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SSB clarifies: persons with COVID-19 can claim sickness benefit

Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020. 10:42 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Social Security Board (SSB) has clarified its initial social media post on benefits associated with COVID-19/novel coronavirus.

Sickness benefit is available for those with the virus or asked to isolate or quarantine pending test results, but this must be certified by a medical doctor.

The SSB’s Chandra Nisbet Cansino, General Manager- Corporate Customer Relations Service told us that the addition of information distinguishing employment injury benefit from sickness benefit in relation to coronavirus was intended to provide as much information as possible but proved too distracting.

For clarity, the latter delas only with work-related injuries; the former covers all illnesses that keep a worker out of a job as certified by a medical practitioner.

The qualifying conditions are as follows: must be working in insurable employment, must have at least 50 paid contributions as employee over working life, and paid at least five contributions in the 13 weeks before getting ill.

Hence, if an employer sends an employee home that is not actually sick, no benefit including sickness benefit can be claimed.

SSB pays for sickness benefit 80 percent of the insurable earnings per wage band. For workers out less than a week, it is the earning band amount multiplied by 7 days then divided by the actual number of days claimed. Saturdays and Sundays are counted.

For more information contact your nearest SSB office or visit their Facebook page.


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