Workers who need to apply for their own Social Security System (SSS) membership number, a mandatory requirement of private sector companies and household employers, can now do it electronically through the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph) instead of lining up at SSS branches.

Renato Malto, SSS Officer-in-Charge of the Service Delivery Department, said among those expected to benefit from the thru-the-web issuance of social security or “SS” numbers are millions of current and future Filipino workers starting their employment in the private sector, households or overseas.

“We also accept online SS number applications from self-employed people such as entrepreneurs, freelancers and informal sector workers. Those eligible for voluntary SSS membership, such as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and non-working spouses of active SSS members, can also apply for their own SS number through our website,” Malto said.

The web-based issuance of SS numbers offers an easier and modern alternative for workers aiming to register with the SSS. Previously, workers can only secure an SS number by personally applying for it at SSS branches.

Malto said the SSS has adopted a two-phase application process for the online issuance of SS numbers. The web system will initially verify if the applicant already has an existing SS number using the full name and birth date given by the worker, who must also provide an email address as part of the first phase.

“Once the SSS has determined that the applicant has no previous SS number, the web system will prompt the worker to provide additional details during the second phase such as the home address, contact information, marital status, and names of the spouse, parents and children,” he said, adding that the applicant would be notified of the results of the first and second registration phases through email.

Workers with an SS number issued through the SSS website can use it for paying their monthly SSS contributions. The issued SS number would be considered as “temporary,” and the worker has to convert it to permanent status by presenting any accepted supporting documents such as the birth or baptismal certificate or valid passport to any SSS branch.

“Once the worker has successfully changed the temporary SS number to a permanent one, it can be used to file for various SSS benefits and loan privileges, as well as to apply for the UMID [Unified Multipurpose Identification] card if at least one monthly contribution has already been posted,” Malto said.

In 2014, nearly 2.3 million manual application forms for SS numbers were received at SSS branches, including 1.67 million E-1 forms for regular and household employees; 583,146 RS-1 forms for self-employed workers; 20,458 OW-1 forms for OFWs; and 5,517 NW-1 forms for non-working spouses of SSS members.