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Glossary of Social Security Terms

A

A1 Form The A1 form certifies which social security legislation applies to the holder of the form.
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. Beneficiaries 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.
Air-crew (AIRC) A person who works as a flight crew or cabin crew member on an aircraft of which home base is located in Malta and is determined as subject to Maltese legislation according to EU Regulation 883/2004.
Allowance Any allowance payable under the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.).
Appeal (Appeal Rights) An applicant or beneficiary 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.
Cohabitation In the case that the cohabitation is not documented and the couple may even have a different address shown on their identity card, two people living together (usually believed to be a man and a woman) are treated as a household of their own when applying for Non-Contributory benefits.
Cohabitation (Registered) A cohabiting couple must include a registered and insinuated Certificate of Cohabitation from the Public Registry when submitting an application to the Department of Social Security for the first time. If the cohabitation was not registered between 2017 and 2020 and one of the cohabitants passed away during the mentioned period, the applicant is required to provide documentation proving that the applicant was in cohabitation for at least 10 years prior to the mentioned demise.
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 Adjustment (COLA) The Cost-of-Living adjustment (COLA) is announced in the annual budget speech. One-third of the cost-of-living increase is paid as a cost-of-living bonus (CLBO) and the remainder of the increase (two-thirds) is added to the contributory or non-contributory pension rate.
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.).
Cross-Border Self-Assessment Tool for Payment of Social Security Contributions in Malta The EU social security coordination rules determine applicable legislation for cross-border situations. Employers and self-employed individuals can use the Self-Assessment Tool to assess their social security obligations in Malta when working across EU countries, receiving personalised guidance based on their specific circumstances.

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.
Digital Service A service that is delivered digitally and can be categorised as either an informational service or transactional service.
Direct Credit A Direct credit is a monetary deposit made into the account of any person, business, or other entity, using an electronic funds transfer method of payment.
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.
Domain Name Each website has a domain name that serves as an address, which is used to access the website. For example, in the domain name sociasecurity.gov.mt, socialsecurity is the website name and .gov.mt is the domain name extension.

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.
EU Cross-Border Situation In the context of the EU, a cross-border situation refers to a person who resides in one EU Member State, but is involved in work activities, or transactions that cross the border into another EU member state. For example, an individual who lives in France, but works in Malta would be considered to be in an EU cross-border situation.
EU Cross-border Worker (CRBW) A person whose work activity as an employed or self-employed person involves a complex cross-border situation (i.e. a person residing in one EU Member State, but is involved in work activities, or transactions that cross the border into another EU Member State) and is determined as subject to Maltese legislation according to EU Regulation 883/2004.

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.
Garnishee Order A garnishee order is a court-approved order that allows a creditor to redirect a person’s funds to them when they are owed money. If you have a garnishee order, please inform your preferred bank about the amendment to Article 381 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure (Cap. 12.), to have a bank account issued in your name accordingly.
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.
Human rights Basic rights that every person has. These include, but are not limited to, the right to life, the right to freedom of religion and belief and the right to a fair trial.

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.).
Informational Service The content or information published online to help users understand benefits entitlement, services and initiatives.
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

Mobile App A mobile application most commonly referred to as an app, is designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile applications frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on computers. Apps are usually downloaded from app stores, which are a type of digital distribution platforms.
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

Native App Is an application software that is developed for a specific device or operating system. It can be downloaded and installed on your device; it functions as a stand-alone program and often accesses different features of your device to work. Native apps are not just copies of the website, they have to be independently developed.
Net Income Total income net of expenses directly incurred in generating that income. Net income from employment means all income derived from gainful occupation (such as salary, overtime, commission, fringe benefits, etc) and deducting the amount paid as social security contributions.
NI-45 The NI-45 is a medical board appointment letter issued by the Department of Social Security to a claimant applying for the Injury Benefit at work and subject to review by the Department’s medical board.
NI-64 The NI-64 is a letter issued by the Department of Social Security requesting a claimant applying for the Work Injury Benefit to provide information omitted from the initial application.
NI-134 The NI-134 is a declaration that is requested by the Department of Social Security if an applicant who has made a claim for the Work Injury Benefit has not notified the department whether or not they have returned to work due to the injury. If the applicant notifies the department of their return to work through the NI-134 notice, the due payment will be issued. If the applicant informs the department that they have not returned to work due to the injury, they will need to appear before a medical board of the Social Security Department to advise whether they are fit for work or not.
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.
Payment A Social security benefit payment is deposited into the person’s bank account on a Saturday and is effected by direct credit, meaning the payment is deposited directly into the person’s bank account.
PE Number A Permission to Employee number, is required by all taxpayers who employ individuals in Malta. This number is issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue.
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.
Policy A set of ideas or plans used as a basis for making decisions. An official organisation’s policy on a particular issue is their attitude and actions regarding that issue.
Posted Worker A worker sent by the employer to perform the same duties in another EU Member State for a temporary period.
Poverty Not having access to a basic income for a person’s basic needs. This means being unable to pay for food, drinking water, shelter, toiletries and other essential resources.
Proceeding Abroad Details of proceeding abroad refers to the action of leaving Malta to travel or go to live in a foreign country where as a beneficiary you have an obligation to report this change in circumstances.
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

Seafarer (SEAF) A person whose work activity as an employed or self-employed is normally pursued on board of a Maltese flagged vessel at sea and is determined as subject to Maltese legislation according to EU Regulation 883/2004.
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 A Social Security Contribution payable or which was payable under the provisions of the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.).
Social Security Number As of October 2016, the social security number was removed for permanent Maltese Identity Card holders (with letters M, L, G, H) and will only be used for people that are not in possession of a permanent Maltese Identity Card. Nevertheless, those minors who are still students under 16 years of age and are in possession of a Maltese Identity Card (14+) but would like to work on temporary basis, are obliged to register for a social security number if the final compulsory scholastic year has not been completed.
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.
Transactional Service A service that requires user exchange. A transactional service may involve an exchange of personal information or a financial transaction such as a refund payment.
Transport Worker (TRAW) A person whose work activity as an employed or self-employed person is normally carried out in several Member States due to transport-related duties and is determined to be subject to Maltese legislation under EU Regulation 883/2004.

U

U1 Form The U1 form certifies your periods of insurance and employment or self-employment completed in an EU country which will be taken into account for the award of unemployment benefits. The U1 is issued by the country where you worked and paid the relative social security contributions.
User Interface (UI) The aim of a good user interface is to provide a “user-friendly” experience, allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware via devices like a laptop, smartphone, kiosk, etc.

W

Web App Is a kind of app that you can use through a web browser. Even on a mobile device, web apps seem like mobile apps, but they’re different. Web apps are designed for interaction, letting users share and use data between the browser and the website host.
Web based Service An online service that can be accessed via a web browser, regardless of the hardware used.
Web Browser Is an application for accessing websites and the Internet. When a user requests a web page from a particular website, the browser retrieves its files from a web host, and then displays the page on the user’s screen.
Website A set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organisation. It’s a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name.
Widow The surviving spouse or surviving former spouse, whether a widow or a widower, of a married or divorced or cohabitating couple.