Invalidity Pension

Under the Social Security Agreement between Malta and Australia

Overview

The Invalidity Pension may be awarded to a person who is certified as being incapable for suitable full-time or part-time employment or self-employment, due to a serious disease or physical or mental impairment, subject to the relative social security contribution conditions under the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.).

What you’ll get

The Invalidity Pension is paid every 4 weeks in advance.

The Department of Social Security will inform the applicant in writing about the outcome of the claim. Once awarded, the pension is deposited into a bank account as specified by the applicant in the application form.

Pensioners by virtue of the reciprocal agreement are awarded a pension on a pro-rata basis according to the number of contributions paid in Malta out of their total working life in Malta and Australia.

Please click here for a Schedule of Benefits Rates.

Eligibility

General eligibility criteria:

A person, who is under retirement age, may be eligible for an Invalidity Pension if the following criteria are fulfilled.

  • Applicant is still pursuing a gainful activity (employment or self-employment) or in receipt of short-term/long-term sickness benefits from Centrelink
  • Applicant has been certified incapable for suitable regular full-time or part-time employment by a Medical Panel appointed by law
  • The incapacity mentioned above is considered by the Medical Panel as prohibiting an individual from suitable full-time or regular part-time employment or self-occupation for not more than 3 years and not less than 1 year
  • On the date of claim for invalidity pension, the applicant has at least 250 paid social security contributions and paid or credited at least an average of 20 social security contributions per year from the age 18 or 19 as the case may be (or 1964/65) till the date of the claim

Documentation required

General documentation:

  • Birth and marriage certificates, only if not registered at the Public Registry of Malta
  • If the claimant is in receipt of a Service Pension from any former employer, a document indicating the original amount (amount as on first payment) of this pension

How to apply

A person resident in Australia who wishes to apply for the Invalidity Pension by filling in the relative application form which may be downloaded from the Department of Social Security website.

Alternatively, this can be obtained from Centrelink office in Australia or the Malta High Commission Offices in Australia.

Nonetheless, it is Centrelink who must ultimately forward the Claim Forms to Malta.

Frequently asked questions

What happens after a person applies for an Invalidity Pension?

Once an application is received, the Department verifies the eligibility criteria for the Invalidity Pension. If the contribution conditions are satisfied, the case is then referred to the Medical Panel for a medical assessment and, if all the conditions are satisfied, an applicable rate of pension is established.

If a claim for Invalidity pension is rejected by the Medical Panel, can a person re-apply?

A person may re-apply for an Invalidity Pension after resuming employment or if unemployed, registered as a jobseeker with the local employment authority and if it is proven that her/his medical condition deteriorates. There is no limit how many times a person may re-apply.

Does the person receiving an Invalidity Pension still have to pay contributions up to retirement age?

No. In this case, the person will be entitled to invalidity credits, starting from the date an Invalidity Pension is awarded, up to his/her retirement age.

Can a person receive an Invalidity Pension work?

A person cannot engage in gainful occupation while receiving an Invalidity Pension. If an Invalidity Pensioner returns to work, the Pension is stopped immediately.

Will a person receive a lower rate of Retirement Pension if s/he is first awarded an Invalidity Pension?

The granting of an Invalidity Pension in itself will not adversely affect the granting of a Retirement Pension, provided that the person paid or credited all contributions up to award date of Invalidity Pension.

What happens after the period of Invalidity Pension expires?

When a person’s Invalidity Pension period elapses, whether be a maximum of 3 years or the minimum of 1 year, his/her case is summoned again upon the expiry of the incapacity period.

How is the Invalidity Pension rate worked out, once the contribution conditions have been satisfied?

Once the yearly contribution average is established, a person is entitled to a flat rate Invalidity Pension, depending whether he/she is in receipt of a service pension from a previous employer and on his/her status.

Is there a right to appeal an Invalidity Pension decision?

Yes, if a person does not agree with the Department’s decision, s/he has the right to lodge an appeal with the Office of the Umpire. An online application is available.

Life Certification

The Department of Social Security requests a life certification on a regular basis from its beneficiaries residing outside of Malta. A Life Certificate form is sent to every person in receipt of a pension or benefit. This form requires a declaration from the beneficiary, from a nominated next of kin and from a witness with a professional background. The information provided in the life certificate ensures that the information held by Department is accurate and updated.

Malta High Commission Offices in Australia

Malta High Commission – Canberra
38, Culgoa Circuit
O’Mailey A.C.T. (2606)
Australia
Tel – 001 262901724
Fax – 061 262902453
Email – maltahighcommission.canberra@gov.mt

Consulate of Malta – Melbourne
Suite 613, 6th Floor
343, Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel – 0061 (3) 9670 8427; (3) 9600 3953
Fax – 0061 (3) 9670 9451
Email – maltaconsulate.melbourne@gov.mt (General)

Consulate of Malta – Sydney
Suite 10.04, Level 10
31 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel – +61 (02) 9262 9500
Fax – +61 (02) 9264 4722
Email – maltaconsulate.sydney@gov.mt

CENTRELINK International Services
GPO Box 273
Hobart
Tasmania 7001
Australia
Tel – 0061 3 6222 3455
Fax – 0061 3 6222 2799
Email – international.services@centrelink.gov.au
Website – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/centrelink