This chapter presents the various types of incapacity and disability benefits:
- ordinary incapacity benefits (Assegno Ordinario di Invalidità - AOI): an economic benefit, provided upon request, to workers whose working capacity is reduced by at least a third due to physical or mental illness;
- disability pension (Pensione di Inabilità): an economic benefit, provided upon request, to workers who are completely and permanently unable to return to any working activity.
Workers registered with obligatory forms of insurance for Disability, Old Age and Survivors, or special packages for independent workers, who are no longer able, completely or in part, to return to working activity, are protected by economic benefits (incapacity benefits, disability pension) to help ease the state of need and adverse economic position in which they find themselves.
In what situation can I claim?
If you belong to the category of employed or independent workers (artisans, traders, direct farmer, tenant farmers and share croppers) and are registered with any pension fund which substitutes and supplements the obligatory general cover, you are insured against the risk of partial or total reduction of your working capacity.
Depending on the degree of reduction of working capacity, you can claim two different types of benefit:
- ordinary incapacity benefits (AOI in the Italian acronym for “Assegno Ordinario di Invalidità): subject to confirmation every 3 years;
- disability pension.
What conditions do I need to meet?
You are entitled to AOI if you meet the following requirements:
- reduction of working capacity by at least a third due to physical or mental illness or defect;
- at least 260 weekly contributions (5 years of contributions and insurance), of which 156 (3 years of contributions and insurance) have been in the 5 years prior to the date on which your claim is submitted.
Cessation of your working activity is not required.
The AOI paid to you as a consequence of a work-related accident or illness is not cumulative with the annuity paid to you for the same disabling event, up to the amount of the annuity. This is without prejudice to more favourable benefits beginning prior to September 1995 (date on which a legislative reform established non-cumulation), offset against future adjustments to the cost of living enacted annually by law.
You are entitled to the disability pension if you meet the following requirements:
- total and permanent inability to return to any working activity due to physical or mental illness or defect;
- at least 260 weekly contributions (5 years of contributions and insurance), of which 156 (3 years of contributions and insurance) have been in the 5 years prior to the date on which your claim is submitted;
- cessation of any kind of working activity;
- removal from worker category lists;
- cancellation of membership of professional bodies;
- renouncing of payments covered by obligatory unemployment insurance and any other replacement or supplement to your salary.
You are provided with the disability pension, as an insured worker, in the event that, due to your physical or mental illness, you are acknowledged to be totally and permanently incapable of returning to the activities for which you were previously employed.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The amount of AOI is determined by applying the following calculation systems to the contributions you have accrued:
- mixed (partially calculated using the remuneration system and partially with the contribution system), if you started the working activity prior to 31 December 1995;
- contribution, if you started the working activity after 31 December 1995.
The AOI is compatible with working activity and is valid for 3 years. It can be checked upon request submitted by you before the expiry date. After 3 successive confirmations, it is confirmed indefinitely and, upon reaching pension age, if you meet all the requirements, it will be transformed into an old age pension (see below).
This benefit is therefore characterised by a long period of observation of your state of incapacity, in order to assess your recovery, and is not transferable to your surviving relatives in the event of your death.
Upon reaching the age stipulated for entitlement to old age pension, the AOI is transformed into an old age pension, providing that the insurance and contribution requirements established by law are met and subject to cessation of your employment relationship. For the purposes of the law and the measure, contributions accrued by you during the period in which you received the benefit and did not work are taken into account.
Furthermore, from 1 September 1995, when you are awarded the AOI and have an income greater than a certain threshold deriving from paid work, from independent work or paid by a company, the amount of your benefit is reduced by a percentage varying between 25 and 50%. This is also without prejudice to more favourable benefits beginning prior to September 1995, offset against future adjustments to the cost of living enacted annually by law.
Your disability pension is made up of the amount that you are entitled to in AOI plus the rate of pension you would be entitled to on the basis of the increased contribution seniority that you would have accrued if you had continued to work until pension age. This pension is incompatible with income deriving from paid work or independent working activity, with unemployment compensation and other grants intended to substitute or supplement your income.
Your contribution seniority is increased (up to a maximum of 2 080 weekly contributions) by the number of weeks between receiving your pension and turning 60 years old, a rule valid for both men and women pursuant to implementation of the contribution calculation system for seniority accrued since 1 January 2012.
Your disability pension is transformed into an old age pension upon reaching pension age and can be reverted: that is to say, it can be transferred to your entitled surviving relatives upon your death. Furthermore, it may be subject to revision.
If, as a recipient of the disability pension, you are unable to get around without the permanent help of a carer and you are unable to carry out the tasks of daily life, you can submit a claim to receive a (non-contributory) support service: the Constant attendance allowance for personal assistance, amounting to EUR 522.10 in 2021.
If your disability was caused by an accident at work, and makes the permanent assistance of a carer to carry out the tasks of everyday life necessary, INAIL will provide you with a contributory service: the grant for continuing personal assistance allowance (non-cumulative with the above carer grant provided by the INPS), amounting to EUR 545.02 in 2020, indexed annually on July 1st.
You can submit a claim electronically only, by one of the following means:
- Web: electronic services which can be accessed directly by citizens using a second level SPID (Public Digital Identity System) or a CIE (Electronic Identity Card) or a CNS (National Service Card) through the INPS website (Online services);
- INPS Multi-channel Contact Centre;
- Employee organisations and Tax Assistance Centres: electronic services offered.
A medical certificate must be attached to claims.
The AOI and disability pension are paid from the first day of the month following that in which you submitted your claim or in which the disabling event occurred.
- INPS: National Institute for Social Security.
- INAIL: National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work.
- AGO: General Obligatory Insurance.
- IOS IVS in the Italian acronym Incapacity, Old Age and Survivors.
- Constant attendance allowance: non-contribution based support service, provided to you, as a disabled person, if you need continuing assistance and are not covered free of charge by public bodies for more than 1 month.
- Continuing personal assistance grant: contribution-based service provided by INAIL, in your capacity as a worker disabled in an accident at work or work-related illness, if you need continuing support to carry out the tasks of everyday life.
Forms you may need to fill in
- your AOI claim is submitted on an AP 59 form;
- your disability pension claim is submitted on an AP 60 form;
- your medical certificate is attached to the claim, submitted using an SS3 form.
Know your rights
See below for links with more information about your social security rights under Italian law:
Your right to incapacity and disability benefits is retained even if you move to another EU country.
The relevant benefit institutes in the country where you submit your claim for incapacity or disability benefits must take into consideration the periods of insurance or residence you have accrued under legislation in force in another European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the UK*, if these periods affect your entitlement to the aforementioned benefits.
The necessary administrative checks and medical examinations will be regularly carried out by the relevant institute in the EU country in which you are resident. If circumstances demand and your state of health allows, you must return to the country providing the benefit for any case assessments.
A link is provided below to access European Commission publications on coordination of social security for those moving or travelling within the EU:
* Each case needs to be assessed individually to determine whether a person falls within the scope of Art 30 of the Withdrawal Agreement, and so the EU Coordination Regulations apply, or whether they fall within the scope of situations described in Art 32 of the Withdrawal Agreement and/or come under domestic legislation and the Protocol on Social Security Coordination attached to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Who do you need to contact?
National Institute for Social Security (INPS)
Via Ciro il Grande 21
00144 Rome RM – ITALY
Toll-free number: +803.164
National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL)
Piazzale G. Pastore 6
00144 Rome RM – ITALY
Toll-free number: +803164
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Via Fornovo, 8 00192 Rome RM ITALY
Tel. +39 0646834457
Fax. +39 0646834528
Certified mail: email@example.com
Employee organisations and tax assistance centres (Patronati, CAF)