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Nearly million people eligible to regain social security insurance, as NLA passes draft

Feb 15. 2018
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By The Nation

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Nearly a million people who lost their status under the Social Security Act now have a way to reinstate their status, after the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday case 193 votes in favour of draft legislation.

Some 960,000 had lost their insured person status under the Act after failing to make a monthly contribution for three months in a row, or failing to make a full monthly contribution for nine months in one year.

Under the approved draft law, those wishing to regain membership status and Social Security Office (SSO) coverage must file a request to the respective SSO branch office within a year after the law is put into effect. The office must then review the application and notify a successful applicant within a week, or within 15 days for rejected cases. Those approved must be reinstated within the same month in which they are approved.

NLA members gave notice of the need for amendments to the law to respond to the need of those insured people who become unemployed or become sick and have an extended recovery period in hospital or at home. Leniency is needed on a case-by-case basis for those who fail to make constant monthly contributions due to such extenuating circumstances, they said.

The draft legislation will mostly benefit those who lost their “voluntary insured person status” under the Social Security Act’s Section 39 after falling behind in the monthly contribution payment, according to SSO chief Suradech Waleeithikul.

The ‘voluntary insured person’ refers to those who had been an insured person under Section 33 (an employee who paid the monthly contribution for no less than 12 months) and then resigned from work and applied within a six-month period for designation as an insured person under Section 39. They must pay contributions to the Social Security Fund at a rate of Bt432 per month.

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