Death Benefits in the Philippines

death-benefits-philippines Late last year, when someone in our extended family passed away, I became familiar with some of the death benefits available for beneficiaries in the Philippines. In my extended family’s case, some of these benefits were claimed successfully while the others were denied for various reasons.

Here are some death benefits in the Philippines:

SSS – SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM (For employees of private companies)

Funeral benefit of 20,000 pesos regardless of number of monthly contributions, given to the person who spent for the funeral
Monthly pension or lump-sum cash benefit for the legal spouse and legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted children younger than 21 years old (up to 5 children), and older children with permanent disabilities

Pension is for the primary beneficiaries of deceased members who have contributed at least 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death.
Lump-sum is for primary beneficiaries of members who contributed less than 36 monthly contributions before the semester of death.

If there are no primary beneficiaries (no spouse and no children), the dependent parents receive the lump-sum cash benefit).

Pension amount or lump-sum amount depends on the number of credited years of membership and average monthly salary credit.

– For members who died in a workplace accident or due to an occupational illness, additional Employee Compensation benefits are given to beneficiaries.

Note:  File your claim at the SSS branch nearest where you live.


– The death benefit amount is a percentage of the Total Provident Benefits.  The Provident total is the sum of the member’s monthly contributions, employers’ contributions for the member and dividends. Yong death benefit sabay na ibinibigay sa Total Provident Benefit. Isang claim form lang siya.

Note:  File your claim at the branch where the member’s records are kept.


Burial benefit of 20,000 pesos
Insurance benefit of 100,000 pesos if death is due to natural cause or 200,000 pesos if death is due to accident

Insurance & Health Care Benefits Division
7th Street cor. FB Harrison St. Pasay City
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
(or go to your OWWA Regional Welfare Office)

Note: If you’re an OFW, make sure your membership is always current. My relative paid his OWWA membership for the almost 30 years he worked abroad, but because he worked for two straight years during his last contract, he was not able to pay his OWWA membership, so his family’s claims were denied by OWWA.

You pay your OWWA when you pay your OEC or Overseas Exit Clearance or Balik-Manggagawa (BM) papers at the POEA or at any accredited OEC payment center or service. The OWWA membership fee is 25 US dollars, payable in pesos.


–  This refers to life insurance policies purchased from private insurance companies such as Philam, Insular Life, and BPI-Philam Life (formerly Ayala Life), Sun Life, Manulife, PNB Life and others.


–  There are life and accident insurance policies offered by banks as added benefits to certain special bank accounts and time deposits.

– An example is the BPI Get Started Savings Account with Life Insurance. The account comes with a free BPI-Philam Life insurance equivalent to 5 times the account’s balance, up to 2 million pesos.
Balance means the average month-to-date average daily balance of the past three calendar months prior to the death ofthe insured.


– This is for credit cardholders who have purchased credit life insurance and life insurance policies from or through their credit card issuers.

– Examples are the Assure and Saver life insurance programs of Axa Philippines, a joint venture between Metrobank and Global AXA Group of France.


– Some memorial companies give financial assistance or death benefits to the beneficiaries of those who pass away while still paying their memorial plans in monthly, quarterly or yearly installments.

– For instance, the St. Peter Life Plans with Return of Premium policy gives cash assistance to beneficiaries if the planholder dies during the paying period or within 5 years after full payment. There’s also additional benefit for death or loss of limbs or eyes due to accident.


– HMOs provide primarily hospitalization benefits, but most of them also provide death benefits to HMO members’ beneficiaries.

– An example is the INTELLICARE corporate HMO program of Asalus Corp. This HMO plan gives cash assistance of 10,000 pesos for natural death and 20,000 pesos for accidental death to the beneficiaries of principal HMO cardholders.


– Separate death benefits for employees of companies with retirement, incentive or insurance programs for their employees. Usually ang mga big local companies and some foreign multinationals ang merong ganitong Death Benefits in the Philippines.

I looked at Book 4 of the Labor Code of the Philippines (titled Health, Safety and Social Welfare Benefits) and I saw that the only mandatory employee benefit related to death is that given by SSS. Mandatory for employers na tapatan nila ang SSS contribution ng employees. And later, naging mandatory rin yong employers’ share sa PAG-IBIG contributions.


– Some OFW employers give death benefits, especially to the beneficiaries of long-time employees. If the OFW passes away while on vacation, the primary beneficiary should email the employer, together with a copy of the death certificate and a copy of marriage or birth certificate, and request for any financial benefit.


– There are some cooperatives that provide death benefits or financial assistance to the beneficiaries of members. An example is the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), which has a group insurance partnership with Philam Life.


– In our barangay and nearby barangays in our province in the North, there is an association called SARANAY. Whenever someone in the barangay dies, each family in the barangay contributes a certain amount of money (the same amount for all families) to accumulate money for the bereaved family. A total of 10,000 pesos (50 pesos times 200 families) is already a big help in the province.  I am proud of my mother, who is now in her 80s, because she and her friend were the ones who started this program years ago in our rural area, and now this program has spread out into other barangays.

May death benefit ba na nakukuha sa PHILHEALTH?
Sori, WALA, kasi hospitalization or medical treatment cost assistance ang focus ng Philhealth.


Note:  We are not familiar with death benefits provided by the GSIS, AFP or PNP, so we will not be able to answer questions about these benefits.

GSIS (For government employees)

– Burial benefit of 20,000 pesos, given to the spouse or to the children (if spouse is already deceased)
– Survivors’ monthly pension or cash benefits to primary beneficiaries (legal spouse and minor children up to 5). If there are no spouse and children, death benefits are given to secondary beneficiaries.
– For members who died in the course of work or due to an occupational illness, additional Employee Compensation benefits are given to beneficiaries.
– Proceeds of compulsory and/or optional life insurance policies and/or educational policies and/or accident insurance policies for beneficiaries of members who participated in these optional programs.

Note:  GSIS has several retirement and life insurance options, kaya iba-iba ang pag-compute ng amounts of death benefits received by beneficiaries.

If you’re in the Muntinlupa area,  and you would like to purchase a St.  Peter Life Plan or St. Peter Memorial Plan, just make a comment below, and I’ll email you the name and cell phone no. of a St. Peter agent.  Sabi ng agent na ito, bibigyan daw ako ng referral fee or konting deduction sa monthly payment ko sa plan ko kung meron akong mai-refer.

Sa dami ng pre-need na naba-bankrupt, bakit ako nagre-refer ng memorial plan?  Baka sakali lang na naghahanap ka ng ganitong plan at meron kang tiwala sa St. Peter.  Hindi naman sila na-bankrupt noong kasagsagan ng pre-need collapse. At hindi naman sila focused sa pera, kundi sa memorial chapels, caskets at memorial services. Meron daw silang malawak na taniman ng mga trees (forgot the tree name) which they use to make caskets.

Hindi natin alam, baka ma-bankrupt din ang St. Peter, kung ma-mismanage (of course, hindi sana), pero nakita ko kasi yong hirap nang namatayan, kaya kumuha rin ako ng plan, para hindi mahirapan ang anak ko, lalo na at only child siya. Pero lagi kong ipinagdarasal na pahiramin pa ako ng Panginoon ng mahaba-habang buhay para mapagtapos ko pa siya sa college, at makatulong pa ako sa extended family members.

Death Benefits in the Philippines


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  1. tanong ko lang po? Sa SSS ilang hulog ng sss po ba ng deceased member para maka avail ng burial benefits? At sa GSIS din?

    Kasi sabi sa akin nun ng GSIS dapat naka 20 years daw ang member bago maka avail ng burial/funeral service.

    Paki clarrify po… Salamat

  2. Hi jiemar, sa SSS, kahit 1 contribution lang ang paid, qualified na for funeral benefit. About GSIS, hindi ko makita sa website ng GSIS ang eligibility requirements for burial. Pero dapat hindi 20-year requirement ang for burial. GSIS ang nagsabi sa iyo na ganon nga raw na 20 years? Baka baguhan lang yong napagtanungan mo. Tanggap ba ng mga members yan? Will get back if I see something.

  3. May burial assistance din po ba from SENIOR CITIZEN office sa mga brgy hall? Sabi ng iba, meron daw.

  4. Hi Van, ask your barangay. Some barangays offer burial assistance to all, not only senior citizens. There are also elected city officials that help if asked.

  5. tanong ko lang po bkit po sa sss ngaun, kaylangan n isa isahin pa ng kaanak ang mga napagtrabahuhan ng magulang bago nila irecieve ang appliction? para sa burial,lumsum. sa kalagayan po naming magkakapatid isa lang po natatandaan nmin.ibig sbihin po b non pag di nmin nsabi lahat ng nging compony e wala po kami makukuha.para po kasing taliwas ang mga islogan ng sss makatulong,masecure ang pamilya, sa nangyayari po ay torture.kasi imagine 2yrs palang ako ang ate ko 5yrs nong tym n un nauna ng namatay si nanay patay narin mga kasamahan nya dti,di po masama loob ko naguguluhan po ako sa istilo ng sss sana magbigay sila ng kongkretong paliwanag kasi po khit sino nahihirapan maliban cguro sa mga empleyado ng sss kasi parang sila lang nakakaalam.binubulaga lang nila mga pamilya ng namatayan.

  6. Hi mar, yes, you’re right. SSS should improve their record keeping and claim processing system. If you’re able to submit the other documents (standard requirements), you should be able to claim. But what I can surmise is that SSS wants your list because they want to countercheck their online records, as their online records goes back only up to 1990. All records before this year are for manual verification. I think they need to know if they have to do manual verification, which takes them a very long time.
    Go over your parents’ papers; you might see some info there. If none, you can write a letter to SSS, explaining your situation about your knowledge of your parents’ job history, then write what you know and what you guess (years when your parents were working, or the earliest year you remember that your parents were working, such as “it was 1980 and I was 3 years old and I remember my father was already working”). If you’re not able to claim just because of that one requirement (list of employers), and after doing all your best efforts negotiating with SSS, ask the SSS officer if you have to go to T3 or Imbestigador or to PAO to be able to claim. I hope I’ll be able to write a post about this soon

  7. good day. Can beneficiaries/ dependents use the philhealth of a deceased member? Payment was continuous until the member passed away. Can it be used by the spouse or child ? It would be a waste of money if it can’t be used by the dependents. Thanks

  8. Hi ejean, if the deceased member was employed or individual payor, his/her Philhealth can be used only up to the 4th month after the last payment. For example, July to Sep 2014 was paid. Philhealth can be used up to Jan 2015.

  9. hi nora, i would like to clarify something regarding the SSS benefit of my friend who got a no fault vehicular accident. Is it true that his benefit will be doubled? he is a personal driver and his regular work schedule is 8am to 5pm. but the day before his accident his employer requested him to report at 4am but on his way to the house of his employer he got hit by an elf at about 3am. some say he is on duty but others do not consider it as on duty since he was still on his way and did not arrived yet to the house of his employer. could this be considered already on duty?

  10. Hi Jojo, that’s a matter that his heirs will need to explain to the SSS EC officer handling his case. I know a pastor who drowned at 8pm while crossing a river to get back home. His heirs were able to explain that his working hours included that time he was crossing the river. Your friend’s heirs can argue that he was a personal driver, so his hours were flexible, and dependent on the travel needs of his employer.

  11. Hello. What if I haven’t written my husband as my SSS beneficiary ? Can he get something in case I pass away? Does he have rights? My Parents are the ones written as my beneficiaries. We are married but we have no children. Thank you.

  12. Hi bernadette, yes, your husband is your primary beneficiary and your parents are your secondary beneficiary. Secondary beneficiaries can only get benefits if there are no primary beneficiaries. Your husband can get a pension if you accumulated at least 36 contributions. He will use your marriage certificate.
    Do you wish that it will be your parents that will benefit? That will happen only if you’re living separately and your husband is not dependent on you.

  13. Hi. Pls advise. Im an ofw since 1990 and Paid owwa annually latest was this Aug 2014. My mom died dec 2 and paid for all the expenses fr hosp to burial. Being an ofw and she is My registered dependent am i entitled to get any burial benefit! Some told me its only the primary member that is entitled for the 20k burial benefit is it true? Thanks

  14. Hi Edee, sorry the OWWA burial benefit applies only to the OWWA member, it does not apply to OWWA dependents. This means that the burial benefit is given to the dependents of the OWWA member if the OWWA member passes away.

  15. Hello. I was the one who processed the death claim of my father last year at sss. I read some of his records in the late 70s’ regarding same contributions amounting of 2 to 5 pesos till 80s’ turnout to 10php. At those times, the value of currency is different. What I’m puzzled about is that the value is the same up to now. What’s cruel is that they impose huge interests on loans, and to think that it’s the members’ money. But the contributions did not increase in value. Is that not unfair to us?

  16. Hi jhayjhay, yes, it’s sad, but there’s unfairness in almost every aspect of life. I don’t know how to respond to you correctly, but you can write your suggestions to our Congress and to news websites and online forums and social networks, and hope they might get heard. It’s true that for a member to get the maximum benefit from SSS, he should continue paying high or maximum contributions at ages 56 to 59.9. SSS should do more to inform all members about benefits and loan penalties.

  17. Ms. Nora, my wife is pregnant now. I want to pay her sss contributions. She paid only 1 time, last 2013 as self employed. If I pay feb 2015 for her, will it be posted for feb 2015? thank you. god bless

  18. Hi Jhun, yes, if you pay for Feb this Feb, your payment will be posted as payment for Feb. Did your wife register as self-employed using RS1 form? Does she have a Date of Coverage?

  19. Ms.Nora can a former ofw upon death can his beneficiaries claim for death benefit from owwa? thanks and godbless

  20. Hi rowena, yes, if the OFW was an OWWA member when he/she died. You can check the date of his/her OEC. Is there OWWA payment there? If his contract was for 2 years, and if he died within 2 years from OEC, you can claim. To be sure, you can ask OWWA with your IDs, marriage certificate (if spouse) or birth certificate (if child or parent) and death certificate, etc.

  21. What if the above ofw died after his contract.for example he’s ofw from 1990-1992,and he died last year.did his wife can get burial benefits to owwa?

  22. hi good day po ms, my father was ofw worker then he passed away in 2010. can we get owwa benefits? He died here in the Philippines. He was supposed to leave again for abroad, but the Lord took him. Thanks

  23. Hi sheila, check your father’s OEC. Check the validity date of his OWWA payment. If his OWWA membership was valid or active when he died, you can file your claim. Usually, the $25 payment is valid for 2 years, so if your father died within 2 years of his OEC date, you might be able to file your claim. If you don’t have his OEC, you can call
    09178986992 (the landlines are currently down)

  24. hello, can I get an insurance from St. Peter while I’m currently abroad? As I know, I can’t get an insurance (life, vul, term) unless I’m in the Philippines but I’m not sure about memorial/pre-need ones.

  25. Hi yumi, you’re right, even with St. Peter plans, you need to sign the plan papers. But depending on your purpose, and if you need to get a plan now, since St. Peter plans are assignable and transferable, you can let a family member buy a plan, and then transfer later on where you’re here.

  26. hi ms nora i just want to ask hows true that many said philhealth can give burial assistant to senior citizens amounting 2000 pesos just complete the necessary requirements and file to the nearest philhealth office. thank you

  27. Hi teresa, I don’t know of any Philhealth burial assistance for the families of senior citizens. I’ve searched quickly and found out that the Governor of Bataan gives 2,000 pesos as burial assistance. Maybe other provincial governments have this program – ask your city or municipal hall. DSWD also gives a 2,000-peso burial assistance but only to the families of indigent senior citizens. I’ll add to this if I see something.

  28. need help. my dad died in the states but he owned a business there in p.i a long time ago. would he have death benefits there and one more, my relative went back there a couple of months ago to claim my dad’s mom death benefit but they told me that, they need my dad’s death certificate to claim my grandmother benefit. I want to know if this is true or if they’re just deceiving me so they can claim my dad’s benefit. thank you.

  29. Hi ronan, do you mean SSS death benefits? Did your father register correctly and pay SSS contributions when he operated his business? If yes, your father’s principal beneficiary are your mom and any child under 21 (marriage cert, birth cert and death cert). The funeral benefit (20,000 pesos) will be given to the one who spent for funeral costs (funeral OR and death cert). Plus SSS claim forms. If you like, your mom can email and inquire. Your father wa not OFW, but he lived overseas, and you can get faster response from this email address. Ask your father’s SSS no. and no. of contributions. Write your father’s personal data: date and place of birth, names of parents, gender. Attach a scan or photo of your mom’s 2 photo IDs and her marriage certificate (to show her relation to your father). Your grandma and children under 21 are secondary beneficiaries — they can claim only if there are no primary beneficiaries.

  30. Ms. Nora, My father died last mAy 14, and he is an active member of PhilHealth .. Are we allowed to use his pHilhealth?

  31. Hi ClaiE, did he pay Philhealth for Feb Mar April? or for April May June? If you have the Philhealth receipt, you’re under 21, unmarried and unemployed, and you were written in the MDR as dependent, I think you can use this July. But ask the hospital

  32. Can I process at the sss branch nearest our house the sss death claims of my father even if it’s in manila where he died? Or does it have to be processed in manila?

  33. Hi artseh, is the SSS branch near your house a big branch or a regional branch? Process the funeral benefit first, and try there at the branch nearest your branch, so you can see and get advice.

  34. Hi Po Ms. Nora. Tanong ko yong friend ko namatay on duty. Nakapag-claim na po sila nga mga benefits sa sss except sa E.c sss. Dahil ng na-check po ng sss na hinabulan lang sya 5 months ng hulog sa sss. Sarado na po ngayon yong company na employer nya. Sabi po ng company kung my idea dw po kami magkano computation ng sss sa ec nya babayaran na lng daw po ng dating employer nya. Posible po kaya un at totoo po ba doble bayad nyan pagnamatay siya on duty?
    Please help us.thanks

  35. hi! Ms. Nora. My sibling died. I found out he has 6 months of contributions to SSS. Can his spouse and child claim pension? thanks po

  36. Hi weng, sorry, your sibling’s heirs are not qualified for pension. Your brother should have paid at least 36 contributions. What they can claim is the funeral benefit and lump sum (total amount of contributions paid). Ask others too

  37. Good day ms Nora. this is about SSS burial benefit. my friend married a balik Islam. she’s the second wife. Married in a Muslim ceremony. Can she claim the burial benefit because she was the one who managed the burial and spent for everything? he was an ofw po. She’s the declared beneficiary at Owwa.

  38. Hi Charry, yes, your friend can claim the SSS funeral benefit, even if she’s the second wife. The funeral OR and other related receipts must be in your friend’s name. Have photocopies. Other documents required: Death certificate, your friend’s IDs, funeral benefit claim form, filer’s affidavit

  39. non-interest earning means that the cenikchg account will not earn interest regardless of how much is deposited in that cenikchg account. are you applying as a business or personal? i did not have this experience when i needed to open a cenikchg account for the purpose of renting a condo.

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