Social Security in Poland

Social security system in Poland is of a general and compulsory character. Social security – in the field of selected risks – covers persons who are, inter alia, employees, persons who work on the basis of commission agreements or who carry out a business activity.

Components of Social Security Insurance. 
Social security contributions are made up of:

  • Pension insurance

  • Disability insurance

  • Social security for industrial accidents and occupational diseases

  • Social security for sickness and maternity

Pension insurance.

Pension insurance is insurance in case a person is unable to work because of an old age. Persons, who pay premiums, ensure their income at the moment of stopping professional work, after achieving pensionable age. 

Disability insurance.

Disability insurance guarantees cash benefits in case of losing income connected with the risk of disability (inability to work or death of a breadwinner in a family). In such a situation persons who pay disability insurance premiums are granted disability pension for incapacity for work, which is a substitution for remuneration or income, and in the case of death of an insured breadwinner in a family, the members of his family are granted family pension. Premium for disability insurance is 6% of the basis of the amount of premium, where 4,5% is from the funds of an employer, and 1,5% from the funds of an employee.

1. Disability pension for incapacity for work.

Disability pension for incapacity of work can be granted to an insured person who fulfils all of the following conditions:

  • is considered a person who is partiallyor entirely unable to work;

  •  has proven contributory and non-contributoryperiods;

  •  inability to work started in the periodsstrictly set out in the Act.

2. Family pension.

Family pension is granted to the family members (children, widow, widower, parents) of a person who at the moment of death took pension or disability pension for incapacity for work, and a working person who had the required periods for granting pension or disability pension for incapacity for work. When analyzing the right for family pension, it is assumed that a dead person was entirely unable to work.

3. Training allowance

Training allowance is granted to a person who fulfils the conditions for granting disability pension for incapacity for work, and with reference to whom retraining has been stated as appropriate due to the inability to work in a current profession. It is granted for the period of 6 months. This period can be shortened or lengthened up to 30 months. The amount of training allowance is 75% of the basis of an assessment, and when the inability to work is the result of an accident at work or occupational disease – 100% of the basis of its assessment.

Social security for industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

Security for industrial accidents and occupational diseases covers persons; inter alia, employees, persons who work on the basis of commission agreements, and persons carrying out a business activity. Benefits for industrial accidents and occupational diseases can be granted to a person who is insured for such cases.

These are:

  • sickness benefit – for an insured person whose inability to work has been caused by an industrial accident or occupational disease;

  • rehabilitation benefit – is paid after the sickness benefit has finished, if an insured person is still unable to work, and further treatment or rehabilitation give him a chance to regain ability to work;

  •  compensating benefit – is for an insured person who is an employee, whose remuneration has been lowered due to permanent or long-term damage to his health;

  •  one-time compensation – for an insured person whose health has been damaged permanently or for a long period of time, or for the members of a family of a dead insured person or a person who took disability pension;

  • disability pension for an industrial accident or occupational disease – is granted to an insured person regardless of the period of being insured (even if an accident took place on the first day of work), and to a person whose inability to work started after 18 months from the date on which the insurance finished. If a person is again able to work, and at the same time he loses the right for disability pension, and then he is again unable to work, the right for disability pension is restored regardless of the period which passed from the lost of the right for disability pension. Benefits for industrial accidents are not granted if the only cause of an accident was proven violation of provisions concerning the protection of life and health by an insured person, which was done deliberately or due to gross neglect of duty. Benefits are also not granted to an insured person who contributed considerably to causing an accident while being drunk or under the influence of intoxicating agents or psychotropic substances;

  • training allowance – is granted to a person with reference to whom retraining has been stated as appropriate due to the inability to work in a current profession because of an industrial accident or occupational disease;

  •  family pension – for the members of a family of an insured person who is dead because of an industrial accident or occupational disease and allowance to family pension – for an orphan;

  •  attendance allowance – for a person who is entitled to pension, considered entirely unable to work and existence on his or her own, or who is over 75;

  • covering the costs of treatment – in the field of dentistry and preventive vaccination and supply of orthopedic equipment.

Accident security premium is from 0.40% to 8.12% of the basis of a premium assessment and is entirely covered from an employer’s funds.

Social security for sickness and maternity.

Persons who are obligatorily insured in case of sickness and maternity are mainly employees. Persons covered by obligatory pension and disability pensions, who, inter alia: work on the basis of an agency agreementor commission contract, carry out a non-agricultural business (a business activity, authors, artists, freelancers) can also be insured, voluntarily, in case of sickness and maternity. The amount of premium for insurance for sickness and maternity is 2.45% of the basis of the premium assessment. Premium is covered from an insured person’s funds. The following benefits are paid due to insurance in case of sickness and maternity:

  • sickness benefit (the right for sickness benefit is granted after the so-called waiting period),

  • rehabilitation benefit (rehabilitation benefit is granted to an insured person who can no longer be given sickness benefit but still is unable to work and further treatment or rehabilitation give him a chance to be able to work again. This benefit is granted for the period necessary to give him a chance to regain ability to work but not longer than for the period of 12 months).

  • compensating benefit (compensating benefit is granted only to insured persons who are employees. This benefit is granted to employees whose remuneration has been lowered due to undergoing professional rehabilitation or who have been moved to another post due to the state of health).

  • maternity allowance (maternity allowance is granted to an insured person who at the time of sickness security or at the time of child care leave:

  1. gives birth to a child;

  2. takes a child up to 7 years of age for upbringing, and in the case of a child with regard to whom there has been a decision about an adjournment of compulsory education up to 10 years of age, and who started legal proceedings for adoption in the Guardianship Court;

  3. takes for upbringing, as surrogate parents, except for professional surrogate parents not related to a child, a child up to 7 years of age, and in the case of a child with regard to whom there has been a decision about an adjournment of compulsory education – up to 10 years of age.

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