In the labyrinth of sick pay rules – the system just got simpler

Once again, changes have taken place in how the monetary benefits of health insurance are calculated, but the changes to legal regulations do not affect the eligibility rules, so health insurance benefits may be received by the same people eligible under the previous regulations.  However, the provisions pertaining to the calculation of the average benefits per calendar day are changing.

It is as you were for employees who have been working for the same employer for years, i.e. in their case the amount of the benefit must be assessed based on their income in the previous year, or the income in the 180 days prior to the initial day of eligibility. However, for anyone with an income period of less than 180 days in either their current or last employment due to moving jobs, the rules for calculating benefits (sick pay, maternity leave, child care benefit) have changed. When the amount of the afore-mentioned benefits is calculated, from 15 July only the income earned at the employer where the employee is working at the time of their illness may be considered. The aim of the amendment is to lessen the administrative burden related to calculating benefits (e.g. getting income certificates issued by previous employers, etc.).

Regulations pertaining to the issue of income certificates are also changing. As opposed to previous regulations, if a job is terminated the employer is only obliged to issue the certificate upon the written request of the insured person.

As of 15 July 2013 it is only worthwhile for employees to ask for an income certificate if they claim maternity allowance (TGYÁS) or child care benefit (GYED) for a child who is expected to be born before 11 May 2014.  This regulation is better compared to the previous rule because it reduces employers’ administrative burdens related to issuing certificates again.

Another significant change is that the parent may receive child care sick pay for the period of a child’s hospital care, which has not been possible up until now. In addition to this, the parent may claim sick pay to care for an ill child (GYÁP) aged between 12 and 18, regardless whether the child is treated in a hospital or at home. The GYÁP provides a great help to families raising seriously ill children.  Based on the previous rules, the ill child care allowance (GYÁP) was paid only for the period of the child’s home care, but the amended regulation ensures no parent is left without income in a critical situation.

A new rule applies to assessing the amount of the maternity allowance and child care benefit, specifying that only the social security contribution base generated from the current social security insurance may be considered.   The new regulation may negatively affect mothers whose child was born prior to 11 May 2014, and therefore in their case, the amount of the allowance must be calculated based on both the old and the new rules, with the sum more beneficial to the mother being paid.

To sum up, it is important to be aware that the changes to legal regulations which took effect as at 6 July 2013 and 15 July 2013 will not fundamentally affect eligibility for monetary health care benefits, but they will certainly impact on the calculation of average benefits per calendar day and other administrative regulations.

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