The death of a loved one, especially while they were living and working abroad as an OFW, can be especially challenging. From the logistics of sending the body home to organizing a funeral, death is a tough business. Luckily, the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) offers death and burial benefits that the surviving next of kin can claim to help send off their loved ones properly.
In the event that you actually lose an OFW relative who happens to be an active OWWA member to death, then this article can help you learn more about the benefits, qualifications, requirements, and application process for claiming the OWWA death and burial benefits.
What are OWWA Death and Burial Benefits?
The OWWA Death and Burial benefit is a program initiated by OWWA as mandated by the Republic Act (RA) 10801, otherwise known as the “Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Act.” It offers cash assistance to the surviving family members of active OWWA members OFW who met their untimely demise while their employment contract is still active.
Though death is an inevitable life event, it helps the surviving family members get their closure knowing that they were able to send off their deceased loved one properly with the help of the OWWA Death and Burial Program.
The program is divided into two parts: the death benefit and the burial gratuity.
The death benefit is an insurance benefit offered to surviving relatives of deceased OFWs who were active OWWA members at the time of their death. The program offers the eligible beneficiaries equivalent cash aid for deaths due to natural causes and accidental death.
In addition to the death benefit, the OWWA death and burial program offers the beneficiaries of deceased OFWs a burial gratuity in the form of a funeral grant given to the beneficiaries of the deceased OFW so they can give their loved ones a decent burial.
OWWA Death and Burial Benefits
The OWWA Death and Burial Benefit offers the following benefits to the family members of active OWWA members who died while their job contract was still active:
- Cash Assistance in the event of death
- Php 100,000.00 if the OFW dies of natural causes
- Php 200,00.00 for OFWs who died of accidental causes
- Burial gratuity amounting to Php 20,000.00 to help pay for some of the burial costs.
When claiming the benefits of the OWWA Death and Burial Program, the following conditions must be met, as provisioned by Section 7 of the OWWA Act:
- The beneficiary must be a qualified dependent of a deceased OFW, which could be:
- legal spouse
- unmarried and non-working legitimate, illegitimate, legitimated and legally adopted child, who are not over the age of majority,
- unmarried legitimate, illegitimate, legitimated and legally adopted child, of legal age who are incapacitated and incapable of self-support due to a mental or physical defect;
- parents who rely primarily upon the member-OFW for support.
- unmarried and non-working sibling who is not over the age of majority,
- unmarried and non-working sibling who is over the age of majority but incapacitated and incapable of self-support due to a mental or physical defect
- The deceased OFW must be
- an Active OWWA member
- A land-based or sea-based OFW
- OFW who died of natural causes
- OFW who died of accidental cause
The following list of documents are required in order for the eligible beneficiaries to claim the OWWA death and burial assistance:
For Qualified Claimant
- Duly accomplished OWWA Death Claim Application Form
- Original Death Certificate validated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or issued by the local civil registrar (LCR)
- Affidavit of Undertaking executed by the claimant
- Proof of OWWA Membership
- OFW Membership Record (MR)
- Copy of Passport or Seaman’s Identification Record Book (SIRB) of the OFW – Member
- Two (2) Valid IDs
- One (1) copy of ID Picture of claimant (1×1)
- Police or Accident Report, if the death resulted from an accident
- Burial permit
- Official Receipt (OR) of Funeral Costs
- PSA-issued Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of OFW
- Proof of Relationship to OFW
- If the applicant is the spouse, a marriage certificate is required.
- OFW’s birth certificate, whether the claimant is the father or mother
- If the claimant is the child, the child’s birth certificate and the deceased parent’s death certificate are required.
For OFWs who died while working abroad:
- Foreign Death Certificate,
- Airway Bill
- Consular Mortuary Certificate, or
- No Objection Certificate,
If a birth/marriage certificate is not available:
- A certificate from the LCR stating that the fact of the marriage/birth is not registered in the civil registry
- Certificate of Baptism/Marriage from the Parish Priest/Office
- Affidavits of two (2) unrelated individuals stating the details of the claimant’s birth/marriage and connection to the deceased
- Affidavit of Undertaking executed by the claimant (Police report if death is due to an accident
How to Claim Death and Burial Benefits from OWWA
To avail of the OWWA Death and Burial Benefits, claimants must:
- Secure an appointment to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO):
- Use the appointment scheduler available on the OWWA website (appointment.owwa.gov.ph).
- Use the appointment scheduler on the OWWA Mobile App.
- On the selected date of the appointment, visit the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) that covers the permanent address of the OFW.
- Get queuing number and wait for your turn..
- Present the OFW ID. or info to the Membership Verification Desk, then, based on status of membership obtain application form and checklist of requirements.
- Submit accomplished claim form along with all the required documents for validation / evaluation.
- For approved applications, present claim stub and claim financial assistance through check or cash pay-out.
Please see other important information about claiming death benefits from OWWA below:
- This Death and Burial assistance is only provided to OFWs who died within the duration of their contract.
- To track the status of the application, the claimant will receive a serial reference/tracking number via SMS or email.
- Applicants who submitted incomplete or invalid requirements will be informed of the missing/invalidated requirements via SMS or email.
- To receive the assistance, eligible claimants must have an active account number in their name. Otherwise, they’ll need to open a savings account in the name of the claimant who is an OFW child or relative.
- Within two (2) weeks of the acceptance of the application, the cash assistance from the OWWA Death and Burial Benefit will be transferred directly to the OFW applicant’s account or to his or her designated beneficiary via bank transfer or electronic payment facility.
- All required documents must be approved by the local civil registrar (LCR) or the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA)
Video: OFW Benefits in Death
Let’s hear all about the benefits that OWWA member OFWs and their eligible beneficiaries may receive upon the death of their OFW resident in this video posted by Youtube creator Payong Kaibigan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers regarding the OWWA Death and Burial Benefits:
1. How would I know if the application to claim for the OWWA Death and Burial Benefits has been accepted?
Once the application is accepted by the relevant authorities at OWWA, claimants will receive a call, text, or email from the DOLE or OWWA regional offices closest to the applicant’s area.
2. Will I get cash support for my father’s or mother’s death?
Yes. To do so, swiftly secure the following requirements to support your claim:
- Affidavit of Undertaking executed by the claimant (Police report if due to an accidental death)
- Original Death Certificate validated by the Philippine Statistics Authority(PSA) or issued by the local civil registrar (LCR)
- Foreign Death Certificate, including Airway Bill and Consular Mortuary Certificate or No Objection Certificate, for OFWs who died while working abroad.
3. Do I need to bring anything when claiming the assistance under the program?
Yes. You will need to bring and present any 2 (original and valid copy) of the following IDs:
- Office ID
- Postal ID
- Driver’s license
- Original NBI clearance
- Senior Citizenship ID
4. Can the deceased OFW’s child claim the assistance?
Yes. Children of deceased OWWA member OFWs, whether legitimate, illegitimate, legitimated or legally adopted, can claim the assistance. Just note that if the claimant is the child, the child’s birth certificate and that of the deceased parent’s death certificate are required as proof of relationship with the OFW.
5. How can I claim the burial benefits?
To claim for the burial gratuity and receive funds for the funeral expenses, then you will just need to submit the burial permit along with the Official Receipt of Funeral Costs at the OWWA RWO.
Claiming the benefits of your loved ones is jot easy, especially if it is a death and burial benefit. The process is simple, despite the loss. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the OWWA Death and Burial Benefit is something that your deceased relative has been paying for, and claiming the rightful benefit not only gives importance to the lives they lived but also to the investment they paid.
We hope that with this guide, we were able to help you with your first step to claiming the benefits that are rightfully yours, to begin with.