The Social Security System (SSS) will no longer release checks to disburse benefit payments and will instead release all claims through SSS-accredited banks.

Lump sum disability, death, and retirement benefits, including Employees’ Compensation (EC) disability benefit, which were previously released through checks, are now mandatorily released through banks, said SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora C. Ignacio via press release.

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“This improvement allows the SSS to efficiently and safely administer the payment of benefits to its members and their rightful beneficiaries,” Ignacio added.

According to BusinessWorld, the bank disbursements started October 11, 2019.

Currently, there are 67 SSS-accredited banks, including Asia United Bank Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, China Banking Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, EastWest Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Philippine National Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, Security Bank and Trust Company, and Union Bank of the Philippines, among others.

“It is more convenient for our members since they do not have to wait for or get their checks and personally encash it on the assigned bank. They’ll just have to wait for their benefits to be credited to their respective accounts and withdraw it whenever they need it,” Ignacio said.

Under the program, qualified SSS members or claimants for lump sum disability benefits will now be required to present a bank document with his or her name. These may include a single savings account passbook or automated teller machine (ATM) card with name and account number.

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In case the name of the member or claimant or savings account number is not indicated, he or she will need to present a validated initial deposit slip or copy of the bank certificate or statement duly signed by the bank’s authorized signatory. It should also contain the complete name of the member or claimant, savings account number, and the bank’s branch name and full address.

SSS Members or claimants may also use their Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card if it is enrolled as an ATM. These are UMID cards that with EMV chips.

For members or claimants who have no existing single savings account, SSS will issue a letter of introduction so they can present it to their chosen SSS-accredited bank to help them open a bank account.

There are exemptions to the new mandatory release of lump sum benefits through banks. These are as follows:

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  • When the SSS member’s or claimant’s lump sum benefit amounts to P1,000 and below
  • When the address of the SSS member or claimant is beyond 30 kilometers from the nearest SSS-accredited bank or in a high-risk area where peace and order are unstable due to the presence of armed conflict,
  • When the SSS member or claimant is confined in institutions such as a penitentiary, correctional institution, or rehabilitation center
  • When the SSS members or claimants are physically incapable of transacting business with the bank and when there are multiple legal heirs as claimants.

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