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Sick pay: Protected in any event

People who suffer from a protracted illness do not have to worry about financial security. With the sick pay that patients receive from the statutory health insurance providers, they can focus on the most important thing: recuperation.

In the event of illness, employees insured under the statutory health insurance scheme receive continued pay from their employer, followed by the sick pay benefit. This amount is limited to 70 per cent of the employee’s gross salary and 90 per cent of the net salary. If applicable, contributions to statutory unemployment, medical care and pension insurance will be deducted from this amount. Sick pay is paid out for a maximum period of 78 weeks, i.e. long enough to accommodate a complex and lengthy rehab programme after an accident, for example. It is important to remember that a doctor must certify your continued unfitness for work. This means that if you are certified as unfit for work until Thursday, you must go and see a doctor by Friday at the latest if you are suffering from an ongoing illness.

What happens if I am unemployed?

Even people who are registered as unemployed with the Federal Employment Agency [Agentur für Arbeit] will receive sick pay if unfit for work; the amount is the same as the unemployment benefit received previously, and payment will start after six weeks.

What happens if my child is ill?

Looking after a sick child is a serious problem for working parents. The childcare sick pay addresses this issue. This benefit, too, is limited to 90 per cent of the lost net income. It will be paid to each parent for up to ten days if a child under the age 12, who is insured under the statutory insurance scheme, becomes ill. For single parents, the benefit will be paid for up to 20 days.

The Lower Saxon branch of the National Health Insurance Scheme [AOK Niedersachsen] offers personal and individual advice for affected people as part of their comprehensive services. At www.aok.de/krankengeld you will find helpful information, and under the link ‘Kontakt zu meiner AOK’ (Contact my local AOK) there’s a list of go-to places in your neighbourhood.

 

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