Sickness Benefit

Overview

For Sickness Benefit to be awarded, a person must not have reached the retirement age and a blue medical certificate must be completed by a medical practitioner. The blue medical certificate must be submitted to the Department of Social Security within 10 days from the 1st day of sickness. The only exceptions accepted are due to hospitalisation or treatment abroad. In turn, the copy of the blue medical certificate must be handed to the employer. If the sickness is longer than 14 days, the blue medical certificate must be renewed every 2 weeks, until the employee is fit to resume work.

For information regarding cross-border situations please click here.

  • A person is no longer required to submit the blue medical certificate to the Department of Social Security if the period of illness is 3 days or less.
  • Certification of illness of 3 days or less does not constitute a claim for Sickness Benefit but the copy of the certificate must be handed to the employer, if the Kopja għall-Prinċipal is demanded.
  • A First and Final Certificate or Closed First certifies that the insured person is unfit for work for a specified period of days, but not exceeding 14 days.
  • A First Certificate or Open First certifies that the insured person has been medically examined for the first time, within a period of sickness, and will be unfit for more than 14 days.
  • An Intermediate Certificate certifies that the insured person is still incapable to attend work for a period not exceeding 14 days from the examination date on the blue medical certificate.
  • A Final Certificate certifies that the insured person may resume work on the date specified (return to work date) for a period not exceeding 14 days from the examination date on the blue medical certificate.
  • A person who suffers from Fibromyalgia or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness on the second request of illness of the same year.
  • A person undergoing therapy for cancer will be paid sickness benefit from the first day of illness on the second request of illness of the same year.
  • Parents with breaks in employment due to children undergoing treatment for rare diseases, may be eligible to contribution credits for a maximum period of 8 years.

What you’ll get

An employee is paid for Sickness Benefit starting from the 4th day of sickness (the day after the examination date), since the first 3 days are payable by the employer. An employer may either:

  1. Pay the wage of the employee in full for the first 3 days of sickness and then pay the difference between the Sickness Benefit entitlement and the employee’s wage for any additional certified sick leave; or
  2. Pay the wage of the employee in full for the certified sick leave and in return the employee refunds the employer the Sickness Benefit entitlement once this is issued by the Department of Social Security.

If a person is already receiving payment for any benefit as direct credit in a bank account, the payment of the Sickness Benefit will be deposited in the same bank account.

A self-occupied person who submits a blue medical certificate is awarded Sickness Benefit from the 4th day of sickness and is entitled to a fixed benefit rate.

Sickness Benefit is awarded according to the number of days of the employee’s working week; that is, (5 or 6 day week). No payment is affected for public holidays and Sundays.

A person who is unemployed due to a sickness and is awaiting to be awarded a Contributory Invalidity Pension or is not in a position to work and is submitting a blue medical certificate every 2 weeks, may also be awarded Sickness Benefit. Such entitlement is paid Monday to Saturday including Public Holidays, except Sundays.

Government employees are excluded from being awarded Sickness Benefit whilst on paid sick leave.

Please click here for a Schedule of Benefits Rates.

You may make use of an online Calculator to calculate your Sickness Benefit entitlement.

Eligibility

General eligibility criteria:

  • To be eligible to a married Sickness Benefit rate, a person must be:
    • Married or in a civil union with spouse not working full-time;
    • Legally separated but maintaining ex-spouse;
    • A single parent having the care and custody of child. In case of shared custody, claimant must be paying maintenance to his spouse or is in receipt of Children’s Allowance.
  • To be eligible to a single Sickness Benefit rate, a person must be:
    • A Single Person;
    • Married or in civil union with the spouse working full-time;
    • Legally separated but not maintaining ex-spouse;
    • A single parent not having the care and custody of child.
  • The claimant has paid a minimum of 50 Class 1 and / or Class 2 Social Security Contributions since being registered under the Social Security Act (Cap. 318.) until date of benefit claim; and also has 20 paid or credited Class 1 or Class 2 Social Security Contributions during the last 2 consecutive calendar years prior to the year of Sickness Benefit Claim.

Sickness Benefit is payable up to 156 days, and may be extended up to 468 benefit days in 2 years depending on the Medical Board’s decision. This payment depends on the number of Social Security Contributions paid during the claimant’s employment.

Documentation required

General documentation:

  • Blue medical certificate filled by Medical Doctor;
  • Ensure that your banking details held by the Department of Social Security are updated to receive payments by direct deposit in a bank. The IBAN number should be a local Savings or Current account, but not a Loan account. The indicated account should be in the name of the beneficiary only. Banking details may be updated on mySocialSecurity.

How to apply

One may submit a copy of the original blue medical certificate online. The approximate time taken to fill in the application is 5 minutes.

Else one can take the original blue medical certificate to the nearest servizz.gov hubs.

You will usually receive payment around 20 working days after your application is submitted. You can help make sure your claim is processed as quickly as possible by completing the application thoroughly and providing any further information requested promptly.