Everything You Need to Know About Claiming Money From the ECC If You Get Sick

Monetary compensation if you get sick, are injured, or (god forbid) die at work.

sickness benefit
ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Most of our waking hours are spent working—not to mention all the extra time dedicated to traveling to and from the office. So you can just imagine all the possible diseases and injuries you can have, from an accident at the office floor to getting COVID-19 because your boss doesn't allow you to work from home. Fortunately, there's a "quasi-judicial corporate entity" mandated to provide appropriate compensation to workers in the event of occupational and work-related sickness, injury, disability, or death: the Employees' Compensation Commission

COVID-19 has also been listed as a "compensable disease" as of April 2021. This means that employees who contracted COVID-19 at work or while commuting to and from the workplace are entitled to the benefits.

Who can benefit from the Employees' Compensation Program?

All workers in both government and private sectors are covered by this program. They should be employed through an employee-employer relationship and are mandatory members of Social Security System (private employees) or Government Service Insurance System (government employees). Coverage starts on the first day of work.

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Who pays for it?

The Employees' Compensation Program (ECP) is solely an employer-based contribution system. For employees getting a monthly salary from P1,000 to P14,749.99, employers are required to contribute P10 monthly to the Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC). For employees with salaries that are equal or above P14,750, employers are required to contribute P30 monthly. Employee salaries should not be deducted for ECC contributions.

What are the benefits?

  • Loss of income benefits: At least P10,000 compensation in cases of disability and sickness. According to Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, employees affected by COVID-19 will receive P30,000.
  • Medical expenses or medical reimbursement
  • Death claim (P15,000) and funeral benefits
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Carer's allowance in case of permanent disability

When can an injury, sickness, or death be compensable under ECP?

Employment accident is compensable only under the following conditions:

  • The employee is injured at the workplace
  • The employee is performing official functions
  • If the injury is sustained elsewhere, the employee is executing an order for the employer.

But according to Board Resolution No. 21-03-09, approved on March 11, 2021, workers who sustained injuries or died while working from home are also entitled to benefits from the ECC.

"Disability of death due to injuries sustained by the employees while working from home will be compensable under ECP, provided that there is a written directive or order from his or her employer requiring a work-from-home arrangement or the performance of specific tasks within a specified period at the residence or dwelling place of the employee," Board Resolution No. 21-03-09 said.

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The ECC clarified that those who have contracted COVID-19 are not entitled to work-from-home compensation benefits.

How can an employee file for ECC benefit for COVID-19?

For Social Security System (SSS) members:

According to SSS, the affected employee must notify the employer within five days of sickness. The employer is then obligated to put this in the logbook and report to SSS also within five days. Filing of claims must be done within three years. Documents can be submitted to any SSS branch or through your company's HR department.

It should be noted that ECC's sickness benefit is different from SSS' sickness beneft.  The ECC sickness benefit can be claimed even if the employee still has sick leave credits, while the SSS benefit can be claimed only if the leave credits have ran out.

There are the required documents:

  • EC Form B-309 (Accident/Sickness Report)
  • EC Form B-300 (Employee's Notification)
  • SSS Form B-304 (Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Application)
  • Certificate of Employment (include declaration of the member's last day of work)
  • Medical abstract or medical certificate
  • RT-PCR test results (issued by a Department of Health-accredited testing center)

For Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) members:

Like the SSS' policy, the affected employee must notify the employer within five days of sickness. The employer is then obligated to put this in the logbook and report to GSIS also within five days. Filing of claims must be done within three years. Documents can be submitted to any GSIS branch or through your company's HR department.

GSIS members can choose between claiming of benefits from either GSIS or ECC. This is because of GSIS's "exclusiveness policy."

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There are the required documents if the GSIS member was hospitalized:

  • Income Benefits Claim for Payment form
  • Report of Injury, Sickness, or Death
  • Certificate of Employment (include declaration of the member's last day of work, dates of leave of absence or quarantine leave, description of increased risk in performance of duties, statement of actual duties and circumstances leading to infection, date of return to work)
  • Medical abstract or medical certificate
  • RT-PCR test results (issued by a Department of Health-accredited testing center)
  • Itemized statement of account from hospital

These are the required documents if the GSIS member was not hospitalized:

  • Income Benefits Claim for Payment form
  • Report of Injury, Sickness, or Death
  • Certificate of Employment (include declaration of the member's last day of work, dates of leave of absence or quaranatine leave, description of increased risk in performance of duties, statement of actual duties and circumstances leading to infection, date of return to work)
  • Medical abstract, medical certificate, or quarantine certificate
  • RT-PCR test results (issued by a Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing center)
  • Itemized statement of account from hospital
  • Official receipts of laboratory fees, medicine purchases, and medical professional fees

How can an employee file for ECC benefit for other sickness and diseases?

The documents and processes are almost similar as when you file for sickness benefit after contracting COVID-19.

SSS members also need to submit the following:

  • EC Form B-309 (Accident/Sickness Report)
  • EC Form B-300 (Employee's Notification)
  • SSS Form B-304 (Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Application)
  • Photocopy of the company's logbook/records
  • Supporting medical documents
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GSIS members need to submit the following:

  • Income Benefits Claim for Payment form
  • Report of Injury, Sickness, or Death
  • Photocopy of the company's logbook/records
  • Supporting medical documents

How can an employee file for ECC benefit for medical reimbursement?

Similar to filing for sickness claim, these are the required documents:

  • SSS Form B-301 (EC Medical Reimbursement Benefit Application)
  • Photocopy of the company's logbook/records
  • Accident report
  • For work-related sickness: Pre-employment physical examination report, Certificate of Employment (include length of service), copy of hospital abstract
  • For work-related field accident: Destination and description of employee's travel as certified by employer, police report (if vehicular accident or medico-legal incident)

How can an employee file for ECC death claim?

Primary beneficiaries (legal spouse or legitimate child and legally adopted child below 21) of employees can file for funeral and death benefits. Secondary beneficiaries include the employee's parents and children above 21 years of age with no income.

For those in the private sector, the funeral benefit from ECC amounts to P30,000. It is exclusive from SSS' benefits in case of death. Death benefits, on the other hand, are dependent on the employee's monthly salary credit.

For those in the government sector, ECC's funeral benefit is also at P30,000. Like the sickness benefit, the GSIS member's beneficiaries must choose between the ECC benefit or GSIS benefit.

Required documents for SSS members:

For death:

  • BPN-105 (Report of death)
  • DDR-1 (Death Claim Application)

For funeral expenses:

  • BPN-103 (Claim for funeral expenses)
  • Death certificate of deceased member duly certified by the local Civil Registrar
  • Official receipt from the funeral parlor
  • BPN-105 (Report of death)
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Required documents for GSIS members:

  • Report of Injury, Sickness, or Death

All forms are available through the ECC website, SSS website, or GSIS website.

UPDATE (February 23): The prescriptive three-year period for filing has been temporarily suspended by the ECC.

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