ECC urges Covid-19 front-liners to avail of benefits

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) is urging the government and private employees who were infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) while performing their duties or have acquired the virus at work to apply for benefits under its agency.

In an interview Thursday, ECC Ilocos Region information officer Dexter Dupagan said employees or their families may apply for one of the benefits being offered by their office.

These include loss of income, medical, cash assistance, death and funeral benefits, and rehabilitation services, he said.

“Loss of income can be compared to Social Security System’s (SSS) sickness leave. This benefit may be availed by private and government employees, however, the government employees may choose only between the benefit from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and ECC’s because of the exclusive benefit law,” he said.

Dupagan said that if approved, the private employee will get a maximum PHP480 per day of his absence due to sickness, while a government employee will get a maximum PHP200 per day of sickness should he opt for an ECC benefit.

Medical benefit covers out-of-the-pocket expenses of the employee that were not covered by the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) Inc. package, he said.

“The employee may reimburse his or her expenses to the ECC that were not covered by PhilHealth,” he added.

Dupagan said ECC also offers cash assistance to employees who acquired Covid-19 while at work, and have recovered or have died.

“If they qualify, ECC will give PHP10,000 to the recovered employee while the family of an employee who succumbed to the virus will receive PHP15,000 under cash assistance benefit,” he said.

Meanwhile, the family of an employee who has died due to Covid-19 or any other sickness or accident while performing his or her duties may receive death or funeral assistance worth PHP30,000 on top of the death and funeral benefit offered by the SSS and GSIS for government employees.

“This benefit also covers uniformed personnel. This is on top of their benefits under the Philippine National Police,” Dupagan said.

He said the family or spouse or children below 21 years old of an employee who succumbed to Covid-19 or any other sickness acquired while at work may also apply for the death pension, which is a separate benefit to SSS pension.

The death pension is also available for uniformed personnel.

Dupagan said ECC also offers rehabilitation services to employees who were displaced from their job due to sickness acquired from work or disability caused by accident while at work by giving them skills and entrepreneurship training.

“If our system approves his or her application, ECC will shoulder the cost of the employee’s vocational course and will provide a starter kit worth PHP20,000. And if the employee was able to grow his or her business, ECC will again give additional PHP10,000 to him or her,” he said.

He added applicants for the respective benefits should fill up prescribed forms and attach supporting documents, such as a certificate of employment with job description indicated therein, medical or hospital records, incident or accident report, and EC logbook from their employers.

Dupagan said interested applicants may contact them through their Facebook account, Ecc Ilocos Region.

He added these benefits apply not only to Covid-19 but also other illnesses or accidents acquired while at work. Hilda Austria /PNA –