The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has recently announced the eligibility of frontline workers, who contracted Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) by reason of their employment, to benefits and services under the Employees’ Compensation Program.

“ECC envisions a safe working environment for all Filipino workers, especially, the frontline workers who are crucial in this time of pandemic.  In the event that an employee acquires the virus because of work or working environment, it can be compensable under the EC Program thru the ‘Increased Risk Theory’ provided that it was obtained by the employee in the performance of his employment,” said ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis.

Frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, uniformed personnel, hospital support staff, pharmacists, employees of food industries, supermarket personnel, and security guards who have an employee-employer relationship and were found to be positive with COVID-19 due to their employment, may  file for an  Employees’ Compensation  claim at any Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) branches nearest  them.

Beneficiaries of this program can avail the daily sickness benefit (temporary total disability) and medical benefits. If the worker dies due to COVID-19, his family can claim death with funeral benefits.

Daily sickness benefit given to beneficiaries is at a maximum amount of Php 480 up to a maximum of 120 days and can be extended up to 240 days for private sector employees. For the government sector, the maximum daily income benefit is Php 200 or Php 340 if worker opts to avail of sickness benefit under the GSIS Law or Republic Act 8291. This does not require the exhaustion of leave credits to avail the daily sickness benefit.

Medical benefits include the reimbursement of medical expenses incurred in the treatment of COVID-19, which shall be based on the schedule of reimbursement.

In case of death, the beneficiaries are entitled to death benefits or survivorship pension which is computed based on the number and amount of premium contributions paid by the employer. The minimum EC survivorship pension for private sector workers is Php 2,000 per month and the EC funeral benefit amounts to Php 30,000 for both the private or public sector employee.