KUALA LUMPUR: All women aged 55 and below irrespective of whether they are working or unemployed, will be covered against any household injuries or invalidity under a new social security scheme.

The Housewives Social Security Scheme (SKSSR) is not just for housewives as the name suggests but will be open to all Malaysian women.

The scheme will take effect from Dec 1. It falls under the Housewives Social Security Bill (HSS) that was passed in the Dewan Negara on Aug 9.

It will be handled by the Social Security Organisation (Socso). With an upfront payment of RM120 yearly, the scheme also covers women performing housework – from cleaning their homes, grocery shopping or even driving their dependants around.

Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed clarified that the scheme was not only for full-time housewives.

“In fact, a woman who works a day job and performs housewife duties at night will also be eligible for the coverage.

“In this sense, coverage under the SKSSR encompasses when they are performing housewife duties prior to and after their working hours, whereas coverage for their job duties will be provided by schemes offered by their workplace,” he told a media briefing yesterday.

Single mothers, widows and unmarried women who perform household duties are also eligible for coverage under the scheme, alongside Malaysian permanent residents.

“Apart from their husbands, contributions can also be made by the wives themselves, their family members or any third party on their behalf, including non-governmental organisations or even the government.

“Husbands or working wives can also request for their employers to make the contributions through a deduction from their salaries,” he said.

He explained that the benefits under the scheme came in two categories, which are domestic injury benefits and invalidity benefits.

Domestic injury benefits include medical benefits, temporary disablement benefits, constant-attendance allowance, facilities for physical or vocational rehabilitation, funeral benefits and survivors’ pension.

Invalidity benefits, meanwhile, include morbid allowance, constant-attendance allowance, facilities for physical or vocational rehabilitation, funeral benefit and survivors’ pension.

Dr Mohammed Azman said if a husband intended to contribute on behalf of his wife, they would have to inform Socso, adding that the social protection body practises the “once in, always in” principle as it guarantees continuous social protection for the wife.

“If the husband is for some reason unable to make the payments due to a loss of income, he will have to inform Socso within 60 days,” he said, stressing the scheme was first and foremost voluntary.

He added that there was also no wage limit for eligible recipients to contribute towards the scheme, with all recipients receiving the same benefits from paying the RM120 fee.

He also noted that if a marriage ended in a divorce, the death of the husband, or where the husband was unable to contribute to the scheme, the wife would continue to be covered until the end of her 12-month coverage period.

On whether a similar scheme would be implemented for house husbands, Dr Mohammed Azman said this was being studied.

Registration for the scheme will begin on Dec 1 via the Socso website or through its counters nationwide.

Recipients will also be eligible to receive its benefits once payment is completed.