Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Bulgaria - Persons with disabilities

In what situation can I claim?

You are entitled to a pension for disability due to general illness if you have completely or partially lost your ability to work permanently or for an extended period. This pension is granted when your capacity to work has been reduced by 50% or more.

You are entitled to a disability pension due to general illness from the date the disability occurs. For partially sighted people who are blind from birth or prior to starting work, the pension is granted from the date of application.

Your disability pension is granted for the period of the disability. If your disability occurs after you have reached the age of entitlement for an old age pension, the disability pension is payable until the end of your life if it exceeds your old age pension or the pension entitlement for your period of social insurance cover.

  • In addition to the disability pension due to general illness, the state public insurance system pays pensions for civil or military disability;
  • Pensioners with a type and degree of disability exceeding 90% who need constant external care are entitled to a 75% supplement to their old age pension.

What conditions do I need to meet?

The entitlement conditions for a disability pension are linked to the reason for your disability.

Disability pension for general illness (пенсия за инвалидност поради общо заболяване)

To be entitled to a disability pension for general illness, you must have paid social insurance contributions for a particular length of time before your disability occurred. The disability pension is allocated as follows:

  • for people aged up to 20 years who are partially-sighted from birth and people who lost their sight before starting work, regardless of their length of paid insurance contributions;
  • up to 25 years of age: 1 year;
  • up to 30 years of age: 3 years;
  • more than 30 years of age: 5 years;
  • people born with disabilities and people who became disabled before starting work are entitled to a disability pension if they have paid social insurance contributions for 1 year.

If you have a pension for your period of paid insurance contributions and old age, you are not entitled to a pension for disability due to general illness.

Civil disability pension (пенсия за гражданска инвалидност)

You are entitled to a civil disability pension if you have lost your capacity to work while fulfilling your civil duty, e.g. if you were injured while volunteering to fight a natural disaster. You are also entitled to this pension if you were injured or fell ill accidentally as a result of actions by the authorities while fulfilling their official duties.

The circumstances must be certified with a document issued by the mayor or an authorised person or, in the latter case, the head of the organisation which caused the disability.

Military disability pension (пенсия за военна инвалидност)

You are entitled to this pension if you have lost your capacity to work while on conscripted national service or reserve military service. You are also entitled to this pension if you were injured while assisting the Bulgarian armed forces.

Deceased persons and persons lost without trace are also entitled to this pension.

The external care supplement is due to pensioners with more than 90% permanent disabilities. The need for external care is determined by the condition of the person with disabilities: whether he/she is able to cope with daily activities alone.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Disability pensions Disability pension for general illness

The disability pension for general illness is calculated on the basis of a formula connected with your length of paid insurance contributions and your degree of disability. The formula for calculating pensions can be found in this calculator.

The minimum amount of the pension for general illness cannot be less than a percentage of the minimum old age pension which after January 2018 is determined as BGN 200.

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70.99%

71% to 90%

More than 90%

Percentage of the minimum pension for old age and length of insurance contributions

85% or BGN 170

105% or BGN 210

115% or BGN 230

Civil disability pension

Public service disability pensions are calculated as a percentage of the social old age pension which is set at BGN 120.98. If you are covered for all social insurance risks or only for accidents at work or occupational illness, the pension is calculated in the same way as for accidents at work or occupational illness if this more favourable for you.

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70.99%

71% to 90%

More than 90%

Percentage of social old age pension

115% or BGN 139.13

140% or BGN 169.37

150% or BGN 181.47

Military disability pension

Military disability pensions can be calculated in two ways. The pension is calculated as a percentage of your social old age pension, a percentage of your lost capacity to work and your military rank:

For privates and sergeants:

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70.99%

71% to 90%

More than 90%

Percentage of social old age pension

115% or BGN 139.13

140% or BGN 169.37

150% or BGN 181.47

For officers:

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70.99%

71% to 90%

More than 90%

Percentage of social old age pension

120% or BGN 145.18

150% or BGN 181.47

160% or BGN 193.57

In the latter case, if you have been insured against all social insurance risks or only for accidents at work or occupational illness before your conscription or reserve military service, military disability pensions are calculated in the same way as pensions for accidents at work or occupational illness if this is more favourable for you. In this case, the years of paid insurance contributions and the income on which the insurance contributions are paid are taken into account when calculating the pension.

Disability benefits due to general illness

Disability supplements provided by the Social Assistance Agency are granted in accordance with the percentage of disability and are connected with your special needs. They are frequently a percentage of the guaranteed minimum income (GMI).

Periodic supplements:

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70%

From 71% to 90%

More than 90%

Monthly transport supplement: 15% of GMI

BGN 11.25

BGN 11.25

BGN 11.25

Monthly telephone supplement: 20% of GMI

No entitlement

BGN  15

BGN  15

Monthly medicines supplement: 15% of GMI

No entitlement

BGN 11.25

BGN 11.25

Supplement for spa treatment once per year

 (up to 3 times GMI)

No entitlement

Up to BGN 225

Up to BGN 225

Targeted benefits:

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70%

From 71% to 90%

More than 90%

Targeted benefit for home adaptation

No entitlement

BGN 600

BGN 600

Targeted benefit for the purchase and/or adaptation of a motor vehicle

No entitlement

BGN 1,200

BGN 1,200

Transport supplements:

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70%

From 71% to 90%

More than 90%

Entitlement to a free vignette sticker

Entitled

Entitled

Entitled

Two annual return trips on Bulgarian State Railways

No entitlement

Entitled

Entitlement includes a companion.

Supplement for external care

Pensioners with a disability of more than 90% who need constant external care are entitled to a 75% supplement of the social old age pension. For 2018, this supplement is BGN 90.74 In addition, the pensioner's companion is entitled to two free trips on Bulgarian State Railways every year.

Jargon busters

  • GMI: guaranteed minimum income, which for 2018 was BGN  75. This is the legal basis for calculating social benefits and is the minimum income required to cover basic needs.
  • Social insurance period: calculated in hours, months and years, this takes into account the time during which employees have worked full-time if the insurance contributions for the remuneration received have been paid or are payable. A minimum insurable income is set for each profession and the period covered by social insurance does not include contributions made below this income except in special circumstances. If you have worked part time, your length of service for insurance purposes is calculated proportionally on the basis of working hours as set out in law. Under normal working conditions this is 8 hours per day. Length of service for insurance purposes is different from total length of service.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

The laws and web pages of the institutions which determine your rights can be found by following the links below. These are not European Commission pages and do not represent the opinion of the Commission:

European Commission publications:

Who do you need to contact?

Agency for People with Disabilities

Social Assistance Agency

  • Ul. Triaditsa No 2
  • 1051 Sofia
  • Telephone: +359 28119607
  • Hotline: +359 29350550
  • ok@asp.government.bg

Social Assistance Department

National Social Security Institute

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