SSO acting chief Kowit Sachavisad said the new perks include better maternity benefits, including Bt13,000 for every delivery as well as an allowance for a 90-day maternal leave; an allowance of up to Bt400 per month per child until the age of six; and higher compensation in the case of death. Beneficiaries will also be able to specify who else is eligible for the compensation apart from natural heirs.
Also, those unable to contribute enough to make them eligible for death compensation will now become automatically eligible for it, he said.
As for unemployment benefits, under the Act’s Section 33, the SSO will base the rate on the three highest contributions over the last 15 months. The three highest contributions will then be divided by 90 to come up with a daily wage for the unemployment compensation rate. Failing this, the SSO can base the unemployment benefit on the official minimum daily wage, he added.
This coverage will also apply to those who have developed a disability before March 31, 2015, when this extended coverage went into effect.
Also, under the new regulations, the validity of reimbursement applications has been extended from one to two years, Kowit said. In addition, the SSO will now cover the 300,000 temporary employees of all Thai government offices, as well as those working for Thai agencies overseas, he said.
Bid to improve access to services
SSO deputy chief and spokeswoman, Pol Major Romayong Surakitbunharn, said points on health promotion and disease prevention were also added to the new edition of the Act, and the National Health Security Office (NHSO) will announce its plans next year.
Under this new development, the NHSO will let representatives of provincial SSO offices to join its regional subcommittees in order to coordinate and accommodate beneficiaries’ access to a public hospitals’ disease-prevention services, such as antenatal care, vaccination and tests for serious diseases, she said.
Romayong added that the new edition of the Act has also changed the deadline for paying contributions and will impose fines on employers for late payment.
Under the new rules all contributions must be made before the 15th of every month, she said. For instance, employer contributions for October must be paid by November 15, after which they will be charged an extra 2 per cent of the overdue amount each month until the payment is made.
The SSO has added Krungthai, Ayudhya and Thanachart banks to its list of free payment channels for employers, she said.
For more information on payment channels, call the 24-|hour hotline 1506 or visit www.sso.go.th/wpr/uploads/uploadImages/file/notice020958.pdf or.