Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Bulgaria - Long-term care

In what situation can I claim?

You may receive benefits when you care for a person with a long-term disability who needs external care.

You may also receive benefits if you accompany a child or adult family member for medical examinations or treatment.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You are entitled to monthly benefits for caring for a child with a disability, whatever the family income. Long-term disability must be confirmed by the competent health agencies: the regional medical committee (TEMC) and the national medical committee (NEMC). These benefits do not depend on whether you are insured or not.

In order to receive free medicines and medical equipment for home treatment, your illness must be included in the list of illnesses covered by the National Health Insurance Fund for home treatment.

In order to receive benefits when you accompany a family member with a disability for treatment or for an examination, you have to have been insured for general illness or maternity for at least 6 months. In order to receive these benefits, you must have a sick note issued by your general practitioner. You are entitled to these benefits irrespective of whether you have to care for or accompany the patient in Bulgaria or abroad.

If you are an insured person, you are entitled to benefits for the following family members: your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren from the direct line of descent and your husband or wife.

You are entitled to targeted monthly social benefits if you care for a seriously ill family member. Provision of these benefits depends on the monthly income of your family. It must be less than the established differentiated minimal income. The differentiated minimum income is set out in the table on the website of the Social Benefits Department.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The time during which you care for a family member with a long-term reduced capacity to work and a level of disability exceeding 90% who permanently needs external care is taken into account in your pension entitlement.

Benefits for children with disabilities

Every year the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy determines the amount of benefits for caring for a child with disabilities.

  • The monthly benefit for caring for a disabled child aged up to 2 years is BGN 100;
  • The monthly benefit for a school pupil with a disability up to 20 years of age up to completion of secondary. education is BGN 100 per month for 2018;
  • The amount of the monthly allowance for children up to 18 years of age with permanent disability depends on the degree of disability: 
    • over 90% - BGN 930;
    • from 71% to 90% - BGN 450;
    • from 50% to 70.99% - BGN 350;
  • When the child is placed in foster families or in families of relatives or close friends the allowance amounts:
    • over 90% - BGN 490;
    • from 71% to 90% - BGN 420;
    • from 50% to 70.99% - BGN 350 .
Home treatment covered by the National Health Insurance Fund

If the illness from which you suffer is included in the list, the National Health Insurance Fund pays partly or fully for the medical equipment, medicines and dietary foods required for home treatment. Medical products are provided upon prescription issued by the general practitioner or specialist. These prescriptions must contain a special code corresponding to the code in the list of illnesses. This list is updated once every year by the Minister of Health. This normally takes place by the end of March of the relevant year.

Benefits and allowances for caring for people with disabilities

Benefits for caring for or accompanying a sick family member are paid in the same manner as for sick leave.

Further information on how benefits are calculated is available in the chapter entitled 'Sickness benefits'.

These benefits can be used in the following cases.

  • You are caring for or accompanying a sick family member aged over 18 years for medical examinations, tests or treatment in Bulgaria or abroad. You are then entitled to up to 10 calendar days in 1 calendar year;
  • You are caring for or accompanying a sick child aged over 18 years for medical examinations, tests or treatment in Bulgaria or abroad. You are then entitled to up to 60 calendar days in 1 calendar year in total for all insured family members.

If you have reduced capacity to work or you are caring for a seriously ill person, the amount of benefits to which you are entitled is based on a formula. This is the difference between the differentiated minimum income (DMI) and the income of the persons or families from the preceding period.

For example, if you are a single parent, the DMI is set as BGN  75. If your monthly income is BGN 30, the monthly benefit is BGN 35.

People who have been granted permission for Ministry of Health funding for treatment abroad receive one-off benefits to cover daily and accommodation costs. These benefits may be for them and their companions if the costs are not included in the amount provided for treatment. You can find out more about the differentiated minimum income for your category on the Social Benefits Department website.

Jargon busters

  • Social insurance period: calculated in hours, months and years. This takes into account the time during which you have worked as a full-time employed person if the insurance contributions for the remuneration received have been paid or are payable. A minimum social insurance income is defined 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, the length of employment is calculated proportionally on the basis of working hours set out by law. Under normal working conditions this is 8 hours per day. Length of service for insurance purposes is different from total length of service.
  • Differentiated minimum income. This is calculated by multiplying the guaranteed minimum income by a pre-determined coefficient. The coefficient is individually based and is related to age and social status. The DMI is used to determine who is entitled to targeted or monthly benefits.

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 Health Insurance Fund

  • Address: ul. Krichim No1
  • 1407 Sofia
  • National telephone line for information for the public: +359 80014800 (one impulse for analogue telephones, free from digital telephones). The duration of one consultation is 5 minutes.
  • Telephone: +359 29659121 / 29659387 from analogue and mobile telephones.

Agency for People with Disabilities

Social Benefits Department

National Social Security Institute

  • Contact centre
  • Central Office of the National Social Security Institute
  • Boulevard Alexander Stamboliiski No 62-64
  • 1303 Sofia
  • Telephone: +359 29261010
  • noi@nssi.bg

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