When an employee or a self-occupied person is sick from the place of work, a Blue Medical Certificate must be completed by a medical practioner and submitted to the Department of Social Security within ten (10) days from the first (1)st day of sickness. The only exceptions are in cases of hospitalisation or treatment abroad. In turn, the copy of the Blue Medical Certificate must be handed to the employer. If the sickness is longer than fourteen (14) days, the blue medical certificate must be renewed every two (2) weeks, until the employee is fit to resume work.
If eligible, the applicant may be awarded the Sickness Benefit. For this benefit to be awarded, a person must not have reached the retirement age.
Increased Sickness Benefit
From 1 January 2024, the beneficiaries who benefit from the Long-term Sickness Benefit and who have a continuous claim accepted for one hundred and fifty-six (156) days of benefit (or six (6) months), shall have their claim for Sickness Benefit automatically converted to Increased Sickness Benefit (ISB) from the one hundred and fifty seventh (157th) working days onwards. The applicable rate of the Increased Sickness Benefit will be similar to that applicable for Invalidity Pension. The Increased Sickness Benefit will continue to be paid until:
• A final blue medical certificate is submitted, thus closing the claim for Sickness Benefit,
• A date decided by the Medical Board appointed by the Director General of Social Security,
• Exhaustion of social security contributions, or
• Exhaustion of four hundred and sixty-eight (468) days of benefit.
The above is applicable according to whichever comes first.
The payment rate for the Increased Sickness Benefit is thirty euros and thirty-nine cents (€30.39) weekly for a married person maintaining a spouse, and twenty-three euros and sixteen cents (€23.16) weekly for a single person or to a married person whose spouse works full-time.
There is no need to apply for the Increased Sickness Benefit as the Sickness Benefit will be automatically converted to Increased Sickness Benefit following a current and continuous payment of Sickness Benefit Claim of at least one-hundred and fifty-six (156) benefit days.
No documents are required to claim Increased Sickness Benefit as the claim shall be converted from Sickness Benefit to Increased Sickness Benefit based on the Medical Panel decision.
Important Information about the Blue Medical Certificate
Claimants must ensure that the address written on the Blue Medical Certificate matches the official address held with the Department of Social Security, which will be used by the department for all official correspondence. Therefore, no changes will be made to the official address held by the Department of Social Security even if it differs from the one submitted on the certificate.
You can verify and update your official address online only, as per your current address on your Identity Card by clicking here, or visit one of the servizz.gov hubs for further assistance.
- A person is no longer required to submit the blue medical certificate to the Department of Social Security if the period of illness is three (3) working days or less.
- Certification of illness of three (3) working days or less does not constitute a claim for Sickness Benefit but the copy of the certificate must still be handed to the employer, if the ‘Kopja għall-Prinċipal’ is demanded.
- A First and Final Certificate means that the applicant has started sickness from work and the certificate shows the starting date of sickness and also the date when the claimant is to return to work. This certifies that the insured person is unfit for work for a specified period of days, but not exceeding fourteen (14) days.
- A First Only Certificate or an Open Certificate means that the applicant has either started sickness from work, or is still on sick leave and the certificate is showing the start date of sickness if it is a First Only Certificate but no date of return to work is indicated. This may also mean that if it is an Open certificate there is no date showing start date of sickness and also no date indicated when the applicant is fit to return to work. This 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 fourteen (14) days.
- An Intermediate Certificate means the same as an Open Certificate. It certifies that the insured person is still incapable to attend work for a period not exceeding fourteen (14) days from the examination date on the same blue medical certificate. This means that the claimant has already submitted a First or First Open Certificate and is continuing with the claim. It is important to note that until an Intermediate Certificate follows a open First Certificate no sickness benefit will be paid to the applicant until the submission of a next Intermediate or Final Certificate.
- A Final Certificate means that the certificate is showing the date when the applicant is to return to work though it does not indicate the date when the sickness started. It certifies that the insured person may resume work on the date specified (return to work date) for a period not exceeding fourteen (14) days from the examination date on the same blue medical certificate.
- A person who suffers from Fibromyalgia or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness as from the second certified request of illness in the same year.
- A person undergoing therapy for cancer will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness as from the second certified request of illness in the same year.
- Parents with breaks in employment due to children undergoing treatment for rare diseases, may be eligible to contribution credits for a maximum period of eight (8) years.
For information regarding cross-border situations please click here.