The OWWA Welfare Assistance Program is designed to help individual OFWs and their families especially during times of need and crisis. These programs include Bereavement Assistance, Calamity Assistance, Disability and Dismemberment Assistance, Medical Assistance, and Relief Assistance.
In the event of unfortunate incidents, being a member of OWWA entitles OFWs and their families to receive the necessary financial assistance they need to get through these trying times. In case you want to know what to expect from any of these benefits, please check out the description of each assistance under the Welfare Assistance Program below.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency established under the Department of Labor and Employment that prides itself on its commitment to promoting and preserving the best interest of millions of Filipino migrant workers and their families.
By providing benefit programs that would cater to their priorities, from health and education to calamity relief and bereavement, the agency aspires to bridge Filipinos to the world and the genuine service they deserve.
OFWs and their qualified dependents can enjoy a wide array of benefits by availing of their membership program. With a standard contribution of USD 25 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, members can enjoy these benefits within the two-year validity of their membership.
Although, there are also some programs that are open to inactive OWWA OFW members and will allow them to attain similar perks. One of these benefit programs is the Welfare Assistance Program which seeks to provide financial assistance to OFWs and their qualified dependents in any one of the circumstances that are not covered by the agency’s Social Benefit programs:
1. Bereavement Assistance
Unlike the Death and Burial Benefits which caters to the family members of deceased OFWs whose membership status remained active upon the time of death, the Bereavement Assistance is open to families of deceased OFWs even when they have an inactive membership. Through a one-time cash aid amounting to a maximum of PhP 20,000, the program hopes to be of sufficient assistance to the bereaved families in covering any funeral cost or loss of income.
Although the grant varies across approved applications, as the agency’s means to continue honoring the hard work and sacrifices of OFWs, family members who failed to qualify by any other grounds, or those who have not been approved for the Death and Burial Benefit may consider applying for this program.
2. Calamity Assistance
The Calamity Assistance program is designed for OWWA OFW members, active or inactive, and their family members who have been affected by natural disasters, such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions, or earthquakes, as well as man-made calamities like chemical explosions or spills.
Under this program, victims of natural calamities are entitled to a cash aid of PhP 500 for inactive OFW members or PhP 1,000 for active OFW members, whereas victims of man-made calamities may avail of a cash aid amounting to either PhP 1,500 for inactive OFW members or PhP 3,000 for active OFW members.
3. Disability and Dismemberment Assistance
The Disability and Dismemberment Assistance aims to provide immediate aid to OWWA OFW members, whether land or sea-based, who have attained significant partial or permanent injury within their employment period, which may have delayed or hindered their continuation.
Qualified beneficiaries of the program are entitled to a financial aid ranging from PhP 2,500 to PhP 25,000 for partial or temporary injuries, or between PhP 50,000 to PhP 100,000 for permanent injuries.
Although the program prioritizes active OWWA OFW members, it remains open to inactive OWWA OFW members; in both cases, the certifying documents stating the severity of the injury, necessary treatment and medication, as well as documents from the employer stating the OFW’s discontinuation or termination of contract due to the sustained injury, must be presented upon application.
4. Medical Assistance
Aside from the Supplementary Medical Assistance or MedPlus Program in cooperation with PhilHealth, OWWA also provides sufficient medical assistance to its active and inactive OFW members, as well as their qualified dependents, who are suffering from illnesses, crime-related injuries, and other medical conditions that are not covered by the aforementioned program.
However, while this makes for a significant health benefit, this is only good for one application, with the grant varying from one beneficiary to another, and therefore should not be considered as a health insurance substitute.
Applicants also need to present supplementary documents to certify their medical condition. Nonetheless, those who do not qualify or have not been approved for the MedPlus Program may consider this program.
5. Relief Assistance
The last part of OWWA’s Welfare Assistance Program covers relief assistance for OFWs who have been displaced or laid off from their work abroad due to economic, political, or public health crises, as well as bankruptcy and other employment concerns.
Active and inactive members can avail of this assistance, but similar to Medical Assistance, the grant varies from one beneficiary to another.
Video: OWWA Welfare Assistance Guide
Check out this video guide uploaded on YouTube where a radio program discusses the details of the existing programs under Welfare Assistance. Watch the video below:
Having to work overseas is already a big sacrifice for many Filipinos, but like all ventures, it also has its fair share of joys and surprises – that includes knowing that your hard work is being honored, and the loved ones you’ve been striving to provide for being well taken care of – and in case of emergency, knowing who to turn to already takes a significant weight off their backs.
With OWWA and its benefit programs under the Welfare Assistance Program, the bridges we make around the globe are made more secure. And by knowing the different OWWA programs available for each possible scenario, you are able to maximize your membership and avail of the government’s services as necessary to guarantee the best for you and your loved ones.
Should you need more information regarding OWWA’s Welfare Assistance Program or other programs, 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 check and update your membership, and to stay connected with the OWWA community.