OWWA Disability Benefits – How to Claim

Getting in an accident and sustaining injuries or disability is something that no one can plan for. That said, it is important to always have some sort of emergency funds to hopefully cover for medication, treatment, and rehabilitation. Fortunately, for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has programs in place to support them during emergencies involving disability and dismemberment — the OWWA Disability and Dismemberment program.

One of the many social benefits that OFWs can enjoy, thanks to their OWWA membership, is the Disability and Dismemberment benefit. Under this program, OWWA offers assistance to help OFWs who sustain partial or permanent injuries.

The assistance is given in the form of a cash aid, amounting to up to Php 100,000.00, which would hopefully help ease their burden in the event of an accident. On the other hand, OFWs who have yet to qualify for the OWWA Disability and Dismemberment benefit also have the chance to avail the OWWA Disability benefit via another program—the OWWA Welfare Assistance Program (WAP).

how to claim owwa disability benefits

What is OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits 

The OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefit is one of the many social benefits offered by OWWA to its active and employed members. The program offers cash assistance to OWWA member OFWs who suffered a permanent, partial or complete disability due to an accident.

It is also given to OFWs who got injured or sick while working towards the completion of their employment contracts abroad.

Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) Disability Benefit

For OWWA members who are inactive or not yet qualified for the regular Disability and Dismemberment benefits, OWWA offers a Disability benefit via the Welfare Assistance Program (WAP). Under this program, OFWs can get disability assistance if they fall victim to crimes or accidents, regardless if they are active or inactive OWWA members. 

OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits  

The regular OWWA Disability and Dismemberment program offers active OWWA members the following benefits: 

  • Financial assistance amounting anywhere between Php 2,500.00 to Php 25,000.00 for temporary or partial disability while in contract
  • Cash assistance ranging from Php 50,000.00 to Php 100,000.00 for complete permanent disability while in contract

Under the Welfare Assistance Program Disability Benefit, on the other hand, land-based or sea-based OFWs who sustained significant partial or permanent injuries are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Cash aid amounting to Php 2,500.00 and up to Php 25,000.00 for temporary or partial disability.
  • Financial assistance ranging between Php 50,000.00 to Php 100,000.00 for complete permanent disability 

Qualifications to Avail the OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits 

If it’s the OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits that you are after, then you must satisfy the following criteria to qualify:

  • Must be an active OWWA member
  • Must be either a land-based or sea-based OFW with an active employment contract
  • Must have sustained injuries under the following conditions:
    • Partial or temporary disability (i.e: loss of sense/s, nerve/bone damage, PTSD, etc) as a result of an accident
    • Complete permanent disability (i.e: amputation, organ damage, etc.) as a result of an accident

Note: For OFWs looking to avail the disability benefit under WAP, it doesn’t matter whether the claimant has an active or inactive OWWA membership status.

Requirements when Applying for the OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits 

In order to claim for cash aid following temporary or permanent disability or dismemberment, the following documents are a must:

  • Seaman’s Identification Record Book or Passport (for seafarers)
  • One 1×1 ID photo
  • OFW Membership Record
  • Foreign medical certificate issued by a duly-authorized medical institution or healthcare facility translated into English
  • The medical certificate with medical examination method issued by an attending physician in the Philippines
    • X-ray
    • MRI
    • CT scan
    • Other related medical examination
  • For seafarers:
    • Accident Report or;
    • Master’s Report
  • For authorized representatives:
    • A letter of authorization from an OFW
    • Valid ID from the OFW
    • Valid ID from the claimant

OWWA Disability and Dismemberment Benefits Application Procedure 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can apply for and avail the benefits of the OWWA disability and dismemberment assistance program:

  • Get an application form from the nearest OWWA Regional or Satellite Office, for local applicants, or the nearest POLO-OWWA office, for applicants abroad.
    • Visit the OWWA or POLO-OWWA Office.
    • Secure a priority number (Ticket) from the queuing machine and wait for your turn at the Registration Desk.
    • Present the OFW’s I.D or Passport at the Social Benefits Unit/Desk for verification of Membership Record.
      • If the membership is valid, obtain application form and the schedule for medical evaluation.
  • Accomplish the application form and complete all of the documentary requirements.
  • Return on the given schedule for the medical evaluation at Counter 9 of Social Benefits Unit.
  • Submit the application form and all the required documents to the nearest OWWA or POLO-OWWA Office.
  • Wait for the call from an authorized OWWA representative to check on the status of your disability and dismemberment benefits.
  • Present the claim stub and two valid ID at the Cashier – Releasing Window to claim the financial assistance if it’s issued through check or cash pay-out.

Important Reminders

Here are some other important things to know when you apply for OWWA disability insurance:

  • The OWWA disability assistance is only offered to OFWs with active employment contract.
  • Upon submission of application form and requirements, claimants will receive serial reference/tracking number via SMS or email which they can use to track the application status. 
  • Applications with incomplete or invalid requirements will be informed of the missing/invalidated requirements via SMS or email.
  • Eligible beneficiaries of the OWWA disability and dismemberment benefits need an active account number in their name or in the name of their child or relative.
  • The cash assistance will be disbursed to the beneficiaries’ account within two (2) weeks of the acceptance of the application either via bank transfer or electronic payment facility.
  • This program is for active OWWA member OFWs only. 
  • Inactive OWWA members who wish to avail of the disability and dismemberment program are required to either renew their membership prior to their application or apply for the WAP program’s disability benefit instead.

Disability and Dismemberment Benefits and other OWWA Programs

Learn about OWWA Disability and dismemberment benefits along with other OWWA programs for OFWs from then-OWWA Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson here:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions and answers you might have about the OWWA disability and dismemberment benefits. 

1. How would I know if my application has been accepted?

When the application is accepted, a call, text, or email from the DOLE or OWWA regional offices will be sent to the applicant along with the reference/serial number.

2. Who is qualified to avail of the disability and dismemberment benefit program?

Active OWWA member OFWs who have incurred a partial or permanent injury, disability, or dismemberment while their employment contracts are still active may be eligible for the program. Dependents or authorized representatives may also apply on behalf of the OFW as long as they bring relevant documentation.

3. Can I apply as an authorized representative for more than one OFW member?

No. OFW claimants can only apply for themselves, and their authorized representatives may only apply for the benefit on behalf of one (1) OFW contact.

4. Am I guaranteed of the assistance upon submission of my application?

No. Just like the other OWWA programs, submitting an application does not guarantee approval of the assistance. It is still subject to review and assessment by OWWA and concerned agencies due to the program’s limited budget.

5. How will I know if I am accepted as a program beneficiary?

Claimants may track the status of their application through the reference/serial number received via call, text, or email from an authorized DOLE or OWWA representative.


If you get into an accident while your employment contract and OWWA membership are still active, then you may avail of the OWWA disability and dismemberment benefits. This is an OFW’s privilege, given as one of the benefits in exchange for the US$25.00 membership fees. 

The OWWA disability and dismemberment benefit is only one of the many programs made available to OWWA member OFWs. Having said that, it is imperative that OFWs keep their membership active so they can make the most of their OFW experience.

Contact Information

For more information on the OWWA disability or dismemberment benefit program, you may visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also opt to download the OWWA Mobile App or visit OWWA directly:

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
Office Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
Tel. No.: 8891-7601 to 24
OWWA hotline number: 1348, (02) 1348 (Regional), (+632) 1348 (International) 
OWWA Email Address: owwacares@owwa.gov.ph, commandcenter@dole.gov.ph
OWWA Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial
OWWA website: https://owwa.gov.ph/

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