Are you maximizing your membership in the Social Security System (SSS), especially in these COVID-19 times? SSS has opened its Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) for members who need financial help because they may have lost their source of income or suffered a financial burden as a result of the pandemic.

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Members may apply for a loan of up to P20,000, depending on your average monthly salary credit in the last 12 months. According to SSS president and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio, the payment term of this particular CLAP has been extended to 27 months. It will be inclusive of a three-month moratorium period with a lessened interest rate of 6 percent per year. 

Typically, CLAPs have a payment term of 24 months and an interest rate of 10 percent per annum.

Loan amortizations for COVID-19 calamity loans will begin in the fourth month from their respective approval dates. No advance interest will be charged for the said loan. A service fee of one percent of the loan amount will be charged and deducted from the loan proceeds.

Loan payments not remitted on its due date will bear a one percent penalty per month.

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How to qualify for the SSS calamity loan assistance

"The threat of COVID-19 will likely remain in the coming months. To this end, we have developed an online facility in the My.SSS web portal in which we will receive all calamity loan applications to reduce face-to-face transactions in our branches," Ignacio explained.

Members must be registered at the My.SSS web portal on the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph to apply for the loan.

Here are other requirements to qualify for the SSS loan:

  • have at least 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months before the application
  • have a work or home address within the Philippines as reflected in the SSS database
  • have not been granted any final benefit such as total permanent disability or retirement
  • have no outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program or previous CLAPs

Documents proving that a member is a resident of a declared calamity area, which is a usual requirement for the CLAP, will no longer be required for COVID-19 calamity loans since the entire country is placed under the state of calamity.

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Qualified members may apply for the said CLAP until September 14, 2020.

Member-borrowers may choose to receive their loan proceeds via their respective Unified Multi-Purpose Identification cards enrolled as an ATM, Union Bank of the Philippines Quick Card, or through checks sent to their preferred mailing address.

"We recognize that the impact of COVID-19 is greater than other calamities we have faced in the past, " Ignacio said in a press release. She added that SSS estimates around 1.74 million potential member-borrowers for the program.

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