Losing a loved one can be a difficult burden emotionally. For others, it can also an ordeal financially. After all, even the simplest of funeral can be expensive.
Fortunately, if the departed was an active paying member of SSS (Social Security System), the person who sponsored the funeral is entitled for a funeral grant whose primary purpose to make the loss significantly less burdensome, financial-wise.
Also called as “Funeral Grant”, this particular benefit is designed to compensate the cost of a deceased SSS pensioner or member’s passing directly to the person who shouldered its cost—presumably, the closest kin.
Originally slated to compensate a maximum amount of Php20,000 as of September 1, 2000, an August 2015 amendment increased the grant to double the original max amount or Php40,000, commensurate to the member’s overall paid contributions as well as credited year of service (CYS).
How to file a claim for Funeral Grant?
The SSS does not necessarily track whose members it is have suddenly become deceased which renders the kicking of the funeral grant not automatically given to the nearest kin.
In order to claim the membership’s SSS Funeral Benefit, it must be applied for and make the process official.
Here are all the requirements you would need to meet in order to file a claim:
1. Firstly, you must fill out the Funeral Claim Application Form and which you can download here. The form should come in PDF format which you could fill out electronically using a program like the latest version of Adobe Reader or do so manually after printing it on paper. Sinumpaang Salaysay (Filer Affidavit) can be found here.
2. To prove your identity as a claimant, bring along your own SSS ID Card or at least two valid IDs, both of which bearing your signature and another having a photo.
3. In order to validate that the supposedly deceased SSS member is indeed already dead, bring along the Certified True Copy of the Death Certificate. If the recently departed SSS member died abroad, bring along a similar issue coming from the Vital Statistics Office/County of the hosting country. Furthermore, if applicable, carry along an issue coming from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate or PSA. If the issue is not written in English, you can ask for a translation from the Philippine DFA.
4. In order to prove that the deceased has indeed went through a funeral service, bring along an original copy of the receipt or contract which substantiates the funeral costs.
5. Lastly, you would also need to present a new residence certificate.
With all the said requirements met, the filing for the claim will be as simple as heading to a nearby SSS branch or office representative of the agency.
What are the requirements which legitimizes a member for SSS Funeral Benefit?
The requirements to getting the Funeral Grant varies from person to person, depending on employment status:
- If self-employed, non-working, or an OFW member
The departed SSS member must have paid at least one (1) month of his contribution for the beneficiary to claim the grant.
- If employed or separated from employment
The deceased SSS member’s employer must handle the coverage for the grant, even if there were no contributions made, for the sake of the beneficiary.
Tips for a smoother claiming process of SSS Funeral Benefit
The filing of Funeral Grant should not be a complicated process, so long as you stick with the normal and streamlined procedure. But as not all cases of filing for a claim is the same, there are issues that may arise resulting from a deviation to these slated norms.
- Provide an authorization letter
In a case when the original sponsor of the funeral of the decease is incapable of handling the claim himself/herself, a discrepancy between who was tasked to make the claim and the sponsor’s name could potentially complicate the supposedly smooth process. However, this does not mean that a third-party individual cannot make the claim—he/she can, provided it has proper authorization from the actual beneficiary.
To offset the complexity of the situation, the beneficiary must instead provide an authorization letter which grants a third-party member the power to act in behalf of him/her.
- Let the funeral parlor handle the claim
Funeral parlors are not only versed in the process of preparing the dead to their final destination, there are some of them who also incorporate the legal transaction of filing for a Funeral Grant as well. If you like the idea of not getting hassled doing the actual paper work of applying for a Funeral Grant, let the people of your chosen funeral parlor do it for you.
Trust me, they would love to do it for you since it is a guaranteed way that they would get paid for their service.
- Bring the needed documents in case of unconventional death
Not all cases of death are easily certifiable. In some cases, a person’s death certificate may not be sourced or the person is only presumed dead, possibly arising from a mishap with natural disaster. There are plenty of other scenarios which would generally conclude that the person is likely dead.
However, as unconventional “deaths” are regarded as unusual, getting documentations in any of these cases may require more steps than the usual.
For instance, if the SSS member’s death is not guaranteed—only presumed—then a notarized undertaking would be necessary for a Funeral Grant, along with other requirements, depending on the scenario.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that it the random chance that the SSS member is found to be alive, there is also a condition which suggests the need for the beneficiary to return the grant given due to the false notion of the member’s demise.
For more information about the unusual cases which would render the presumption that a person may be dead and what are the documents needed to file a Funeral Grant in the situation, check out this reference from SSS.