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Sickness Benefit

Sickness Benefit is designed to supplement wages lost by an insured person who is incapable of work due to bodily or mental illness, except in the case of injury or disease sustained on the job.

The claim for a sickness benefit is made on a Sickness / Employment Injury form which can be obtained from the NIS office or website or from your Employer or Doctor. The medical certificate must be completed by a registered Medical Doctor.

A claim for Sickness Benefit must be made within four days from the date the illness began. In order to qualify for this benefit, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 60
  • Be temporarily incapable of work because of illness (physical or mental)
  • Be employed or self-employed at the time the illness began
  • Be registered for not less than 13 weeks and paid at least 8 weeks contributions two months prior or immediately prior to the start date of the sick-leave
  • Be losing insurable earnings from the employer

N.B. Sickness Benefit is only payable if the duration of the sick-leave is for four days or more; payment will be made from the first day of the sick leave provided it is not the last day worked.

The rate of sickness benefit is 65% of your average weekly insurable earnings in the 13-week period two months prior or immediately before the illness began.

The duration of this claim is payable initially for up to a maximum period of 26 weeks. A further 26 weeks may be payable if the insured person has been engaged in employment for at least 150 contribution weeks and in the last three complete contribution years has 75 paid or credited contribution weeks.

An insured person may be disqualified from receiving a sickness benefit if he/she:

  • Is unable to work through his/her own misconduct
  • Fails to comply with a notice in writing by the Director of the NIS requiring him/her to take a  medical or other examination
  • Behaves without good reason in a manner calculated to retard his or her recovery
  • Undertakes work for which remuneration is or would ordinarily be payable
  • Fails without good cause to answer any queries made by an officer of the Board designed to ascertain his/her continuing entitlement to benefit