MANILA – The Social Security System (SSS) launched Wednesday an improved version of its mobile application to allow its users to access information about their membership and contributions as well as for members to apply for salary loans and submit maternity notification via this app’s easy-to-navigate features. 
  
“For the mobile app, the SSS introduced enhanced features to allow for easy navigation and effortless information presentation for its users,” SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said in a statement. 
 
Ignacio said the improved SSS mobile app provides SSS members with, among others, updates on their membership contributions, application and status of salary loans, information on benefit claims, and online contribution payment services.
 
For employers, the app provides them with information about their contributions and loan payments, and reimbursement claims, among other services. 
 
The SSS mobile app was introduced to the public on April 23, 2018 and was initially available in the Google Play Store for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones and other iOS devices.
 
It became available in the Huawei AppGallery on October 7, 2019. 
 
In the year the app was launched, it was downloaded 824,006 times. This number continuously increased since then, with the total volume of downloads hitting 2,296,967 and 7,378,627, respectively, in 2019 and 2020.
 
“The total cumulative number of downloads of the SSS Mobile App as of 31 May 2021 has already reached 15,359,070,” Ignacio said. 
 
The new, enhanced version was made available in the Huawei AppGallery last May 30, and in Google Play the following day, she said. 
 
Ignacio said the SSS is now in talks with Apple to make the app available for iOS devices “in the near future.”
 
Earlier, Ignacio reported that the online filing and registration of new employees as SSS members, along with the submission of most forms and benefit claims have been made mandatory as of July 15 last year. 
 
The release of loans and benefits to members, except for unbanked pensioners, have also been made “cheque-less” or online through the use of PesoNet and other electronic payment systems beginning July last year. 
 
Ignacio said that since July 15, 2020, the submission of the maternity notification form for pregnant female SSS members and the sickness notification form were required by the SSS to be done online, along with the retirement benefit claim of members who are at least 65 years old and land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and voluntary members who are at least 60 years old and the application for unemployment insurance benefit (UIB). 
 
The online filing of the applications for the calamity loan and salary loan were made mandatory by the SSS on June 15 last year, while the filing of the sickness benefit reimbursement claim of employers was required to be done online as of July 1, 2020. 
 
The online enrollment of bank accounts in the My.SSS or SSS online portal has become mandatory for member-employees since June 2020 and for their employers starting July 2020. 
 
This online enrollment of disbursement accounts has enabled the SSS to automatically deposit benefits to the enrolled bank accounts of worker-members and their employers.
 
The SSS has also made the mandatory online filing of applications for the Covid-19 Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) since the program was launched on June 15 last year. 
 
Online filing of funeral benefit claims for SSS member-claimants was made available starting July 2020 and was made mandatory by August 2020, Ignacio said. 
 
The online filing of the retirement benefit claim of employed members who are 60 to 64 years old has likewise been made mandatory starting August last year. 
 
Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who is concurrent ex-officio Chairman of the Social Security Commission (SSC), has, even before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, called on the SSS to use digital tools to make it easier for its members and pensioners to access its services without the need for face-to-face transactions.
  
Dominguez said the digitalization of the SSS’ system will also help cut overhead costs for the pension fund. 
 
He said the SSS needs to continue to be prudent in managing its expenses given that its task involves taking care of the hard-earned savings of Filipino workers in the private sector. (PR)