Overview

For the Sickness Benefit to be awarded, a person must not have reached the retirement age and a medical certificate must be completed by a medical practitioner. The original medical certificate must be sent or delivered to the Department of Social Security within 10 days (the only exceptions accepted are due to hospitalisation or treatment abroad) from the 1st day of sickness. In turn, the copy of the medical certificate must be handed to the employer. If the sickness is longer than 14 days, the medical certificate must be renewed every 2 weeks, until the employee is fit to resume work.

  • A person is no longer required to submit the original copy of the blue medical certificate to the Department of Social Security if the period of illness is 3 days or less
  • Certification of illness of 3 days or less does not constitute a claim for Sickness Benefit but the copy of the certificate has to be handed to the employer, if the Kopja għall-Prinċipal is demanded
  • A First and Final Certificate or Closed First certifies that the insured person is unfit for work for a specified period of days, but not exceeding 14 days
  • A First Certificate or Open First certifies that the insured person has been medically examined for the first time, within a period of sickness, and will be unfit for more than 14 days
  • An Intermediate Certificate certifies that the insured person is still incapable to attend work for a period not exceeding 14 days from the examination date on the medical certificate
  • A Final Certificate certifies that the insured person may resume work on the date specified (return to work date) for a period not exceeding 14 days from the examination date on the medical certificate
  • A person who suffers from fibromyalgia will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness
  • A person undergoing therapy because of cancer will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness
  • Parents who are missing work because of children undergoing treatment for rare diseases, will be given contribution credit for this period for not more than 8 years

What you'll get

An employee is paid for Sickness Benefit starting from the the 4th day of sickness (the day after the examination date), since the first 3 days are payable by the employer. An employer may either:

a. Pay the wage of the employee in full for the first 3 days of sickness and then pay the difference between the Sickness Benefit entitlement and the employee’s wage for any additional certified sick leave

b. Pay the wage of the employee in full for the certified sick leave and in return the employee refunds the employer the Sickness Benefit entitlement once this is issued by the Department of Social Security

A self-occupied person who submits a medical certificate is awarded Sickness Benefit from the the 4th day of sickness, and is entitled to a fixed benefit rate.

Sickness Benefit is awarded according to the number of days of the employee’s working week; that is, (5 or 6 day week). No payment is effected for public holidays and Sundays.

A person who is unemployed due to a sickness and is awaiting to be awarded a Contributory Invalidity Pension or is not in a position to work and is submitting weekly medical certificates, may also be awarded Sickness Benefit. Such entitlement is paid Monday to Saturday including Public Holidays, except Sundays.

A person is no longer required to submit the original copy of the blue medical certificate to the Department of Social Security if the period of illness is 3 days or less.

Certification of illness of 3 days or less does not constitute a claim for Sickness Benefit but the copy of the certificate has to be handed to the employer, if the Kopja għall-Prinċipal is demanded.

Government employees are excluded from being awarded Sickness Benefit whilst on paid sick leave.

An application typically takes 4 weeks to be processed if all accompanying documentation meet the requirements.

Please click here for a Schedule of Benefit Rates.

You may make use of an online calculator to calculate your Sickness Benefit entitlement.

Eligibility

• To be eligible to a married Sickness Benefit rate, a person must be:

o Married or in a civil union with spouse not working full-time
o Legally separated but maintaining the ex-spouse
o A single parent having the care and custody of child. In case of shared custody, claimant must be paying maintenance to his spouse or is in receipt of Children’s Allowance

• To be eligible to a single Sickness Benefit rate, a person must be:

o A single person
o Married or in civil union with the spouse working full-time
o Legally separated but not maintaining ex-spouse
o A single parent not having the care and custody of child

• Claimant has paid a minimum of 50 Class 1 or Class 2 Social Security Contributions since being registered under the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.) until date of benefit claim; and also has 20 paid or credited Class 1 or Class 2 Social Security Contributions during the last 2 consecutive calendar years prior to the year of Sickness Benefit Claim

If a person avails himself of more than 60 days of Sickness Benefit, he will receive a letter to attend a Medical Board, appointed in accordance to the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.). Sickness Benefit is payable up to 156 days, and may be extended up to 468 benefit days in 2 years depending on the Medical Board’s decision. This payment depends on the number of Social Security Contributions paid during the claimant’s employment.

How to apply

There is no application for sickness benefit.

However one can submit a copy of an original medical certificate online.
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