Starting from the new year, the amount of certain benefits will change, and the way of determining the period for receiving them will be simpler than before. Moreover, entrepreneurs will be able to receive sickness benefits even if they pay their contributions after the deadline. There will also be important changes for women collecting maternity benefit.
According to the amended regulations, as from 1 January 2022, persons conducting business activity will have the right to receive a sickness insurance benefit if they are late in paying their contributions, without having to submit an application to ZUS (if they pay the overdue contributions after the deadline).
Moreover, it will be possible to acquire the right to sickness benefit in the case of inability to work in a period during which the insured person is in arrears with payment of contributions in an amount exceeding 1% of the minimum remuneration (in 2022 – PLN 30.10). Such a person will gain the right to the benefit after repayment of the debt, but if the debt is not settled within 6 months from the date on which the right to the benefit arose, the right will become time-barred.
However, debts amounting to a maximum of 1 percent of the minimum remuneration will not prevent the benefit from being paid.
The changes to the legislation will also affect the amount of the benefits for hospital stays and expand the group of women entitled to maternity benefits.
From the new year, the monthly sickness benefit for a hospital stay will amount to 80 per cent of the benefit base (in 2021 – 70 per cent).
Furthermore, from 2022, the right to maternity benefit will be granted to women who give birth after the termination of the insurance, if the insurance terminates due to the death of the employer (until now, the termination of the contract following the death of the employer resulted in the absence of such benefit).
According to the new regulations, the reason for inability to work before and after an interruption in inability to work will not be significant for determining the benefit period (this period is, as a rule, 182 days and determines the total period for which one may receive sickness benefit). However, periods of inability to work prior to a break of up to 60 days will not be included in the benefit period if, after the break, the inability to work occurs during pregnancy.
In addition, it will be possible to receive sickness benefit after the termination of insurance for up to 91 days, with the exception of persons suffering from tuberculosis, incapable of working during pregnancy and incapable of working as a result of undergoing the necessary medical examinations provided for cell, tissue and organ donor candidates and the cell, tissue and organ procurement procedure.
The necessity to apply for re-determining the benefit calculation base will also be eliminated if there was no break between the periods of receiving benefits, irrespective of their type, or if the break was shorter than a calendar month. At present, the benefit calculation base is determined again if the break in receiving the benefits lasts at least 3 calendar months.
Learn more: New sick leave control rules in 2022