Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Bulgaria - Temporary incapacity to work

In what situation can I claim?

Cash benefits for illness are described in detail in the chapter entitled 'Sick pay'. Placement in a suitable job is required when you cannot meet your work obligations due to pregnancy, illness, accident or occupational illness. There are three types of benefits for placement in a suitable job in the case of incapacity to work:

  • for general illness, accident at work or occupational illness;
  • for pregnancy or breastfeeding;
  • for advanced in-vitro treatment.

You are also entitled to benefits when you have to care for a family member or child who is hospitalised or needs medical examination.

You are entitled to cash benefits if your general practitioner confirms that you need preventive care or rehabilitation.

What conditions do I need to meet?

In order to receive each of the benefits, you must have been insured for 6 consecutive months. Whether your insurance payments have been paid or are due for payment is immaterial. This rule does not apply if you have disabilities due to an accident at work or an occupational illness.

Placement in a suitable job

In the event of illness, accident at work or occupational illness

If you cannot do the work required of you or if you can perform other suitable work or the same work under adapted conditions without endangering your health, you can be placed in a suitable job. This takes place on the recommendation of the health authorities: your general practitioner, a medical consultation committee, regional medical committee or national medical committee.

For pregnancy or breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or you are at an advanced state of in-vitro treatment and are performing unsuitable work for your condition, your employer must temporarily adapt your work place and/or working time. If this is not possible, your employer must transfer you to another suitable job.

Placement in a suitable job takes place on the basis of a recommendation from the health authorities and is approved via a medical certificate.

The medical certificate for placement in a suitable job is issued by your general practitioner or obstetric gynaecologist.

Care for a sick family member

In addition to the condition that you must have been insured for general illness and maternity for at least 6 months, you must also make use of your leave in order to be entitled to compensation for caring for a sick child. Leave is based on a medical certificate issued by your general practitioner or a relevant specialist.

Rehabilitation and preventive care

Persons insured for maternity and general illness are entitled to cash benefits for preventive care and rehabilitation.

If you are not insured, but receive a personal disability pension, you are also entitled to these benefits if you have a decision issued by the Regional Expert Medical Committee (TEMC) or National Expert Medical Committee (NEMC).

If you are only insured for accidents at work and occupational illness, you are entitled to assistance if preventive care and rehabilitation are necessary due to an accident at work or occupational illness.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Placement in a suitable job

Cash benefits are calculated on the basis of your average daily remuneration for the last 18 months. If you have paid insurance in another EU Member State within these 18 months, only the monthly insurance contributions paid in Bulgaria are taken into account. The benefits are equal to the difference between the average daily wage for this period and your salary for the period of placement in a suitable job.

The gross salary only includes the remuneration for which insurance contributions are payable for general illness and maternity. These are the basic working wage, supplements in accordance with Labour Code categories, night shift work, hazardous work, remuneration for paid leave, etc.

The average daily wage after placement in a suitable job is calculated by dividing the wages received during a calendar month by the number of days worked. Paid leave is included in the number of days worked.

The number of days worked after placement in a suitable job does not include days of temporary incapacity to work, pregnancy and childbirth, care for a small child and unpaid leave. This does not depend on whether these periods count in the length of paid insurance contributions or not.

If you received less than the minimum wage (BGN  510 for 2018) prior to placement in a suitable job, the benefits will be equal to this difference. In this case, the amount of your salary after placement in a suitable job is immaterial.

These benefits are paid for the period during which you have been placed in a suitable job, but for no more than 6 months.

Benefits for placement in a suitable job in the event of pregnancy are payable from the day of placement in a suitable job until the beginning of leave for pregnancy and childbirth. In the case of breastfeeding, the benefits are payable for the entire period of placement in a suitable job, while the mother is breastfeeding.

In the case of placement in a suitable job due to an advanced stage of in-vitro treatment, the benefits are payable for no more than 20 calendar days.

Care for a sick child

If you have to care for a sick child, you are entitled to benefits in the same way as for illness. The first 3 days of sick leave are covered by the employer, who must pay you 70% of your gross daily remuneration for the month during which you are on sick leave.

The following days are payable by the National Social Security Institute and are equivalent to 80% of your gross salary.

You can use these benefits during the following periods:

  • for a child aged up to 18 years suffering from a contagious illness, you are entitled to compensation and leave until the end of the quarantine period;
  • for a sick child aged up to 3 years and hospitalised together with you, the benefits cover the time you spend in hospital;
  • for a healthy child sent home from a children's institution due to quarantine, you are entitled to benefits for the period of the quarantine.
Rehabilitation and preventive care

You are entitled to cash benefits for preventive treatment and rehabilitation once per calendar year for a 10-day stay in hospital.

These cash benefits cover the following:

  • Expenditure for no more than four basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures per day. These include examinations and tests. In addition, the prices must be approved by the Supervisory Board of the National Social Security Institute.
  • Expenses for overnight accommodation at a price approved by the Supervisory Board of the National Social Security Institute, without additional payment from you.
  • Partial food benefits: BGN 5.00 per day. For the day of admission and the day of discharge, the National Social Security Institute pays a total of BGN 5.00 in partial cash benefits for food.

In order to receive cash benefits for rehabilitation and preventive care, you must receive all three types of benefits.

You must make your own reservations for admission to preventive care and rehabilitation. You must then find out what additional prices you have to pay for food, since the National Social Security Institute only pays the defined amount.

Jargon busters

  • NSSI: National Social Security Institute.

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?

National Social Security Institute

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