Sec. Bello: Laid-Off Workers Can Apply For Unemployment Insurance

A certification from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is the basic requirement for involuntarily laid-off employees who wish to apply for unemployment insurance, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

In Department Circular No. 01, series of 2019 issued by Bello last week, the issuance of the certificate is included in the guidelines for the laid-off workers to avail of the involuntary separation benefit of the Social Security System (SSS).

In a statement, Bello said the issuance of the guidelines to implement the program which covers eligible SSS-member employees, including kasambahay and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who were involuntarily separated from work.

The certification must be secured from the DOLE field or provincial office where applicants reside or from where their company is located.

For OFWs, they can file their application at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office located in the areas where their employers operate or at their residences nearest DOLE field or provincial office.

Those who would like to avail of the unemployment benefit are also required to bring a valid identification card, a copy of the notice of termination issued by the employer, or if not available a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment.

To qualify for the grant, the employee should not be over 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation; has paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

The applicant has no settled unemployment benefit within the last three years prior to the date of involuntary separation.

The workers must have been involuntarily separated due to “authorized causes,” such as the installation of labor-saving devices; redundancy; retrenchment or downsizing; closure or cessation of operation; or disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his or her co-employees’ health.

Other individuals that are eligible to file are those who lost jobs due to ‘just causes’ under Article 300 (285) of P.D. No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines; or due to an economic downturn, natural or human-induced calamities/disasters, and other similar cases as may be determined by the DOLE and SSS. (PNA)

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