Frequently Asked Questions: SBWS applications, payouts and returns as of June 10, 2020

APPLICATIONS:

1. My employer applied through Method 3, and we haven’t received confirmation on the status of our application. Where can we check or who should we contact?

Please email SBWSQueries@sss.gov.ph with your concern and include your application reference number. Please note that all applications submitted through Method 3 still undergo validation, subject to the program criteria: https://bit.ly/SBWSEligibilityCriteria

2. What if employers encoded the wrong TIN for their employees?

Employers who inputted 000-000-000 as their employees’ TIN may correct their employees’ TIN through the my.SSS’s Post Payout Correction Module until June 26, 2020 5:00 PM. If the employer is unable to edit the TIN information in the Post Payout Correction Module, they may be asked to do so during the post-audit of the Program.

3. Will the SBWS Program applications be extended/reopened?

The SBWS Program under DOF-SSS-BIR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 001-2020 will no longer be extended or reopened. The DOF-SSS-BIR SBWS Program was conceptualized to provide immediate relief for two months to small business employers and their employees when the enhanced community quarantine or other forms thereof, were imposed beginning March 17, 2020. The immediate liquidation of the unspent funds will help the government redirect these to other important COVID-19 response programs. Note that the government continues to find ways to address the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAYOUTS

4. In the case of employees who need to correct their number/account details, but their employers haven’t received an email from SSS to correct this information, whom should their employer contact?

If the mode of payout is through banks or Paymaya, kindly wait for SSS to send an email or text notification to your employer/employees advising them to edit the account details. The employers have until June 16, 2020 5:00PM to correct their employees’ information.
If the mode of payout is through M.Lhuillier, please inform your employer to log-on the SBWS portal and correct the mobile number inputted. If they are unable to do so, please email SBWSQueries@sss.gov.ph and attach a copy of proof of inability to edit. The employers have until June 26, 2020 5:00PM to correct their employees’ information.
5. If an employer receives a notice that employee information needs to be updated, can the employees’ payout option be changed?
If the original mode of payout is through banks or Paymaya, the employers may change the payment method to other banks, Paymaya, or M.Lhuillier.
If the original mode of payout is through M.Lhuillier, the employers will not be able to change the payment method. Employers will only be allowed to change the phone number.
6. For employees whose selected payout mode is through M.Lhuillier cash pick-up, if they do not claim payouts by June 28 (last day of payout), will they still be able to claim it?
No. Unclaimed balances of the program shall revert to the national government and may be used for other COVID-19-related programs of the government.
7. For employees who haven’t received the first tranche of SBWS, but their status in the My.SSS portal says that they are qualified, when will they receive their first tranche?
The payout period for the First and Second Tranche of the SBWS has been extended to June 17.
8. For employees who haven’t received their subsidies for the second tranche, but during the first tranche they received it at the same time as their co-workers, why is there a delay?
Payouts get delayed when there are data errors encountered in the crediting of the SBWS in your bank account, Paymaya, or M.Lhuiller. There have been cases when account numbers submitted to SSS by employers on behalf of their employees were incorrect, but were corrected by the receiving banks to facilitate payout. These account numbers in the SSS master list are still incorrect, and employers will be notified to edit account numbers in the SBWS Post Payout Correction Module. Advise your employer to check whether they received an email from SSS. Nonetheless, the distribution for the second tranche is ongoing until June 17.

DOLE CAMP CONCERNS

9. In the interest of fairness among all beneficiaries and to avoid duplication, SBWS beneficiaries who are also DOLE-CAMP beneficiaries received the full two-months-worth of SBWS subsidies minus the P5,000 received from DOLE-CAMP.

What should the employer or employee do in instances when the employee is an eligible SBWS beneficiary and are non-DOLE CAMP recipients but they:
a. receive a reduced SBWS Second Tranche (less P5,000); or
b. do not receive any SBWS Second Tranche by June 17 (last day of payout)?
The employee, or preferably, the employer, on behalf of the concerned employee, may file an appeal with the SBWS Program Task Force by sending an email to SBWSCAMPAppeals@sss.gov.ph on or before June 22, 2020, with the following information:
  1. Name of employer and SSS ID number, if known;
  2. Name of employee(s) and SSS ID number/s; and
  3. DOLE Certification on Receipt/Non-Receipt of CAMP.

The employer must first obtain a certification from DOLE that his/her employees are not CAMP beneficiaries. SBWS applicants shall direct their request for certification from DOLE through the email addresses listed below, or they may call: (02) 8527 3489, 0961 680 4644, 0961 680 4684, 0961 680 4664, 0961 680 4674:

RETURN OF SBWS

10. Who are required to return the SBWS?

Under the DOF-SSS-BIR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 001-2020, as amended, on the SBWS program, the following are required to return their SBWS subsidy:
  1. Employers who fail to maintain the employment status of their employee beneficiaries within the original SBWS Period of March 17, 2020 to May 31, 2020 must return to the government the SBWS amount granted to these employees.
  2. Employee-beneficiaries who resign during the period when enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine is imposed in the region or local government unit where the place of business of his employer is found.
  3. Employers who misrepresented in their application any material fact relevant to the eligibility of their employees, such as, but not limited to the following:
    1. those who paid wages/salary for the whole of ECQ to all employees;
    2. those whose employees were not prevented from going to work nor unpaid for at least two weeks (straight 14 consecutive days) during the ECQ;
    3. those who applied for separated employees;
    4. those whose employees voluntarily went on the following types of leave: maternity leave, paternity leave, study leave, sabbatical leave, and leaves of the same time — for the entire duration of the ECQ, whether with or without pay;
    5. those whose employees are recipients of SSS unemployment benefits due to COVID-19; or
    6. those whose employees have settled or in-process SSS final claims (funeral, retirement, death, and total disability).
  4. Employers of employees who are DOLE CAMP beneficiaries who received the full amount of the SBWS Second Tranche.

For employees who received both the DSWD’s SAP and SBWS, they should approach their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer to discuss steps for refunding the DSWD’s SAP-ESP.

11. How do employers or employees voluntarily return the SBWS?

Employees who received the SBWS but are ineligible or received an excess amount, refunds for the SBWS received, or the portion in excess of what the employee is entitled, should be carried out following the voluntary return procedure below:
a. Voluntary returns of the SBWS shall be accepted until June 15, 2020.
b. Proceed to the nearest Landbank branch and deposit over-the-counter, the SBWS amount to the following Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) bank account:
a. Upon deposit of the subsidy amount, the employer or employee must submit the scanned copy of the validated deposit slip to the SSS by email at SBWSreturns@sss.gov.ph, with the following information:
13. If I resigned during the ECQ period, do I still need to return the subsidy I received?
Employees who resign during the period when the enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine is imposed in the region or local government unit where the place of business of his employer is found, must return the subsidy.
14. If employees returned to work after ECQ was lifted, does the SBWS need to be returned?
The requirement for eligibility for employees is that he/she must have at least two consecutive weeks of no work AND no pay during the period of enhanced community quarantine or other forms of quarantine. As long as this requirement is met, there is no need to return the SBWS received.
15. SSS contributions are computed based on salaries paid to employees. If an employer paid these contributions for the period of March 17 to May 31, even though they did not operate, do they need to return the SBWS?
The requirement for eligibility for employees is that he/she must have at least two consecutive weeks of no work AND no pay during the period of enhanced community quarantine or other forms of quarantine. As long as this requirement is met, there is no need to return the SBWS received. The payment of SSS contributions cannot be the sole basis for the ineligibility of the employee.
16. If we received both SAP and SBWS, do we need to refund SBWS?
In the instance that a beneficiary received support from both programs, they should approach their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer for the steps on refunding the DSWD’s SAP-ESP.
17. My employees are DOLE-CAMP beneficiaries but they received the full amount of the SBWS Second Tranche, am I required to return it?
Yes. Employers of employees who are DOLE-CAMP beneficiaries who also received the full second tranche of SBWS must pool the excess received (P5,000 per beneficiary) and return the same following the return procedure in SBWS Program Task Force Resolution No. 2. (See Item 11). Please see table below for reference.

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