KUCHING: There is no time limit for an eligible person to apply and claim social security benefits as long as one fulfills the requirement.
State director of Social Security Organisation (Socso) Philip Sangkan assured that payment of benefits would be given to workers or their dependents even for cases dating back 10 or 20 years ago.
“The best thing is to come and see us. We will do our best to help even with little information provided by the claimant. Give us the IC number and let us do the rest,” he said before presenting a benefit payment to a widow Tan Gek Hiang, 58, at her home in Tabuan Laru yesterday.
Tan finally collected the benefits after nearly 23 years since her husband died from an illness.
“If the death occurred 10 or 20 years ago, or if there’s no contribution made during the last four to five years, it does not mean the employee is not protected,” he said.
Even workers who have stopped working due to critical illnesses like kidney failure or cancer have been advised to visit Socso to find out the benefits they are entitled to.
Stressing the importance of Socso contribution for every working Malaysian, Phillip said it was compulsory for employers to register their workers in order to enjoy the security and protection.
“We don’t know what will happen in the future, but Socso will provide some protection for families of the contributors especially when tragedy strikes or when the worker is injured while working,” he added.
He said in the first three months of this year, Socso had made payment for 818 cases in Kuching alone for various benefits totalling over RM2.75 million.
Even though awareness about the importance and benefits of Socso were on the rise, Socso would continue to carry out more activities to reach out to the community especially those still lacking in the understanding of its functions and benefits.
“The media and other organisations need to play their role and help to send out the message and raise greater awareness to the general public about what Socso is all about. I believe there are people out there who face more or less similar situation with that of Tan’s where it did not come across their mind that these social security benefits are available to contributors,” he added.
On compliance among employers, Philip admitted there existed stubborn companies which refused to comply but on a whole, the situation was getting better.
“Socso wants every employer to register their employees. This is mandatory anyway. Get the workers registered with us so that they will be covered by our scheme,” he said.
Sections 4 and 5 of the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969, states that it is the requirement for employers to register their companies with Socso if they employ worker under a contract of service or apprenticeship.
Failure to register and contribute to Socso is an offence under this Act, which carries a maximum RM10,000-fine or two years’ jail, or both.
Socso coverage has also been extended to taxi drivers, making it compulsory for them to contribute to Socso effective June 1, 2017.