Good news to all self-employed Social Security Service (SSS) members, back in April of this year, the Employee Compensation Commission’s (ECPs) Employee Compensation Program (ECP) included SSS Self-employed members to the benefits of the ECP.
Silvestre Bello III, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary, and ECC Chairperson, said in a statement that the services and benefits of the ECP now extends and finally includes self-employed members of the SSS.
What is the ECC?
The Employee Compensation Commission (ECC) has been established in 1975 to aid workers in both the private and the public sector to have paid insurance during times of work-related occurrences like injuries, sickness, and even death.
The ECP or the Employee Compensation Program, is a program by the ECC since June 1984, which is directly connected to providing SSS members assistance who experience sickness and/or injury resulting to disability; even death.
Labor Secretary Bello said that they have since observed that SSS self-employed members are also part of the demographic who need assistance when work-connected impacts occur.
So, just like the formally employed workers, the SSS self-employed employees need this assistance too.
We recognize that most self-employed members of the SSS are also workers who need to be protected in time of work-connected sickness, injuries, or death. Since the creation of the ECC in 1975, the EC Program has been limited only to workers in the formal economy, so it’s high time to expand the coverage of the program, for after all, they are likewise considered as part of our workforce.”
Who are considered to be self-employed?
In general terminologies, self-employed workers are workers who consider themselves their own boss. Simply put, no time ins, no deadlines to submit to other people, you know the rest. Most often, it is homebased.
As per Labor Secretary Bello, self-employed workers are employees who are engaged in any type of business, trade, and/or occupation with no employer (just him or herself).
Moreover, he said that a person would be deemed as self-employed if the worker obtains an income of at least P2,000.00 on a monthly basis. This income, should be derived on the trade or business he or she is under.
Should a worker be 60 years or older, the worker is not to be considered an SSS self-employed worker because this age is treated as a “retirement age.”
Which SSS self-employed members are eligible to take advantage of the ECP?
According to the Labor Department, the following are to be considered in the newest update from the ECC which will include SSS self-employed members as a part of the EC program:
- Partners, single proprietors of businesses, and Directors or Trustees of the Board of corporations duly registered with appropriate government agencies;
- Self-employed professionals who have their own business offices;
- Professional athletes, coaches, trainers, jockeys, individual farmers, and fisher folks;
- Actors, directors, scriptwriters, and news correspondents who do not fall within the definition of the term ‘employee’ in Section 8(D) of the SS Law;
- Workers in the informal sector such as market and ambulant vendors, transport workers, and those similarly situated;
- Contractual and job order personnel engaged by the government through a Contract of Service and who are not covered under the GSIS Law; and,
- Any other self-employed as determined by the Social Security Commission is subject for compulsory coverage, if for initial membership.
What benefits could self-employed people get out of the ECP?
Stella Banawis, Executive Director of the ECC, said that if an SSS self-employed member experiences sickness in relation to work, sickness, and injuries, the particular member can:
- Receive loss of income benefits;
- Carer’s allowance;
- Rehabilitation services; and
- Medical benefits
In addition to that, the ECC also discussed that should an SSS self-employed member dies due to work-related injury and sickness, his or her beneficiaries will receive funeral benefits and death pension.
How much should a self-employed member pay as his/her monthly contributions for the ECC?
As per the ECC guidelines, the self-employed worker’s contribution to the EC will be dependent on the monthly salary credit (MSC) of his or her earnings that they will be declaring upon registration.
Should the SSS self-employed worker receive an MSC of P14,500.00 or below, they will be required to pay P10.00 per month. Otherwise, they will pay P30.00 on a monthly basis (P15,00.00 and above).
In order for a self-employed worker to be covered by the EC program, they need to register to the nearest SSS branch for their SSS membership. The moment they make their first (1st) EC contribution, their coverage will start.
What is the goal of this update?
The main goal of this decision to include self-employed members to the demographic of members who are capable of taking advantage of the EC program.
Banawis said that this improvement will allow them to give aid and support more Filipino workers.
With this development, the ECP will be able to serve more Filipino workers.”
Data from DOLE dictates that March of last year (2018), an estimation of 4.5 million were registered SSS self-employed workers out of the 36.3 million workers registered with the agency. This translates to an approximation of 12.4 percent from the total number of members.
The 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Labor Force Survey says that around 26.9 percent or about 11.07 million of the total working population of our most beloved Philippines are self-employed; self-employed without paying for any employee.
What should self-employed workers do?
So if you are self-employed or if you know someone; and you are not members of the SSS through the ECC yet, what are you waiting for? Register with the SSS now and make your first monthly contribution for your benefits to start winding up.
The more contributions you make, the better benefits you will receive. Now, registered SSS self-employed workers will have the benefit of the EC program just like how formal sector (formal employees) do.
With a minimum of P10.00 per month for EC contributions, it would be really difficult for SSS self-employed members not to bite this opportunity; in fact, this is a development that just happened this year. So it is still not too late for self-employed workers to register under the EC program.
Self-employed workers also contribute to the development and advancement of the country. What do you think about this recent development by both the SSS and the Labor Department?
Source: ECC Website