Special Unemployment Benefit-Frequently Asked Questions

 1.  I have applied for Special Unemployment Benefit.  The rate in the first payment I received seems that it has been calculated for Unemployment Benefit and not for Special Unemployment Benefit.
When the contribution test assessment was done, it resulted that you were entitled to Unemployment Benefit and such payment has been issued.  Assessment of Special Unemployment Benefit is based on both contribution test and means test.  As soon as this process is finalized, and you become entitled to SUB, you will receive payment with upgraded rate, together with any arrears due.
2.  While in receipt of Special Unemployment Benefit, does one have to pay contributions?
Someone who is unemployed does not need to pay any contributions for each whole week (from Monday to Saturday) that the Special Unemployment Benefit is received.  Even when the Special Unemployment Benefit is not in payment, one is entitled to receive contribution credits for each whole week one registers for work, provided one registers for work regularly and satisfies certain conditions.
3.  What is the rate of Special Unemployment Benefit? 
 For the Special Unemployment Benefit rates as per year 2012, please click here.
4.  For how long is Special Unemployment Benefit paid?
Claimant is entitled to one-day benefit for each Class 1 contribution paid.  However, the maximum payment benefit shall not exceed 156 days.
5.  Is Unemployment Benefit stopped if one fails registration due to sickness?
Unemployment Benefit is not issued whenever persons fail to renew their weekly registration.  If it happens due to sickness or any other valid reason, one has to go to Jobsplus Job Centre with the relevant documentation to be re-instated on the unemployment register.  This, in turn, will entitle claimant automatic re-activation of Unemployment Benefit and any arrears due, if it would be the case.  Any difficulties can be clarified with officials of the Social Security District Offices.
6.  Can a person re-qualify for Special Unemployment Benefit?
If s/he has not availed him/herself of the whole period of Special Unemployment Benefit awarded for the former claim, s/he will be entitled to receive only the difference between the total number of days originally awarded and the number of days actually paid before the new claim is submitted.  If during the former claim s/he had exhaustion of contributions, claimant re-qualifies for benefit only if employed and paid thirteen (13) contributions between the two claims.
7.  What can one do if s / he does not qualify for Special Unemployment Benefit or if entitlement to the benefit has been exhausted?
The registrant should go to the Social Security District Office to check whether s/he qualifies for Unemployment Assistance.  Since it is means tested, one has to produce relevant documentation such as bank statements, rent receipts and other documents showing income of the whole household.  In case of separated persons, one has to produce the contract of separation.
8.  Is a claim for Special Unemployment Benefit always accepted, and if not, what can one do?
A claim can be either accepted or rejected by the Director of Social Security.  If a claim is rejected or not accepted in full, one may appeal against the Director's decision before the Social Security Umpire.  The appeal must be lodged in writing within 30 days from the date of the notice by which claimant is informed that the claim is rejected.  The written appeal has to be presented to the Secretary to the Umpire, Block C, Beltissebh, Floriana, FRN 1700.
9.  Are there any incentives for those unemployed who wish to start up a business?
Yes.  When a person in receipt of Unemployment Benefit becomes self-occupied, s/he shall remain entitled to the Benefit during the first twelve weeks of his/her becoming self-occupied, as long as s/he is between the ages of 18 and 50 and that during the twelve consecutive months immediately before s/he became self-occupied had been registered under Part One of the Register