Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Bulgaria - Accidents at work and occupational illnesses

In what situation can I claim?

An accident at work is damage to health or death resulting from the implementation of work under a labour/employment relationship. This includes the following:

  • Any sudden damage to health which may take place during, in connection with or as a result of work carried out and of any work done in the interests of the company;
  • Damage to health or death during or on the way to and from work. This is any accident which may occur on the way to or back from your workplace to:
    • your home;
    • the place where you normally eat during the working day;
    • the place from where you receive your salary.

An occupational illness is an illness which may take place due to harmful factors in the working environment or the labour process. These illness are explicitly listed in the list of occupational illnesses. Illnesses which are not included in this list are also recognised if it is confirmed that they are caused by normal working activities.

Occupational illness also includes its complications and later consequences.

What conditions do I need to meet?

In order to have entitlement to benefits for accidents at work and occupational illness, you must be insured against accident at work and occupational illness risks. Social insurance for these risks is mandatory for the following.

  • Workers and employees hired to work for one or more employers. The social insurance does not depend on the nature of the work, the payment method or the source of finance;
  • State employees;
  • Judges, prosecutors, investigators, court bailiffs, registry judges, court employees, members of the Supreme Judicial Council and Inspectors at the Supreme Judicial Council Inspectorate;
  • Armed forces personnel in accordance with the Defence and Armed Forces Act of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • Members of cooperatives exercising labour activities who receive remuneration from the cooperative;
  • Executors of contracts for the management and control of commercial companies, sole traders, unincorporated companies, official receivers and liquidators;
  • Persons in elected positions;
  • Religious clerics of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and other registered religious faiths;
  • Doctors undergoing training for specialisation who receive remuneration under a training contract;
  • Seafarers.

Disability pensions are granted for accidents at work and occupational illness if you have lost 50% or more of your capacity to work due to an accident at work or occupational illness. Conditions for retirement pensions are more favourable than for disability pensions due to general illness. This pension does not depend on your period of social insurance cover.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The procedures for confirming an accident at work or occupational illness can be found on the website of the National Social Security Institute. If you are injured as a result of an accident at work or occupational illness, you are entitled to medical assistance, medicines, medical equipment and technical aids from the health care system and the social benefits system.

In the event of an accident at work or occupational illness, insured persons or their successors are entitled to the following cash benefits and pensions from the state social insurance fund:

  • cash benefits for temporary incapacity to work: sick pay (парично обезщетение за временна неработоспособност);
  • cash benefits for placement in a suitable job (обезщетение за трудоустрояване);
  • a personal or inheritable disability pension (лична или наследствена пенсия за инвалидност);
  • cash benefits for preventive care and rehabilitation (обезщетения за профилактика и рехабилитация);
  • a one-off benefit in the case of death (еднократна помощ при смърт).

The amounts are higher than those for general illness and include:

  • Cash benefits for temporary incapacity to work (sick pay) amounting to 90% of the average daily salary, for the last 18 months of paid insurance contributions;
  • Cash benefits for placement in a suitable job. The daily amount of benefits is equal to the difference between the daily salary for the last 18 months, but no more than the maximum monthly insurable income. The benefits may not exceed your salary after placement in a suitable job;
  • A personal or inherited disability pension due to an accident at work or occupational illness. The formula for calculating your pension for an accident at work and occupational illness can be found here.

The pension cannot be lower than a percentage of the minimum old age pension and social insurance cover period pension, which after January 2018 was calculated at BGN  200 (from 1 July – BGN   207.60).

Percentage disability

From 50% to 70.99%

71% to 90%

More than 90%

Percentage of the minimum pension for old age and social insurance cover period

100% or BGN 170

115% or BGN 210

125% or BGN 230

  • Cash benefits for preventive care and rehabilitation: expenditure on a total of four basic daily diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (including examinations and tests). Funds are provided for overnight accommodation at a price approved by the Supervisory Board of the National Social Security Institute without additional payment. Cash benefits for rehabilitation include partial payment for food: 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. You are entitled to cash benefits for preventive treatment and rehabilitation once per calendar year for a 10-day stay in hospital.

Jargon busters

  • Unincorporated companies: companies under the Obligations and Contracts Act that are not legal entities, but to which tax legislation ascribes certain rights and obligations. An example of such a company is a solicitor's practice.

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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