Definition of Disability
The SSS based its definition of disability on that of the World Health Organization. A disability is a lack of ability or restriction to execute normal human activities. The SSS program for disability is intended to provide financial security to contributing members. Members are allowed to file a benefit claim within 10 years of the date of disability.
Benefits, Regulations and Limitations
In order to receive benefits for partial or complete disability, members must have made at least one month’s contribution to the SSS. Permanent partial disability benefits are limited to a particular number of months determined by law. Benefits are suspended when an individual recovers from a disability, resumes gainful employment or fails to submit to a yearly physical exam.
Partial Disability Qualifications
Partial disability is defined by the SSS as total and permanent loss of or inability to use particular body parts. The loss of these parts does not thoroughly inhibit gainful employment. Body parts included in the SSS definition of partial disability include: an arm, a leg, a hand, a foot, one ear, both ears, a big toe, a finger, hearing in one or both ears and sight in one eye. Loss of any of these is considered permanent partial disability.
SSS compensation for permanent partial disability is dispersed in one of two ways: a lump sum or monthly payments. A lump sum is available to those who have not contributed at least 36 months to the SSS programs before becoming disabled. Monthly benefits are available only to SSS members who have contributed at least 36 months prior to the date of disability. The lump sum option for permanent partial disability is equal to the individual’s monthly pension multiplied by the total number of monthly contributions. This is multiplied by the percentage of disability relative to the entire body. This amount or the monthly pension multiplied by 12 multiplied by the percentage of the disability, whichever is greater, is the amount of the lump sum.
When a permanently partially disabled individual dies, his surviving dependents do not continue to receive benefits. This includes children.