and instructions as well as the terms.
  2. Upload the requirements being asked (i.e. a proof of non-claim from your current or past employer and your child’s certified true copy of live birth certificate or a legal document proving that you gave birth/ experienced miscarriage/did abortion/ had stillbirth).
  3. Notifications will be sent to the email address which you set to be linked in your My.SSS account so make sure that you have access to the said email address.

Note: One prerequisite to a successful claim is to enroll one disbursement bank account to ensure that your monetary claim will be directly credited to your bank account.

How can I enroll a Disbursement Account?

In order to have a disbursement account for your benefit claim or future loans, you must have an active My.SSS account. Below are the steps on how you can enroll for a disbursement account:

  1. Create a My.SSS account at https://www.sss.gov.ph.
  2. Log in once your account is verified and activated.
  3. Go to “E-services” and click “Disbursement Modules” then choose “Disbursement Account Enrollment Module”.
  4. Read the reminders thoroughly and upload the requirements being asked.
  5. Notifications will be sent to the email address linked to your My.SSS account.

More Frequently Asked Questions on Maternity Leave and its Benefits

Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the Maternity Leave and Benefits offered by SSS:

Question: Can unmarried women also avail the Maternity Leave Benefits?

Answer: Yes, it can be availed regardless of the civil status of the woman/ mother.

Question: Can the Maternity Leave Benefit be re-availed once the woman/mother gets pregnant again?

Answer: Definitely! Mothers can re-apply for the maternity leave benefit. This benefit is available for claim regardless of the pregnancy frequency (multiple offspring).

Question: Can mothers who are under the job order setup or contractual work arrangement avail the maternity leave benefit?

Answer: Yes, mothers who are under the informal economy category or those who are hired under the contractual setup can also apply for maternity leave.

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Its benefits given that they have remitted to the SSS within the 12-month period immediately following the semester they give birth or experienced miscarriage/abortion/stillbirth.

Question: Can mothers reallocate or transfer the maternity leave?

Answer: Of course! The mother can transfer seven (7) days of their maternity leave to the father of their child given that the father is also in the workforce and is actively contributing to SSS.

This is applicable whether or not the parents are married. In any situation that the father is absent, the allocated seven (7) days allowed to be transferred can be given to the caregiver who is present during the time that the child is born.

The caregiver could be a relative in the fourth degree of consanguinity, current partner regardless of the gender as long as they share the same household.

Question: Should a deceased or incapacitated mother return her maternity benefit to the institution?

Answer: No, there is no need to return the benefit to the institution. By law, the benefit is transferred to the father and in cases that the father is absent, the benefit will then be transferred to the present caregiver, whether a cousin in fourth degree of consanguinity, the mother’s current partner regardless of gender.

Question: Is it possible to extend the number of leave days?

Answer: Yes, but the number of paid extended leave days will then be chargeable to the employee’s Sick Leave (SL) days credit or Vacation Leave (VL) days in an instance that all her SL days have already been utilized.

Extended leave days request should be filed within forty-five (45) days before the initial 105 days end.

Any agency, unit or any employer who will be found guilty violating the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11210 shall be either fined from 20,000 Php to 200,000 Php or be imprisoned for at least 6 years up to 12 years on top of a non-renewal ground of their business permits.

For more questions and clarifications, you may visit the official site of Social Security System at https://www.sss.gov.ph/ to keep yourself up-to-date for more news and updates.

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