If you are a full-time carer of a family member, you may be eligible to receive a monthly allowance from the government. These two allowances are called the ‘Carer’s Pension’ and or the ‘Social Assistance Carer’s Pension’. A number of conditions apply which would determine if you are eligible for such benefits. Knowing and understanding what your entitlements are is essential to your well-being. Not only will this it allow you to provide the best care possible for your loved one yet moreover ensure you can also afford to take care of yourself and your needs.
Please see below for more information related to:
- the amounts of allowances the carer may be entitled to;
- conditions and eligibility criteria as outlined in various parts of the Social Security Act, Cap 318; Sixth Schedule (articles 27,30,66,68 refers).
Subject to satisfying the Social Security Act Cap318, two types of allowances are issued by the department of Social Security:
A Carer’s Pension to the amount of €103.74 per week is awarded to those carers who are taking care of an elderly person who is bedridden and confined to the bed, as outlined in the Social Security Act, Cap 318, Part V1, 68 (1), and quoted ad verbatim below:
68. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a single or widowed person who proves to the satisfaction of the Director that –
(a) he /she is a citizen of Malta and is regularly residing in Malta; and
(b) his/her yearly means, calculated in accordance with the provisions of Part IV of the Second Schedule to this Act, do not exceed the highest rate of Carer’s Pension equivalent to 60% of the national minimum wage as is applicable to persons of eighteen years of age or over established by a National Standard Order issued under the Employment and Industrial Relations Act, during the period in respect of which such pension is due and as is specified in Part IV of the Sixth Schedule to this Act, shall be entitled to a Carer’s Pension in accordance with sub-article (2) if such person proves to the satisfaction of the Director that he is taking care, all by himself, on a full-time basis and regularly of his parent or brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, aunt, father or mother-in-law, or brother or sister-in-law who –
(i) is living in the same household as that of such person; and
(ii) because of infirmity is bedridden or confined to SOCIAL SECURITY [CAP. 318. 61] a wheel-chair.
(2) A person who becomes entitled to a pension under sub article (1) shall receive such weekly rate of pension as will bring his total weekly means calculated in accordance with the provisions of sub-article (1) up to the highest rate of pension payable in accordance with Part IV of the Sixth Schedule to this Act.
A Social Assistance Carer allowance to the amount of €73.61 per week is awarded to carers who are taking care of an elderly person in the SOCIAL SECURITY [CAP. 318. Part III, 30 (8), Cap 343 as outlined and quoted ad verbatim below:
(8) Where in any household there is a person who is single or widowed, and who is also unemployed, who proves to the satisfaction of the Director that s/he is taking care, all by him/her self, on a full-time basis and regularly, of her/his parent or brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, aunt, father or mother-in-law or brother or sister-in-law who is living in the same household as that of such person and who is suffering from a severe physical or mental infirmity, as certified by a medical practitioner specialising in the field of the infirmity denoted, or who is aged sixty years or over and is physically or mentally unable to take care of himself and of his day to day needs, then whether such person is registered or not as an unemployed person as aforesaid in sub article (1), s/he shall nonetheless be entitled to Social Assistance as a separate household in accordance with the provisions of this article but such assistance shall not exceed 75% of the full rate applicable to a household consisting of one person:
Additional benefits provided by the Social Security Act:
- The state also provides for the payment of the Employer’s portion of the Social Security National Contributions as the employer of the carer employed to take care of the patient.
Social Security Act, Cap 318, Part II, 15,(6) Cap 452 outlined below refers:
Provided that, notwithstanding the provisions of this article, with effect from the 6th January 2014, an old person and, or a person who is certified to suffer from a disability upon the advice given by the medical panel in accordance with article 106, who employs another person to take care of him or her, shall be exempted from the payment of the employer’s part of the Social Security contributions payable according to this Act.
A written request has to be lodged to the Director, Social Security after obtaining all the relevant documentation from the ETC (permit for employment especially if the prospective carer is a foreign national and not an EU or EEC national) and the Inland Revenue Department.
- The State also provides to pay the social security national insurance contributions (in the form of credits) in the case of the prospective Carer who had to resign from full time/part-time employment in order to care for the elder parent, as outlined below in the Social Security Act, Cap 318, Part II, 16 (3)a:
(3) A contribution shall also be credited to any insured person –
(a) for any calendar week during which he is entitled to a Carer’s Pension under article 68 and at any time prior to his becoming entitled to a Carer’s Pension as aforesaid in this paragraph was employed in insurable employment or was self-occupied and immediately prior to his becoming entitled to such Carer’s Pension had –
(i) paid a total of 156 contributions; and
(ii) paid or been credited with an average of at least 20 contributions per annum; since attaining his/her 18th birthday:
So however that, with effect from the 5th January 2013, the provisions of this sub-article shall also apply to persons who are not entitled to a Carers’ Pension who fail to satisfy the conditions of Part IV of the Second Schedule of this Act but fulfill the criteria stipulated by the provisions of article 106(a), and to persons who are entitled to Social Assistance under article 30(8); Cap. 343.