Benefits - Sickness Benefits

How do I qualify?

To qualify for Sickness Benefit you must:

• have paid no fewer than 7 contributions in the contribution quarter before the quarter in which you became ill
• have been working before becoming sick or
• have no fewer than 39 contributions paid or credited to your account in the four consecutive quarters ending with the quarter before the quarter in which you became ill

When am I not entitled to the benefit? 

If you are overseas, you won’t receive Sickness Benefit, unless you are overseas temporarily to receive medical treatment for an illness that started before you left Barbados.  A person should submit a referral letter from a local doctor indicating the reason for the referral before proceeding overseas.

How long can I receive sickness benefit?

Sickness benefit is paid as long as the incapacity for work continues and is subject to a maximum of 52 weeks.

Can I be disqualified from receiving sickness benefit?
Yes.

1. If the claimant is incapable of work through his/ her own misconduct.
2.  The claimant fails without good cause to comply with a notice in writing by the Director to submit himself or herself to medical or other examinations.
3.  If the claimant is found doing any type of work which they can be paid.

Will I get the benefit for the first three days of sick leave?

No, these are “waiting days” and you will not receive benefit for this time unless your illness lasts for 2 weeks or more.

How is Sickness Benefit calculated?

The daily rate for the benefit is 66.6% of your average insurable weekly earnings, divided by 6.

Here is an example?

Here is a calculation using $500 per week as your weekly insurable earning:
66.6% x $500 = $333.
$333. ÷ 6 = $55.55
Your daily rate is $55.55

For more information download the NIS Guide to Benefits booklet which you can view in Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have Acrobat, click here to download it.

Have more questions or need to clearly understand the terms used? Take a look through the FAQ or the Glossary in the Information Zone.