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Glossary of Social Security Terms

A

Actual Widow The surviving spouse, whether a widow or a widower, of a married or a cohabiting couple who immediately prior to widowhood was married to the deceased spouse and had a legal right to be maintained by the other spouse, and in relation to an actual widow, wherever it appears, husband shall include wife.
Additional Bonus also known as the special weekly bonus (SPBO) A bonus payable in addition to pensions and social assistances which is calculated on the basis of the March and September bonuses payable to employed persons. Benficiaries are entitled to two thirds of these same bonuses and are included in each pension payment, every four weeks instead of in March and September.
Administrator An agent registered with the Department of Social Security is authorised with the consent of the Applicant or Beneficiary to act their behalf when visiting a servizz.gov centre.
Agent An administrator registered with the Department of Social Security is authorised to act on behalf of the Applicant or Beneficiary when visiting a servizz.gov centre.
Allowance Any allowance payable under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Appeal (Appeal Rights) An applicant or benefciary will receive a letter of explanation whenever the Department of Social Security makes a decision regarding the eligibility for social security benefits. If in disagreement with the decision, the person has the right to appeal against that decision.
Applicant An applicant can apply for a social security benefit or request a service using the online applications or services if one has a valid e-ID. Else one may opt to visit a servizz.gov centre whereby an Authorised Representative will apply or request a service on the applicant’s or beneficary’s behalf.
Application Processed Date of when the benefit application is processed (assessed).
Application Registered Date of when the benefit application is actually registered into the system by the section.
Application Rejected Status indicates that a benefit application has been rejected.
Assistance Any assistance payable under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Authorised Representative A servizz.gov representative is authorised to apply or request a service on the applicant’s or beneficiary’s behalf.
Award Letter The official notification issued by the department which informs the person of the outcome of the benefit claim submitted.

B

Balance of Social Security Benefits A Social Security payment due to a deceased beneficiary may be paid to a family member or a legal representative of the estate.
Basic Weekly Wage or Basic Salary The gross wage or salary that is payable to an employed person by or on behalf of the employer excluding any remuneration for overtime, any form of bonus, any extra allowances, any remuneration in kind and commissions.
Beneficiary A person entitled to a benefit, pension, assistance or allowance payable under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Benefit A benefit, bonus or grant payable under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Benefit in Payment Date of when the benefit application is verified for payment.
Benefit Stopped A short-term benefit is stopped once the benefit entitlement is paid or certain benefits are eventually stopped, either due to a pre-defined expiry date or pending the outcome of an investigation.
Benefit Year The period starting from the first Monday in January and ending on the last Sunday before the first Monday in January of the following year.

C

Call Letter An applicant or beneficiary may be requested by the Department of Social Security by means of a call letter to provide eevidence or proof through the submission of documents to support a factor of entitlement or payment amount requested.
Cheque Cashed by Third Party If the beneficiary or agent / administrator believes that the cheque was not encashed by his/her ownself, then one needs to visit a servizz.gov centre to confirm the signature on the cheque image.
Cheque Redirection A beneficiary residing in a Hospital or Rehabilitation Centre may opt to choose another address where his/her benefit cheques issued by post by the Department of Social Security are sent to.
Cheque Validity A social security cheque must be cashed within 6 months after the date of the cheque or it will become void. After 6 months, if you are still entitled to the payment, we can replace the voided cheque upon request. A cheque cannot be replaced 24 months after the original date of the cheque.
Child A person who is under the age of sixteen years and includes a stepchild, an adopted child and a child born out of wedlock.
Claimant A person claiming a benefit, pension, assistance or allowance under thee Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Class I Social Security Contribution A contribution that an insured person pays as an employed person.
Class II Social Security Contribution A contribution that an insured person pays either as a self-employed or as a self-occupied person.
Competent Institution The social security institution in the Member State which is responsible for the payment of the benefits.
Contribution Average For pension purposes is obtained by totalising the weeks of social security contributions paid during the working life and divided by the applicable number of years required.
Contribution Test Is a test that establishes whether a person has paid or has been credited with the sufficient number contributions required to qualify for a contributory benefit. This is normally made up of two tests, the first test establishes the minimum contributions required by law for a person to be eligible to apply for the pension whilst the second test is an estimation of the average contributions paid over a specific period defined by law.
Contribution Year The period starting from the first Monday in January and ending on the last Sunday before the first Monday in January of the following year.
Contributory Benefits The contributory scheme in Malta is a system where an employee or self-employed person pays a weekly contribution as laid down by the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.). The social security contributions paid during the period in which a person is gainfully active is used to finance contingencies that may arise such as sickness, unemployment or retirement as required.
Contribution Average For pension purposes is obtained by totalising the weeks of social security contributions paid during the working life and divided by the applicable number of years required.
Cost of Living Bonus (CLBO) A bonus payable in addition to pensions and social assistances which reflects the cost of living adjustment (COLA) announced in the annual budget speech, whereby (one third) of the cost of living increase is paid as a cost of living bonus and the remainder of the increase (two-thirds) is added to the contributory or non-contributory age pension rate.
Credited Contribution A social security contribution that the government considers as paid even when the individual has not paid it, provided it meets certain conditions recognised by law.
Credited Social Security Contribution A contribution which is not paid by a person but is none-the-less accredited to the relative contribution record as established by the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).

D

Date of Application Date on benefit application.
Death Report of a Social Security Beneficiary A death certificate of the beneficiary is to be submitted to the Department of Social Security by a relative of the deceased.
Department of Social Security The Department of Social Security is responsible for the administration of Social Security Legislation, which provides for the payment of benefits under the contributory and the non-contributory schemes.
Document Number A unique reference number associated with a document call letter issued by the Department of Social Security.
Documents Such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, tax returns, deeds, etc., submitted by individuals applying for benefits and services.

E

E-ID or Electronic Identity The e-ID or Electronic Identity, is a trusted authentication mechanism for citizens and businesses to identify themselves to electronically access online services provided by government departments and entities.
Employed Person A person who has not yet passed the 65th birthday and who is engaged in insurable employment.
EU Citizen Any national of an EU Member State is considered to be a citizen of the EU.

F

Father A person who has not yet passed the 65th birthday and who is engaged in insurable employment.
Fraud Fraud involves receiving social security benefits through willful misrepresentation, whereby with intent to defraud, a person makes a false statement, conceals or fails to disclose information for use in determining benefit eligibility or entitlement under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Freephone 153 A freephone service offered to obtain information from servizz.gov related to public service offered services.

G

Gainfully Occupied Employed in insurable employment or self-occupied.
Guardianship Guardianship is a legal relationship between a person who has a disability or a mental disorder and another person called the Guardian. The purpose of Guardianship is to provide support to the person in managing their own affairs, and to advocate for their rights and best interests.

H

Head of Household A household consisting of two or more persons, one of which is recognised as the head of household by the Deparment of Social Security.
Home Base The country from where the shift of the member of an aircrew starts and ends.
Household One person who is living alone or two or more persons who are living together as a family.

I

Income Support and Compliance Division The Income Support and Compliance Division is responsible for the initiation, coordination and monitoring of activities, as applicable, related to compliance and investigation matters. Moreover, the division oversees the assessment and payment of non-contributory benefits, pensions and assistances in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Information Information is “material” when it could influence Social Security’s determination on entitlement or eligibility to benefits under the under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Information Sheet An information sheet gives in a language accessible for a non-expert audience, an overview about the social security benefit or service, clearly outlining your entltlement. It also outlines elegibility crrteria and documentation required and how to apply.
Insurable Employment For every person deemed to be in insurable employment, three different contributions shall be paid: one from the employed person, one from the employer and one from the State. An activity of more than 8 hours per week which involves payment of the respective social security contributions.
Insured Person A person who has passed the sixteenth birthday, but not yet reached retirement age, shall become insured under the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.) either as an employed person, or as a self-employed person or as a self-occupied person.
International Relations Unit The International Relations Unit acts as the Department of Social Security’s focal point on matters relating to international relations, in the area of social security.

L

Legislation Applicable The social security scheme to which a person is subject at a point in time.

M

Mother Includes a stepmother and an adoptive mother.
mySocialSecurity This web app enables an individual to access a variety of personalised Social security online services, some of which require a valid e-ID authentication. One can also access online benefit calculators which do not require authentication.

N

Net Income Total income net of expenses directly incurred in generating that income.
Non-Contributory Benefits A scheme which originally was meant to cater for persons below the ‘poverty line’ has over a period of years evolved into a comprehensive scheme with a number of provisions that are intertwined in such a way that one type of benefit supplements another. This has made possible the allocation of more than one benefit at the same time thus providing simultaneous coverage in those cases where more than one contingency is present.

O

Office of the Umpire An appeal may be lodged against a decision by the Department of Social Security before the Umpire. The Social Security Umpire can change a decision if it is wrong. He cannot however change the Law on which the decision has been based or pay more money than the Law allows.
Online Applications The Department of Social Security offers most of its applications online, where one can apply for benefits or services without having to attend to one of the centres of servizz.gov by using e-ID authentication.

P

Parent Includes a step-parent and an adoptive parent.
Payment Cancelled Cheque / direct credit payment has been returned to the Department of Social Security.
Payment Issued Cheque payment has been issued / direct credit payment has been committed and will be credited to account / energy benefit credit has been committed and will be deducted directly from the person’s next water and electricity bill.
Payment Paid Cheque payment has been encashed / direct credit payment has been deposited to the person’s account / energy benefit credit has been deducted directly from the person’s water and electricity bill.
Payment Replaced Cheque has been replaced / direct credit payment has been replaced with a cheque payment.
Payments Social security benefit payments are deposited into the person’s bank account on Saturdays and are effected by direct credit, meaning the payment is deposited directly into the person’s bank account, unless a person has a garnishee order, whereby the necessary documents will be requested and the payment method will be effected by cheque.
Pension Age A contributory retirement pension is payable when a person reaches the applicable statutory penson age or in case of an early opt-out (when applicable).
Pensionable Income The pensionable income for employees, self-employed and self-occupied persons, refers to the average annual earnings calculated over a number of years where the basis of the calculation may differ according to the date of birth and the type of activity of the person.
Period of Insurance A period of time during which a person was paying contributions into a social security scheme.
Posted Worker A worker sent by the employer to perform the same duties in another EU Member State for a temporary period.
Pro-Rata Benefits Benefits calculated in proportion to the period of insurance in Malta vis-à-vis the periods of insurance completed in other countries.

R

Rejection Letter When a person applies for a social security benefit, the department will decide if that person is entitled to receive that benefit. An official letter explaining that decision will be sent.
Representative of Applicant A Representative of Applicant is authorised to apply or request a service on the applicant’s or beneficiary’s behalf where applicable.
Retirement Upon the attainment of the statutory pension age, a person may be granted a retirement pension whilst retaining a gainful occupation without any reduction in the pension entitlement. The main benefit under the social security scheme is the two-thirds retirement pension. Every insured person (subject to a minimum number of paid contributions) becomes entitled, upon retirement or attainment of pension age, to a retirement pension. The full pension rate is equivalent to two-thirds of the pensionable income.

S

Self-employed A person who has not yet passed the 65th birthday, is ordinarily resident in Malta, and is neither an employed nor a self-occupied person.
Self-occupied A self-employed person who is engaged in any activity through which earnings exceeding the established threshold per annum.
Service Pension A monthly pension awarded to a person that is payable by or on behalf of a former employer in respect of past service in Malta or abroad.
Servizz.gov Servizz.gov is the agency bringing all government services together. It is a bridge between the Public Service of Malta and the general public, making government services more accessible.
Servizz.gov Centres Servizz.gov centres servizz.gov is the agency bringing all government services together and manages a number of centres across Malta.
Short-Term Benefits Benefits that are aimed at replacing earned income in case of a temporary loss of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity or unemployment.
Single Parent A parent who is widowed, separated (whether de facto or de jure), divorced or unmarried who is solely and entirely responsible for the upkeep and upbringing of any dependant children who have not yet reached 18 years of age.
Six-Monthly Bonus (6MBO) A bonus payable in addition to pensions and social assistances which is equivalent to the June and December bonuses payable to workers.
Social Security Provides a source of income when a person retires, becomes unemployed or cannot work due to a disability. It can also support legal dependents (spouse, children) with benefits in the event of death.
Social Security Act (CAP. 318.) To establish a scheme of social security and to consolidate with amendments existing provisions concerning the payment of social security benefits, pensions and allowances, social and medical assistance, non-contributory pensions and the payment of social security contributions by employees, employers, self-employed and the State.
Social Security Contribution Contribution payable or which was payable under the provisions of the Social Security Act (CAP. 318.).
Statutory Bonuses Bonuses payable topensions and social assistances recipients namely the cost of living bonus (CLBO), the additional bonus (SPBO) also known as the special weekly bonusandthe six monthly bonus (6MBO) payable in June and December.
Stop Payment Confirmed Cheque confirmed uncashed.
Stop Payment Placed Stop payment has been placed on cheque with Central Bank of Malta. Once a stop payemnt is placed the cheque cannot be cashed.
Suspended for Investigation Benefit suspended pending investigation by the Department.

T

Tentative Assessment Presents the person with a forecast of the social security pension entitlement.
Theoretical Rate of Pension A hypothetical rate of pension based on a person’s total periods of insurance completed in different countries which is eventually apportioned on a pro-rata basis..
Third Country National A citizen of a state that is neither member of the EU nor a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

W

Widow The surviving spouse or surviving former spouse, whether a widow or a widower, of a married or divorced or cohabitating couple.
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