(a) have paid or credited not less than 7 contributions in the quarter but one before the contribution quarter in which one became ill;
(b) have been engaged in employment immediately before becoming ill, or have not less than 39 contributions paid or credited to one’s account in the four consecutive quarters ending with the quarter but one before the contribution quarter in which the incapacity occurred.
Special provisions apply if an employed person becomes insurable from a period later than mentioned in (a) above.
If a person is self-employed, the condition stated above in (b)(2) must be satisfied to qualify for the benefit.
A self-employed person may qualify for sickness benefit provided that:
- he/she has paid no less than 7 contributions in the contribution quarter but one before the contribution quarter in which he/she became ill;
- he/she has been insured for not less than 13 contribution weeks; and
- he/she must have not less than 39 contributions paid or credited to his/her account in the four consecutive quarters ending with the quarter but one before the contribution quarter in which incapacity commenced
The daily rate of sickness benefit is 66 2/3% of the insured person’s average insurable weekly earnings, divided by 6.
Benefit payable from: 1st January 2019
Relevant quarter: July to September 2018
Monthly salary during the relevant quarter: $3,000
Total Insurable Earnings in the relevant quarters: $3,000 X 3 = $9,000
Average weekly rate: $9,00013= $692.31
Weekly benefit rate: $692.31 X (2/3)
Daily benefit rate: $461.54/6= $76.92
Average insurable weekly earnings means the sum of the insurable earnings on which contributions were based over the contribution quarter but one before the contribution quarter in which the first day of the continuous period of incapacity for work commenced divided by the number of weeks in that quarter.
Two or more periods of illness which are not separated by more than 13 weeks are treated as one continuous period of illness starting on the first day of the first period of illness, and the rate of benefit payable for the whole period is the rate payable during the first period of illness.
The sickness benefit is payable for each day of illness, excluding Sundays, subject to a maximum of 26 weeks in any continuous period of illness. However, where a person has been engaged in employment for 150 contribution weeks and has 75 contributions paid or credited to his account in the three complete contribution years immediately prior to commencement of incapacity, the sickness benefit may be paid for a further 26 weeks.
The sickness benefit entitlement is not affected by the fact that the employee might be in receipt of wages during the period of incapacity. Sickness benefit is however only payable for periods during which the claimant is not at work . Sickness benefit is also not payable if the person is on holiday and receiving holiday pay.
The first 3 days of a period of incapacity are treated as “waiting days” and benefit is not payable for these days, unless the incapacity lasts for 2 weeks or more. The sickness benefit is not payable if a person is out of the island unless the person has gone abroad temporarily for the purpose of receiving medical treatment for an illness which commenced before the person left Barbados.