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Incapacity for work (disability)
Who is eligible for benefits in the event of illness?
You need to be receiving an income to be entitled to a benefit. You need to have ceased all professional activity and you need to have at least a 1/3 reduction in your ability to work.
NB: For salaried individuals who have an additional self-employed activity, you must cease all activity on the day the disability begins.
What steps do you need to take?
- Go to your doctor to obtain a medical certificate. The certificate must state your identity, the doctor’s identity, the date of the consultation, the doctor’s signature, the diagnosis and, especially, the date on which your disability/inability to work began.
- Send the original of the medical certificate to the consultant doctor at your mutual benefit fund. The amount of time you have to send in the certificate depends on your status. If you exceed that period, your benefits will be reduced by 10% until the day on which the certificate is received.
- You must also complete, sign and return the information sheet relating to your income to your mutual benefit fund. This is essential for your benefits to be paid.
- If you are summoned for a medical examination by the consultant doctor, you must attend that examination (if you don’t, you will lose your benefits).
How much will your benefits be?
This depends on your status (blue-collar worker, white-collar employee, self-employed worker or unemployed).
If you receive a wage/salary (blue-collar worker or white-collar employee)
Your disability benefits will be paid after the guaranteed wages/salary period paid for by your employer. You will receive 60% of your gross salary lost. However, this is limited to a maximum amount of €78.96 per day for the first year in which you are unable to work.
Births and adoptions
Maternity leave is for a period of 15 weeks (19 weeks for a multiple birth). You can divide the time as follows:
- 1 to 6 weeks’ leave prior to the scheduled delivery date (1 to 8 weeks for a multiple birth);
- a minimum of 9 weeks’ leave after the birth (minimum of 11 weeks for a multiple birth).
For an adoption, the period depends on the age of the child at the time of adoption and ranges from 0 to 12 weeks.
Parental leave of up to 10 days is provided for the other parent.
If you are unemployed
Your work disability benefits are equal to your unemployment benefits. They may be reviewed after 6 months’ disability, depending on your age and category shown on the information sheet.
If you are a self-employed worker
From the 2nd month onwards, your mutual benefit fund will pay a daily amount (6 days a week) of:
- €33.38 per day for cohabitees;
- €41.11 per day for people living on their own or for cohabitees considered to be living on their own;
- €53.48 per day for heads of family.
When will you receive your benefits?
- every 15 days for salaried employees and unemployed;
- every month for self-employed and disabled workers.
Any modification to the composition of your family may change the level of your benefits. You must therefore notify your fund immediately of any change.
What happens if your inability to work is extended?
If the period of your inability to work exceeds one year, you enter into a period known as “disability” and your benefits will vary according to your family situation (number of dependants, living alone, cohabitee) and your previous work situation.
There is no need for you to send an extension certificate to the consultant doctor at your mutual benefit fund.