Social Security & Benefits

Malta Expats | Social Security
Malta’s social security system is administered by the Department of Social Security, part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity. Anyone who works in Malta, with the exception of expatriates employed by off-shore companies in the Freeport zone, is required to contribute to the social security system, and will be eligible to receive social security benefits.


A range of benefits are available to residents of Malta and their families, providing they have contributed to the social security fund by paying national insurance contributions.

Employers and employees contribute 10 percent of gross salary to the social security system. Self-employed workers also make contributions.

Benefits available to residents of Malta include:

  • Sickness Benefit
  • Injury Benefit
  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Child Benefits

Malta Expats | Social SecurityInformation about the full range of benefits, grants and help available can be found on the Department of Social Security website.

In January 2011, EU regulations regarding eligibility for social security schemes were extended to include non-EU nationals.

In practice, this means that any foreign person living legally in Malta and who has made social security contributions either through employment or self-employment may be entitled to social security protection.

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Contributions are deducted from salaries along with tax and employers are required to match the payments of their employees with a similar level of contribution. Payments are on a graduated scale, up to a maximum of 10% of income.

Sickness Benefit

Anyone under retirement age who satisfies certain national insurance contribution conditions may be entitled to sickness benefit provided they submit a claim within 10 days from the first day they become unable to work.

In order for a claimant to receive sickness benefit, they must obtain a blue medical certificate from a doctor confirming their inability to work. A medical certificate is valid for six days. The claimant must obtain a new medical certificate every week until they are fit to resume work.

Sickness Benefit is paid to employees and the self-employed after three days of leave.

The claimant must present the original blue medical certificate at any of the Department of Social Security’s offices in Malta and Gozo. Once approved, payments will usually be made directly into the claimant’s bank account, but it is possible for it to be paid by cheque.

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Injury Benefit

Anyone who suffers an injury at work or has developed a disease, may be entitled to Injury/Industrial Disease Benefit.

Claimants must fill in the necessary claim form and have it counter-signed by a doctor, and also by their employer (in the case of an employee) or the police (in the case of a self-employed person). Forms can be obtained from the Department of Social Security or from a local District Social Security Office. Once completed, the form must be returned to the same office.

The form can be sent by post to the following address:

  • Department of Social Security
    Short Term Benefits Section
    38, Ordnance Street
    Valletta VLT 2000

Maternity Leave Benefit

Employed women are entitled to 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave (paid by the employer) after giving birth. The mother may take an additional four weeks’ maternity leave, which is unpaid. Both employed and self-employed women are entitled to Maternity Leave Benefit, paid for by the government, for a period of four weeks.

Child Allowance

Children’s allowances and assistance are available for families with young children in Malta and are paid by the Department of Social Security.

Disabled Child Allowance

Parents of children with a physical or mental disability may be entitled to an additional allowance. A doctor must certify the child’s condition and the application form, signed by both parents, must be sent to the local Social Security office.

Alternatively it can be sent by post to the following address:

  • Department of Social Security
    Children’s Allowance Section
    38, Ordnance Street
    Valletta VLT 2000

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefit is paid under the contributory and non-contributory scheme. Under the contributory scheme, unemployment benefit is paid to an unemployed person with 50 weeks of paid contributions and 20 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the two years preceding the year in which the claim is made. For non-contributory schemes, there is provision for Special Unemployment Benefit which is paid to the head of the household after a means test. There is also provision for Unemployment Assistance payable under means test if the insured person has exhausted the right to unemployment benefit.

For entitlement to unemployment benefit, the insured person must be registered as unemployed and be capable of and available for work. No benefit is paid for six months if unemployment is voluntary or as a result of misconduct. The Unemployment Benefit and the Special Unemployment Benefit is paid for up to 156 days excluding Sundays. The Unemployment Benefit is paid at the rate of €11.80 per day to a single parent or a married person whose spouse is not employed full time and €7.72 for all other insured persons. The total number of benefit days must not exceed the total number of contributions paid since the person first entered the system. The Special Unemployment Benefit (means tested) is €19.83 a day and is paid to a single parent or married person whose spouse is not employed full-time. The benefit is €12.94 for other insured persons. The benefit is payable from the first day of unemployment, and for up to 156 days. After that, the person no longer qualifies for this benefit unless he takes up employment again for at least 13 weeks. The total number of benefit days cannot exceed the total number of contributions paid by the individual since his entry into the social security scheme.

Unemployment Assistance is paid at a rate that can vary in accordance with the means test, and in particular varies with household composition. Up to €100.48 a week is paid as unemployment (social) assistance. If weekly income of the household exceeds the weekly benefit, no benefit is paid.

Sources: Social Security Act (CAP. 318) as amended by ACT XIII of 2015 and Legal Notice 123 of 2015