Millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs in the last year as businesses closed for good or went bankrupt due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Philippines seems to be one of the centers of natural disasters in this part of the world. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) stated that an average of 20 tropical cyclones enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility, with about eight or nine crossing the country. Aside from that, massive earthquakes can ravage some areas and claim lives without notice. Many have lost their jobs after these disasters and you need reliable help to rebuild your life. You may be wondering if you can receive financial assistance by filing for a calamity loan as a member of the Social Security System. The SSS Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) is a lending program offered to SSS members living in calamity-stricken areas. It is one of the two programs under the SSS Calamity Assistance Program (CAP), with the Three-Month Advance Pension being the other one. Also, the President of the SSS has announced that members and pensioners affected by the recent earthquake in Abra and other areas may avail of the Calamity Assistance Package until November 14, 2022. Here are the details you need to know about the SSS Calamity Loan, including how to apply, its benefits, and eligibility requirements.
What is the SSS Calamity Loan?
The SSS Calamity Assistance Program is a service provided by the SSS to its members who have been affected by a natural disaster. Prior to the arrival of the coronavirus, applicants must first provide proof that their area is in a state of disaster. This restriction has been removed for the time being after the pandemic devastated the entire country. You can avail of the SSS calamity loan for 2022 in the aftermath of natural disasters such as typhoons and flooding provided the town or city you are residing in is declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as calamity-stricken.
The SSS Calamity Loan has the following benefits which include a total loan amount of up to Php 20,000 or your annual average monthly salary, whichever is lower, a 6% annual interest rate which is down from a 10% annual rate previously, and a payment term up to 27 months, with loan payments deferred for four months after the loan approval.
SSS Calamity Loan Requirements
You may be considering an SSS Calamity Loan because you lost your job or your business has closed. Because of the pandemic, you are no longer required to show proof that the area you reside in or where your business is located is in a state of disaster. As a result, here are the remaining SSS calamity loan requirements.
● You must be a Philippine citizen.
● You must be a resident of a declared calamity area.
● You must have paid SSS contributions for at least 36 months or three years.
● Self-employed, voluntary, and land-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) must have six posted monthly contributions under the current coverage/membership type before the month of calamity application.
● You must have paid your SSS contributions for at least 6 months within the previous year before applying for the loan.
● You must have received no agency retirement, disability, or death benefits.
● You must not owe any money from previous calamity loans or have no outstanding balance in the SSS Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) or CLAP.
In addition to the form, you must submit the following documents to the SSS:
● A completed Calamity Assistance Program Form
● Certification of Barangays
● You may photocopy or scan two valid IDs, such as your UMID, Passport, or TIN ID, for digital applications.
● For employed applicants, ask your employer to certify your online CLAP application via the My.SSS facility.
SSS Calamity Loan Requirements for Application Filed by the Authorized Representative for OFW or Seafarer Members
● Original copy of the SSS calamity loan assistance application form
● Original copy of authorization letter
● Original copy of valid ID or document of the authorized representative
● Original copy of barangay certificate
● Printed scanned copies of valid ID/documents of the OFW or seafarer member
Where Can I Apply for the SSS Calamity Loan?
You may have had to travel to the nearest SSS branch to obtain a loan or other financial assistance. However, due to the pandemic, this is no longer recommended, even if you are wearing a face mask. The SSS highly encourages applicants to file for a calamity loan via the My.SSS portal.
- Visit the SSS website and sign in using your member account.
- On your account’s dashboard, click the E-services tab.
- “Apply for a Calamity Loan” will appear.
- Fill out the form with your information and click “Submit.”
- Wait for your loan to be approved.
- Wait for 3 to 5 days for your application to be processed.
How Do I Get the Proceeds?
The loan proceeds can be accessed through the following channels:
● You can have a check mailed to your preferred address.
● You can withdraw funds from your ATM account linked to your UMID.
● Your earnings can also be transferred to your UnionBank Quick card.
● Your funds can be transferred to any bank that is accredited by PESONet.
What are its Interest Rates and Fees?
The following rates and fees are associated with the SSS Calamity Loan.
● A 24-month or 2-year amortization period.
● A 6% annual interest rate, beginning four months after loan approval.
● There is no prior interest.
● A late fee of 1% of your outstanding balance.
● A service fee of one percent of the total loan amount.
How Can I Repay My SSS Calamity Loan?
If you are an employed member, you will pay through salary deduction, but if you are a self-employed or voluntary member, you can pay at any SSS Branch Office with the tellering facility, SSS-accredited bank, or SSS-authorized payment center.
What Happens If I Can’t Pay?
SSS will deduct the outstanding amount, including interest and penalties, from any future SSS benefits you may receive. If you are employed, the balance will be deducted from total disability benefits, retirement benefits, and death benefits. Members who are self-employed or voluntary will have their outstanding balances from short-term benefits such as sickness or maternal benefits reduced.
Sean Martin D. Plantado, head of customer service at Digido.ph, notes that if you are in dire need of money, the SSS Calamity Loan may be able to help you. Just remember, spend your money wisely so that you will have an easier time recovering from any calamity.