Death will not only rip us with grief emotionally, but it will also drain us financially especially if we were not able to get insurance beforehand. So when it comes knocking on our door, we not only need to come to terms with it, we have to make financial decisions too. And, at a very fast pace at that.
Then, after another month, the check arrived to the relief of my Lola. Now she can finally repay some remaining debts made during my Lolo’s wake. She also checked Lolo’s ATM and seeing as three months’ worth of his pension was reflected on the balance, she withdrew the money immediately. Un-beknown to my Lola, the process of transferring my Lolo’s pension to her name should have been filed as well, together with the funeral benefit claim. Now this is the concern, nobody from the SSS ever mentioned this fact. So when she came out of her mourning, and decided to move on with the practicalities of life, she then filed for the transfer of Lolo’s pension to her name. When alas, the process would take two years! And this was all because she was not able to file the necessary papers on time, as what SSS personnel explained to us.
So when my grandfather died last August 2010 (RIP my dear Lolo), my grandma extremely needed to get his death benefit from the SSS as soon as can be. He had been a hardworking man all his life, being a farmer during his youth and then joined the seafaring profession at a time when the shipping industry of the Philippines was still beginning. He was one of those elder folks who get tired when there’s nothing to do so even when he retired, he still continued tilling his land. He would wake up at dawn, way before the roosters make their first crows, and head to his farm which is quite a distance from their house. This habit actually helped him defy age and only succumbed to death due to prostate cancer at the age of 76, if I remember right.
He dutifully contributed to the SSS the whole 30 or so years of his working life. He tasted the fruit of his labor with P1,500 monthly allowance when he retired. During Christmas, he would be very happy receiving twice the amount at P3000. This went on for 10 years and then the allowance was increased to P2500. And he and Lola were really glad. Another increase went up to 3,500 and although it is very difficult to meet their monthly needs, it was still better compared to no increase.
After a month from his burial, my Lola then filed a claim for his SSS Funeral Benefit. The requirements were:
- Claim for Funeral Benefit (SSS Form BPN-103)
- Death certificate duly certified by the local Civil Registrar
- Receipt of payment issued by the funeral parlor
- Affidavit of funeral expenses
- Report of Death (if cause of death is work-connected)
- Photo of filer and valid IDs
- Original or certified true copies of the supporting documents should be presented during the filing of the claim.
So for other SSS members out there, do your research well and know your rights beforehand. Read the fine print on SSS documents, their announcements and on their official website.
For next post, I will be discussing the intricacies of how my Lola transferred her name as an SSS beneficiary to her late husband.