What is Sickness Benefit?
Sickness Benefit is a cash benefit paid to an insured person who is absent from work because of a certified illness other than that caused by employment injury.
Who is entitled to Sickness Benefit?
Any Private Sector employee or self-employed person who is 16 years old or over and under the pensionable age and satisfies the following conditions is entitled to sickness benefit.
- The person must have been in employment the day before the illness began.
- The person must have paid not less than 26 weekly contributions into the Social Security System.
- The person must have worked at least eight weeks in the three calendar months immediately before the illness began.
However, sickness benefit is not payable to employees of Government and Statutory establishments as they are not covered for this benefit.
When do I claim for Sickness Benefit?
Your claim for Sickness Benefit should be made within 21 days after your illness. Any claim made after this time may be disallowed by the Director.
Will I be paid for every day of my illness?
No. Sickness Benefit is not payable for the first three days, neither for Sundays. If, however, you become sick within eight weeks of another illness, you would not lose the first three days.
How do I make a claim?
Ensure that the medical certificate you receive from your doctor is a Social Security Medical Certificate, and your doctor has filled out sections A & B. Your employer should complete section C, and you, the insured person, should carefully complete section D and sign it. The completed Medical Certificate should be submitted promptly to the Social Security Office to avoid delay.
What is the maximum period for which I can receive Sickness Benefit?
You can receive Sickness Benefit for a maximum of 26 weeks of continuous illness. Illnesses which are separated by eight or fewer weeks are considered continuous illness. However if condition remains the Claimant is referred to a doctor identified by Social Security and can be paid for an additional 13 weeks.
What happens if my illness continues after 39 weeks?
If your illness continues after 39 weeks, you may be entitled to Invalidity Benefit.
How much will I receive for Sickness Benefit?
You will receive 60% of your average insurable weekly earnings, i.e. the total earnings for the three calendar months immediately before your illness divided by the number of weeks worked.
Here is an example:
Three month’s salary:
|Avg insurable earnings:||$2,600.00/13 = $200.00|
|Weekly rate of benefit:||$200.00 x 60% = $120.00|
|Daily rate||$120.00 / 6 = $ 20.00|