How to get your SSS card (or die trying)

Today, Cathy and I took a day off from work to process our application for our digitized Social Security System (SSS) cards; we also intended to secure registration for our Revo and get CTCs from the local barangay hall. Later in the day, if there was time, passport photo shots for us and Nathan. That was the plan.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the SSS now requires the card to claim maternity leave benefits and/or salary loans, among other “benefits.” We had no choice – we had to take time to get these cards, to claim something from the government that takes away a significant chunk of our income every month.

If you’re ready to hear the horror story that unfolded and ate up our day, read on.

Cathy actually downloaded card application forms from the SSS website last year. These were the instructions on Page 2 of the one-page, double-sided form:

1. Fill up one copy of this form and submit to the nearest SSS office.

2. A replacement fee of P150.00 will be charged to be paid to any SSS-accredited bank or to the SSS Head Office.

3. Submit proof of payment and corresponding document/s for the following replacement reasons: (Ganns: I’ll cut the data here, the reasons are too long to type.)

We proceeded to the SSS branch in Del Monte, where Cathy went in to a long line of people in less-than-appealing facilities. She appealed to transfer, so we proceeded to the SSS branch in Caloocan (but not before dropping by Toyota Balintawak to facilitate our yearly car registration).

After getting in line and waiting for 45 minutes, we arrived at a crankly female assistant (who I shall henceforth refer to as PMSSS (Person Missing Simple Social Skills), who informed us that she would not accept our forms because they “lacked the back page.” Cathy explained she downloaded the form off the website and had page 2 with her. She then produced the second page and asked PMSSS if she would accept them. “Meron ka na pala, e,” she said. (You have it after all.)

PMSSS grudgingly acknowledged it, and then, upon perusing our forms, told us they were “out of receipts,” (translated from the vernacular, “ubos na ng resibo”), and that we have to go to another SSS branch to get a receipt, or pay at any bank that accepted SSS payments, except Banco de Oro.
We then proceeded to two banks (Equitable PCI, which didn’t have SSS receipts, and PNB, which did, but was offline) before settling at Allied Bank, the teller and manager of which informed us that they needed the miscellaneous payment form issued by SSS (Form R-6). We told them that SSS Caloocan did not issue us any forms or charge slips.”No bank will issue an SSS receipt without it,” they told us.

We then drove back to SSS Caloocan. Cathy asked the security guard to give us Form R-6 because there was another long line to get to PMSSS. Another SSS employee who happened to be within earshot then told us they that Form R-6 was the form SSS Caloocan was out of. Not a receipt, not a charge slip, but this form. The guard did not know this, so SSS Caloocan basically ate up 45 minutes of our time to do nothing. It was 2PM.

We then proceeded to SSS Welcome Rotonda, where – lo and behold! – they have Form R-6! Cathy secured two forms and was ready to process the payments when she was told by the guard that the machine that captured our photos for the digitized SSS card was not available.

So one SSS branch had the form but no data capture machine, and the other branch had the data capture machine, but no form. The third branch was swarming with people. What chance did we have to possibly finish everything by end-of-day? It was 3PM.

So we proceeded to Equitable Savings Bank on Mayon and paid the fees for R-6 (amounting to P300 for both of us), with sympathetic bank tellers listening to our woes. We took a chance and swung by SSS Del Monte one last time, where Cathy was told that the line was cut, with 40 people in line, whose transactions were predicted to last until closing time. With no other options, we proceeded home, our day basically shot to hell, and our digitized SSS card application still unfinished.

It saddens us that our government requires SSS membership of every private and public employee to gain access to these ‘benefits,’ only to make it incredibly difficult for us to secure the basic tools to claim said benefits.

It saddens us that a pregnant woman has to shuttle through traffic with her husband in tow, to be sent back and forth, in search of forms we had no idea existed. It saddens us that SSS personnel could not have been more sympathetic to our inconvenience, or apologetic when the blame lay more on their side of the fence (e.g.,it wasn’t our fault they were out of forms, so why send us off so curtly?).

It saddens us that we, a couple blessed with a car, visited THREE SSS BRANCHES, and were still unable to finish the process, knowing that the typical Filipino employee without private transportation would have to take leave of his job to process the application, only to realize he will never finish the process in one day.

It saddens us that we cannot receive quality service of our government. My father spent his entire professional life in government service, and I spent years observing the office in which he worked. I know the government is capable of quality.When we are subjected to this kind of inefficiency, this kind of service, and I remember how much the government takes from me month after month, all I can do is pray that somehow, someday, I will get my SSS card, and claim what we know is rightfully ours.


66 responses

  1. Oh dear! I’m just so depressed you both had to go through that. I was scheduled to get my SSS ID some days ago as well, but I’m not sure I want to go through that kind of hell. 😦

  2. No way!!! That really sucks. I wonder where the best SSS office is then. Is it still the one in QC kaya, along East Ave.?

  3. One good reason people could go berserk and start torching government offices in the dark of night. Maybe we should import those gun-toting kids from California and instruct them to fire at will when ordinary citizens have already cleared the space.

    *sigh* Wishful thinking. Can’t help it.

  4. I got my ID in SSS Tagaytay (that far!) but in less than 10 minutes. Travel time (OB) is about 20 minutes from our office. SSS Calamba is also OK. I applied for SSS number there and was out of their warehouse-like office in less than 5 minutes.

  5. Consider yourself blessed, ruralvet. 😉

  6. hay, naku! I had the same experience 2 years ago. That’s why i consider my sss card very, very precious.

    I processed my ard in SSS Makati Ave. and encountered the same type of employees. It is so frustrating!

  7. I went to SSS Quezon Ave. almost weekly after work, around that same time you went there to find the machine or the person manning the ID machine was not available. When I finally catch it working, I found out they only process thirty people a day! So I went in the morning to do it, and it was done quite quickly. I thought that was that. They told me to just wait for the card in the mail, maybe about one month.

    Well what do you know? It is now three months later, and I still don’t have my card!

  8. Applying for my SSS ID was fairly easy… But receiving the actual ID is another story.

  9. GOVERNMENT OFFICES REALLY SUCKS! The employees… what duh.. they’re GODS.. They dont even have basic customer service skills. ANd their system? i dont know if i call it obselete.. but i think it just doesnt make sense. WHEW…

    1. I just wanna say I super agree to this. They act that way coz they feel like we super need them, so no matter how they act in front of us, they don’t care…they know we would still come to them and we have no choice. Not to mention, they wasted our time, our money, our effort and patience. And yet, you can’t even get the quality we well-deserve. Especially that SSS id sh*t…. I applied for that more than a year ago…and up to now…nothing….like nothing. As much as I wanna make a complain about these people, it’s just a waste coz we all know…nothing will change…ever.

      1. Yeah it happens to be the overwhelming consensus, with the exception of the NSO branch in Pasay. I got my birth certificate there in about 30 minutes, including the queue that I had to get first for the payment. I say 95% of the government offices employ the old and stubborn people who still can’t get a grasp of how things work today. Habits like “wait for this”, “sit for a while we process”, and the most of all, “if you don’t have this, then…”. I understand some of these phrases are protocols, and say, you kind of give them your nervous answer and just lost it, well it’s game over for you. I tip my hat to the NSO branch along macapagal ave in pasay, they work just like how a government office should be, simple, effective and honest. Also I would like to commend the newly created e-clearance program of NBI. Avoiding the usual queue by having to file your clearance online and pay thru g-cash, i got there and got my paper in 15 minutes. FACT,

  10. Hey there, I have to apply for SSS for the first time and I was hoping you guys could give me some tips.. How many days does it take to get your SSS/SSS ID? I need to give the SSS form E-1/SSS ID or Flag print out and a TIN number before the 12th (Wednesday). Do you guys think it would be possible for me to get all this by Wednesday if I start on Monday? Hope you guys can help me! GOD bless!! ÛÛ

  11. in applying for sss id,, what you need to do is first; you need to get up early to be the first one in the line of the many applicants in sss office everyday.. don’t forget to bring black ballpen. and fill out those E-6 form that you can get inside their office or you can just download forms..if it is your first time to apply for that’s gonna be for free.. but if not, you need to prepare (PHP100.00) one hundred pesos. there’s a step by step procedure there, so you don’t need to worry about following their procedure.. and there’s one more i dont want you guys to forget…. make sure that you’ll gonna give your best smile when it comes in picture taking, coz you’ll gonna bring and present your id when needed for the rest of your life…

  12. I will be applying for my first digitized SSS ID tomorrow and thanks @oops for this added info… wish me luck…

  13. thank you for additional info’s that this page gave me. Hope that this page can give others the idea of how to deal with government offices.

  14. Sad, but true. SSS employees can’t even give SSS members good customer service. Mu hubby and I re-applied for SSS digitized IDs coz we lost ours, and we had to spend the whole day, just processing it last Sept. Suffice to say, our IDs haven’t been delivered till this day.

  15. And that is a story that is replicated daily in thousands of government offices nationwide. Just think of all the resources that go to waste, including the hapless citizen’s time and money. Couple that with government’s obstinate corruption and you have the formula for the world’s basket case economy.

  16. I hope no one dies trying. good site.

  17. Thanks for the information. I will try my luck at the SSS office branch at Pasig tom Monday morning. I hope their service will be better now.

  18. Kurimaw_Connection | Reply

    Thanks ruralvet for your post (you give me hope)…. I live 45 minutes away from SSS Tagaytay office… I work in Manila that’s why I opted to process in Manila (before)

    Hay… had (almost) the same cranky experience. PMSSS (Person Missing Simple Social Skills) forced out all the positive energy out of me. And, I didn’t complete the process just because I only have one valid ID (only my company ID). Holy crap!!! Such a spinSter!!! I wish I could get all the tax back being deducted from my salary. That is why up until now I didn’t have my SSS ID. (for the love of GOD!)

  19. Kurimaw_Connection | Reply

    Yes, i hope too ( to albuquerque security guard company blog ). One old man died while waiting inline for the NFA rice. PMSSS beware… you can really be a killer :p


    i will be applying for my first SSS ID, i was hoping to find a good SSS office, is SSS main fine?

  21. Kurimaw_Connection | Reply

    Some friends said that the SSS branch from baclaran (where I previously met PMSSS) was relocated near DFA area at Libertad. I am going to renew my Passpost so I might as well try again this week (Goodluck). I wish not to see PMSSS there again. Well if system does not improve at all, they will hear something from me now. (Oh, You’re here again… who is running hell now?? Give my taxes back to me!!!) :p

  22. i certainly understand you guys, had my experience last week, it was memorial day in the US, so we dont have work in our account, when i arrived in sss fairview branch near robinson fairview, they told me that their digitized capture machine is not working and i need to go to diliman branch to have my id digitized… but then they did not told me that fairview branch is issuing number cards for the transaction its like number system, so i decided to go home since theres no use of getting a number in fairview and going back to diliman. why cant just do all of the transaction in one branch…

  23. nourilee santos | Reply

    just bump into this site, i’m looking for somewhere to put my angst over our gov’s SSS.
    been trying to process my maternity benefit since i got pregnant until now that my daughter
    is 5 months old and already crawling. i’m a contractual employee that’s why i need to undergo through the processes myself. even when i was still pregnant, i get to experience being passed to one branch and another. they have no considerations at all. 6 months ago i applied for the sss id but i haven’t got it till now. intead of getting your “BENEPISYO” you get a lot of “PERWISYO”. Pabigat sa balikat ng bayan!

  24. yeah gov’t offices really sucks!!!!!
    employees act lyk dey wer so high..wat dah..
    some of them are numb and most of them are dumb…lack of common sense and the technology?obsolete….

  25. I applied March 2008 and until now I don’t have the ID. I came back to follow-up and was told that the machine( I don’t know what machine) is broken and there is no definite date of when it will be fixed. It was broken since last year. Sigh.

  26. ^^me? 10 months…and counting.

  27. What’s taking so long to release the SSS IDs????? It just doesn’t make sense to the fact that you can get an ID to others in as quickly as 10 minutes. Common! It is really annoying that after getting in line for hours and dealt with very unfriendly employee of SSS you still have to wait for months or years to get your ID. I applied last January 28th of this year and until now I haven’t received my ID yet. They have the information on their website (which now you can’t even get access to) that if you don’t receive your ID within a month go to the SSS office to follow up and I did and it was a waste of time. I hate to say this but we must admit that our government really SUCKS.

  28. GIN KINGS TO TOL | Reply

    And this is why our country is a mess. We have the most corrupt government in the world, let alone the most inefficient and the most ineffective.. Pardon me, I am just so frustrated coz I myself have my share of horror stories dealing with government agencies.

  29. i hope one day i could say na “this is the philippine government system” with pride. ngayon kasi mockery yan kapag nababanggit. lhat naman ng offices ng govt ganyan-prc, sss, name it.

  30. sigh, you can get angry go ahead
    you get sad, so be it
    or get frustrated and hate everything…

    the point is, its never our fault nor the employees, we are simply have to go through this fu** system and our grievances wont even matter to them!

    we are just fu**ed up by these people!

    what a shame

  31. Buti nga kau months lng tinagal ng SSS ID nyo. Me nga mhgit 1 year. kainiz nga e.

  32. panu po kumuha ng sss number?

  33. i also applied for sss id last dec 2007 but until now it wasn’t deliver yet



    1. agree ako dyan sa u kokokrunch……nakakkahiya ang ating bansa dahil sa mababagsik na mga buwaya…para san ba ang id na ating binabayaran buwan buwan at di naman pala tayu nasusuklian ng magandang serbisyo….isa pa dyan ang mga nagtratrabaho sa office ng sss nakkahiya lalo dahil sila din ang dahilan kung bakit napakabagal ng ating progresso sa sss…mga walang hiya kung magtrabaho..nag aantay lang ng sahod nila bwan bwan samantalang tayo din naman ang nagpapasahod sa kanila…

      bwesit talaga ang mga opisyales dyan nagpakasasa lang at walang ginawang maganda….

  35. I think the fastest way is to get an E1/ R6 form from SSS cainta branch( or any bracnh near you) . fill out the forms and pay the required fees at equitable PCI or any other bank that accepts SSS payments and go directly to East ave. I am just not sure on the turnaround time to release the ID cards… I’m planning to get one on monday and this is what I plan to do…. Will give you updates..

    I hope someone with the right authority is reading this thread and will someday fix the crappy system.


  36. OMG…i am planning to get my SSS ID pa naman on my next rest day. Good luck to me.

    I really wonder why service is more crappy in the metro than in provinces when the center of governance is supposed to be right here?? My sister got her SSS ID in our hometown in Bicol – it didn’t take that long, just a few days. Which makes me wanna kick myself for not applying for my digitized ID when I was still there. Now I have to suffer the inept system here in the urban jungle that is Metro Manila. Sigh!

    Maybe I’ll try SSS Sta. Rosa or Calamba (that’s where my friend and I got our SSS number back in 1998, and it took less than an hour – it wasn’t even digitized then).

    Another sigh! If only I can get more days off from work just to deal with the freaking bureaucracy!

  37. I’d like to thank you for featuring this post here. It helps a lot of us with this kind of information. Thank you very much.


  38. ma’am sir tanung q po sana kung kaylan q po makukuha id card q, kc want q po sanang malaman kung magkanu na nahulog sa sss, kc more than 2yrs na po q member but then d q pa po alam kung may laman ng sss q o wala, kc po nung last na naginquire po q 2mants palang po ung narerenit ng agency q lalu nat nababalitaan q po na d dw po naghuhulog ang agency namin sa sss namin. kc pumunta po q sa sss-manila branch sabi po nila d q daw po malalaman til wala pa po q id card, ma’am, sir pls naman po humihingi po q ng konteng oras nyo para malaman q po kung nahuhulugan po tlga sss q…nagpapasalamat po q ng maraming marami kung my mareresive po q responce regarding sa problema q… tenk u po n God bless you all…

  39. Bad Trip!I don’t have any valid ID’s. So I searched on how to get an SSS ID but I am so disappointed on what I read here…How can I get a fastest valid ID. I need it to get my money in my account.

  40. OMG I’m hoping to get my ID (first time) at the San Juan branch…our HR said it’s either there or East Avenue because the other branches don’t have the digitized machine. SUCH A MONEY-MAKING SCHEME!!! It’s like the LTO Makati District Office…my husband’s license was all faded (it wasn’t his fault…the LTO issued us bad quality licenses) and they said if he wanted it replaced, it had to be done at East Avenue. BUUUUT for a MINIMAL FEE, he can have an affidavit drawn JUST OUTSIDE THE OFFICE for a lost license, and he can apply for a new one instead.


  41. i only have a company ID and i needed to open a new bank account. i was able to get my TIN card in less than an hour but BDO, Landbank and BPI required me another government issued ID. they would accept NBI clearance as an ID, but then it would be a hassle since I would need a police clearance to get it, and to get a police clearance I would need to pay for cedula and get a barangay clearance. so i have no choice but to get a SSS ID. i am very saddened with what i read here, but at least it would prepare me emotionaly. ^_^. i guess i would wait until june just so that I can get a student ID.

    i really wonder why our government is so reluctant to give the service it is supposed to render.

    God bless to me as i go to SSS tomorrow to TRY to get my SSS ID.

  42. i applied for a replacement of my SSS ID last Nov 22, 2007. Last year i foloowed up since its been a year already and they just gave me a Job Order Number which was generated October 24, 2008 (a year after i have applied). Up until now, i havent received the ID yet. when i try to follow it up again at SSS, they can’t even give me a date when i can have it. Our government services really suck!

  43. My cousin went to SSS Fairview last (this was during the “floods of Typhoon Ondoy). All she wants was a form so she could file a loan. The guard told her to return at 1. But she could not accept a “NO” for an answer because at that time she was trying to pool some amount for her brother and she will still go to banks in order to complete the amount needed. She insisted because the forms are right there at the booth beside the guard. Due to her insistence, the guard told her to see the lone person at the other end of the room. She was given the form without hassle. She tried to see the manager but she was told to come back at 1 pm. All she wants was to see the manager to tell her that nobody was at the info booth to issue forms, and that there were many people at that time (dahil marami nga ang binaha). A week after, she was called by her Principal and showed her the letter from the SSS Manager. She was accused of public disturbance, violating break time, and conduct unbecoming of a teacher. The manager also suggested to the principal that she undergo psychological evaluation! The letter was wrongly addressed that it went to so many hands. I suggested that she consult a lawyer.

    1. tagalugin mo na lang kaya?

  44. Mga kababayans. I’m afraid i have bad news. If you, like any of the 90+ million Filipinos, are relying on the SSS for major/minor financial assistance now or in the near future, you’re f***ed. I’m not trying to diss our beloved country here but me and my friends did a study involving lots of complicated math and, don’t panic people, ITS ONE BIG F****NG PONZI SCHEME!!! I urge everyone who’s reading this to stop paying your SSS dues and keep your money somewhere safer. Like a bank or under your bed. It’s time to start relying on ourselves instead of the government. Just ask yourself this: WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

    1. i don’t know if you and your friends have also studied that SSS contributions are MANDATORY and many of your so-called reliable banks are already closed while SSS is still around.

      review your math.

  45. hello nag pa photo kami nung may pa for sss id. ilang bwan ba kami mg antay bago release?

  46. ihad a sss i.d card before but i forgot my ss number,then for a long time i didn’t pay my ss coz i dont know if have ss here in dubai,if possible to use my ss before?

  47. Ikaw ang bigay ng maykapal
    Tugon sa aking dasal
    Upang sa lahat ng panahon
    Bawat pagkakataon
    Ang ibigin ko’y ikaw

    Ikaw ang tanglaw sa ‘king mundo
    Kabiyak nitong puso ko
    Wala ni kahati mang saglit
    Na sa yo’y maipapalit
    Ngayo’t kailanma’y ikaw

    Ang lahat ng aking galaw
    Ang sanhi ay ikaw
    Kung may bukas mang tinatanaw
    Dahil may isang ikaw
    Kulang ang magpakailan pa man
    Upang bawat sandali ay
    Upang muli’t muli ay
    Ang mahalin ay ikaw

    break it down.

  48. ask ko lng po status ng sss card ko.almost 10 months n po ksi hindi ko p narerecieve……tnx po..

  49. With all the technology available nowadays we still suffer the burden of acquiring this kind of ID’s. Not just SSS but the entire system is full of it. Recently renewed my drivers license which took me almost 2days to accomplish and the end result is an incorrect address in the drivers license?! I almost died laughing…

  50. hnd ko pa nakukuha ang sss id ko almost 1 year na pero ang deadline lng n sinabi nyo is 3months lng…

  51. kaILn kYa pwede madiliver sss id ko tagal na ako nag apply ah, one year na ala pa din. last may pa ako nag apply hanggang ngayon wala pa rin

  52. yeah goverment officers really sucks ive been applying for my SSS id long time especially when the time that my bag was shoplifted from the mall and i needed to get my primary ids but to my big disappointment when i came to several SSS offices until now i still don’t have the chance to get my digitized id…i suggest all those goverment agencies must have an excellent customer service skill after all the reason why they got into that job is because of the people who still patiently contribute in order to compensate our hard earned money u goverment officers must learned how to assist customers in patience with dedication to help people….pls try to put ur feet in our shoes….where is ur dedication as public servants?…

  53. joy pe benito | Reply

    I applied for a card replacement August of 2010 but up until now I was not able to receive it,Been wondering why,I was informed it will only be for 3 months.

  54. Hi , I lost my wallet ( to pickpockets presumably ) over the weekend and I’ve been trying to get replacement cards for my driver’s license, PRC and SSS cards. I’ve been able to replace my driver’s license card ( took 2 hours but at least you see thee is a system in place already though the people skills of the LTO staff manning the counters could still be improved).
    I heard that replacing my PRC card should also be easy.
    Most shocking to me was the fact that it will take me at least 3 days to get my SSS card! I went to their Shaw office in Pasig and it took me 2 hours just to get the and file the form, pay and get interviewed . This one beats them all- one day just to get an appointment to have my phot taken at the main office or at least that was what I was told. Another day would be spent claiming the card and based on the feedback posted here, it will take an eternity to get it. Ano ba yan SSS? Ipa manage n lang sa private entity yang SSS para mag improve ang service sa bayan!


  55. kailan ba makukuha ang sss id pag nag aply ka?

  56. how long will it take the sss office to process a piece of sss card? I applied for my sss card for almost 2 months ago…. took me a day in their office without eating lunch or anything… then the staff told me that they will just deliver it by mail.. but what disappoints me most is that it’s been 3 months and I still don’t have my card…

  57. hi jen, they told me the same thing, e one year na, wala pa rin akong SSS ID

    1. i don’t get it… what’s taking them so long to process our sss cards?

  58. pwede n po b me kuha ng sss card khit 3mounths plng me nkkapaghulog?

  59. nkakastressed tlaga tagal na aq ng antay ng id q..jan. pa un until now wala pa

  60. Hi there, I have the same problem, been working for years now and paying sss of course yet I still don’t have my SSS card until now. I once inquired in SSS Bicutan when I was in my 20’s how to get my card, only to be told that I still don’t have a permanent card, so kailangan yung temporary sss number ko daw ipa permanent ko. To which I (think-nakalimutan ko na sa sobrang tagal na panahon na lumipas) processed on that same day para maging permanent. When I came back to their office to get my permanent ID card, nailipat na daw sa ibang branch na di ko alam kung saan ba. It’s been how many years and I was not able to go back because I worked overseas na. Were you able to get your permanent card? And what branch? thanks. I can only pray for the kind of government service we have. I’m starting to lose hope as well.

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