In the event that an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) dies abroad, a claim for his or her death and burial benefits can be done by his/her next-of-kin. Let this article guide you through the application process of claiming death and burial benefits, should you have an OFW relative who passed away while working overseas.
Among the benefits of being an active OWWA member are death and burial benefits which come in the form of cash assistance amounting to a maximum of PhP 200,000, as well as a burial benefit of PhP 20,000 for the bereaved family.
Also Read: How to Apply OWWA Calamity Assistance
Keep in mind, however, that only active OWWA OFW members may avail of this benefit, so make sure to have your membership status renewed in order to secure such benefit for you and your family.
Having to work abroad is both a privilege and a challenge on its own, but having to work away from your loved ones is another thing – especially when people are away even in their last breath. This is not uncommon to many of our OFWs who, unfortunately, reach an untimely death while away from their families.
But while it is an inevitable event, OFW dependents can rest assured of a proper closure on behalf of their deceased relatives through the death and burial benefits by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Again, the death benefit of PHP 200,000 can be claimed only if the deceased OFW was an active member of OWWA.
Eligible beneficiaries of the death and burial benefit may avail of a death benefit amounting to PhP 100,000 if the OFW’s death was of a natural cause, or PhP 200,000 if the OFW died of an accident.
Aside from that, the bereaved family will also receive a burial benefit of PhP 20,000 which should help cover for some of the burial costs.
To qualify for the death and burial benefit, an applicant must meet the following:
- A land or sea-based OFW
- An active OWWA member
- The cause of death must either be natural or accidental
Applicants must secure the following documentary requirements upon their application:
- Fully accomplished OWWA Death Claim Application Form
- Original copy of claimant’s birth certificate as issued by PSA or local civil registrar
- Foreign Death Certificate
- Any of the following documents to certify OFW’s cause of death:
- If the OFW’s death happened while in employment abroad: Mortuary certificate issued by the consular office, Airway Bill and No Objection Certificate, if the OFW’s death happened while they are employed abroad.
- If the OFW’s death happened due to an accident: Formal accident report
- Burial permit
- Official breakdown and receipt of funeral cost
- Two (2) valid IDs and one (1) ID photo of the claimant
- Proof of claimant’s relationship to OFW:
- For the OFW’s spouse, a PSA-issued marriage certificate
- For the OFW’s parents, Original birth certificate of OFW
- For the OFW’s child, a PSA-issued birth certificate and the OFW’s death certificate
- Should there be no PSA-issued birth or marriage certificate available, any one of the following may be presented:
- A certification from the local civil registrar stating that the birth or marriage is not registered in the civil registry.
- Baptismal or marriage certificate from the church or religious institution
- Sworn affidavit of two (2) unrelated contacts certifying claimant’s relationship to the deceased OFW
- An affidavit of undertaking as delivered by the claimant; should the cause of death be an accident, a formal police record must be included as well
For approved applicants, any of the following identification must also be presented upon release of the assistance:
- Original Passport
- Company ID
- Postal ID
- Driver’s license
- Original copy of NBI Clearance
- Senior Citizen ID
How to Claim OWWA Death Benefits
Once documentary requirements have been secured, follow these steps to finish your application:
- Go to your designated OWWA Regional or Satellite Office or contact a POLO office to get an application form.
- Fill up all required information and attach the documentary requirements.
- Submit your application to the OWWA Regional or Satellite Office via courier service.
- Wait for a call or email from an authorized OWWA representative to confirm your application.
- Incomplete and unverified applications will not be processed.
- Note that the death and burial benefit is provided to OFWs who are within their contract of employment at the time of death.
- Eligible claimants who have been approved of their application must have a bank account in their name ready for the release of assistance, as it will only be given via bank transfer within two (2) weeks since approval of application.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some FAQs about the death benefits of OWWA for OFWs:
1. What does the death and burial benefit cover?
The death and burial benefit covers OFWs who died of either natural causes or by man-made accidents and provides monetary assistance to help the bereaved family cover the expenses from bringing their OFW relative home (unless paid for by the local government or employer) to the burial.
2. How much is the assistance?
Eligible beneficiaries may claim a financial benefit of PhP 100,000 for OFWs who died of natural causes or PhP 200,000 for those who died by accidents, plus a burial benefit of PhP 20,000 for the deceased OFW’s family.
3. Who can apply for the death and burial benefit?
Among the qualified claimants of the benefit are the OFW’s spouse, parents or child. Please secure the documentary requirements along with your proof of relationship to the OFW before applying.
4. What if my OFW relative died abroad but not within the period of their contract?
Unfortunately, the benefit is bound for OFWs who died within the period of their employment contract abroad. Otherwise, dependents may reach out to the POLO or OWWA Regional or Satellite Office for further assistance.
5. Can the OFW’s child apply for the benefit?
Yes, the OFW’s child is a qualified dependent and therefore, an eligible claimant, as long as they have proven their relationship with the OFW and have complied with the requirements of the benefit.
Death is bound for everyone, and it knows no time to come. However, we can still assure ourselves and our loved ones of a proper closure by leaving them with the fruit of our sacrifices, and OWWA’s death and burial benefit is one example. Be sure to have your membership renewed to avail of such a benefit.
The OWWA death benefit will help your loved ones financially so they can have a proper burial done for you. Remember to submit all necessary documents to qualify for OWWA benefits.
For more information on OWWA benefits and programs, you may visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App to stay updated on their latest programs.