Unemployment Benefit-Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What does Benefit Year stand for?
Benefit year is the year during which the claim for Unemployment Benefit is submitted, starting from the first Monday in January and ending on the last Sunday before the first Monday in January of the following year.
2.  I had a claim for Unemployment Benefit during Year 2009. Which contribution years were taken into consideration for Claim Assesment?
From first Monday in January 2007 to last Sunday before the first Monday in January 2009; being the last two years, immediately before the start of the benefit year 2009 during which you submitted UB claim.
3.  What is a Contribution Credit?
Credited contribution is a contribution which is not paid by a person.  Any insured person is credited with a contribution for every week s/he is entitled to Unemployment Benefit.  Therefore, someone who is unemployed does not need to pay any contributions for each whole week (from Monday to Saturday) that the Unemployment Benefit is received.  Even when the 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.  Contribution credits are not awarded when receiving notice money.  In this case, one has to pay one’s own contributions since the employer is not bound by law to pay the employee’s part.  Self-occupied persons are entitled to receive contribution credits when they are not employed, if they satisfy the contribution test, before they register for work.
4.  What is the rate of Unemployment Benefit?
For the Unemployment Benefit rates please click here.
5.  For how long is Unemployment Benefit paid?
Claimant is entitled to one (1) day benefit for each Class I contribution paid.  However, the maximum payment period of the benefit shall not exceed 156 days.
6.  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.
7.  Can a person re-qualify for Unemployment Benefit?
If s/he has not availed him/herself of the whole period of 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.
8.  What can one do if s/he does not qualify for Unemployment Benefit or if entitlement to the Benefit has been exhausted?
If the registrant is the Head of Household, 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.
9.  Is a claim for 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.