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 ten (10) days from the first (1)st day of sickness. The only exceptions accepted are in cases of 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 fourteen (14) days, the blue medical certificate must be renewed every two (2) weeks, until the employee is fit to resume work.
Claimants must ensure that the address written on the certificate matches the official address held with the Department of Social Security, which will be used by the department for all official correspondence. Therefore, no changes will be made to the official address held by the Department of Social Security if it differs from the one submitted on the certificate.
You can verify and only update your official address online, as per your current address on your Identity Card by clicking here, or visit one of the servizz.gov hubs for further assistance.
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 three (3) days or less.
- Certification of illness of three (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 fourteen (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 fourteen (14) days.
- An Intermediate Certificate should follow a First certificate, after fourteen (14) days from date of First certificate’s doctor’s examination date. An Intermediate certificate certifies that the insured person is still incapable to attend work for a period not exceeding fourteen (14) days from the examination date of the same Intermediate blue medical certificate. If the period certified as unfit for work exceeds another fourteen (14) days from date of doctor’s examination indicated on the Intermediate certificate, a new Intermediate certificate has to be submitted, with a new doctor’s examination date being distant 15 days from that indicated in the preceding medical certificate. The second Intermediate certificate may certify the patient as being unfit for work for another maximum period of fourteen (14) days, until another Intermediate certificate or a Final certificate may be due for submission.
- A Final Certificate certifies that the insured person may resume work on the date specified (return to work date) for a period not exceeding fourteen (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 eight (8) years.
What you’ll get
An employee is paid for Sickness Benefit starting from the fourth (4)th day of sickness (the day after the examination date), since the first three (3) days are payable by the employer. An employer may either:
- Pay the wage of the employee in full for the first three (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
- 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 fourth (4)th 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, five (5) or six (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 two (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.
In the case of patients being sent abroad by the Government of Malta for treatment which could not be provided in Malta, as a result of international bi-lateral agreements, a request for Sickness Benefit for Treatment Abroad is to be submitted. The applicant or a person responsible for the sick applicant, is to inform the Treatment Abroad section responsible at Mater Dei hospital to fill in a specific form which will include the details of the applicant, reason for treatment abroad and for how long the treatment will take place. This form is sent to the Department of Social Security for processing, whereby the payment for Sickness Benefit is issued to the applicant.
In exceptional cases involving Maltese or citizens from EU countries who are ordinarily employed in Malta and/or are insured under Maltese Social Security legislation, may submit a Claim for Sickness Benefit in Malta if they happen to require emergency or unforseen medical treatment while abroad. Such claimants are required to submit a foreign medical certificate or a foreign hospital discharge letter in English if a blue medical certificate would not be possible to be submitted for logistical or administrative reasons. Certificate / discharge letter details are to include the details of the applicant, reason and duration for treatment abroad. Such certificates/ discharge letters are to be submitted to the Department of Social Security within reasonable time, and if satisfactory, may serve as an alternative to a blue First, Intermediate or Final medical certificate as mentioned. Such submissions are to be sent online by clicking here.
Please click here for a Schedule of Benefits Rates.
You may make use of an online Calculator to calculate your Sickness Benefit entitlement.
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 under the age of twenty-three (23) years. 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 under the age of twenty-three (23) years.
- The claimant has paid a minimum of fifty (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 twenty (20) paid or credited Class 1 or Class 2 Social Security Contributions during the last two (2) consecutive calendar years prior to the year of Sickness Benefit Claim.
Sickness Benefit is payable up to one-hundred and fifty-six (156) days, and may be extended up to four-hundred and sixty-eight (468) benefit days in two (2) years in each case depending on the Medical Board’s decision. This payment depends on the number of Social Security Contributions paid during the claimant’s employment.
- 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 must be a Savings or Current account, but not a Loan account. The indicated account must 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 five (5) minutes.
Else one can take the original blue medical certificate to the nearest servizz.gov hubs.
You will receive the payment within twenty (20) days if the required details are submitted and you are eligible for benefit payment. To view any related payments, one must access the paymentsdss.gov.mt, where applicable.