During the care of a sick person – care allowance.

Individuals who are covered by sickness insurance during their sick leave receive sickness benefit or sick pay instead of their salary. We can also use sickness insurance when we are healthy but have to take care of a loved one. In such cases, we are entitled to care allowance. The regulations specify in which situations and for how many days per year we can receive this benefit.

To receive care allowance, it is necessary to be covered by sickness insurance. It is mandatory for individuals employed under an employment contract. In the case of employment under a contract for specific work or other agency agreements, as well as running a business, such insurance is voluntary. – It is worth knowing what sickness insurance entitles us to. From the benefits of this insurance, we can not only use it when we ourselves fall ill, but also when we have to take care of a sick family member, e.g. a child, spouse, parent, sibling, or parent-in-law. In such cases, we are entitled to care allowance for the time spent caring for the sick person – says Beata Kopczyńska, regional spokesperson for ZUS in the Silesian Voivodeship.

The regulations specify how many days per calendar year we can receive care allowance. This limit depends, among other things, on whom we are caring for and in what situations.

Maximum of 60 days for caregiving
Care allowance can be received for a maximum of 60 days per calendar year if we are caring for:
– a sick child under the age of 14,
– a healthy child under the age of 8 in specific situations regulated by the law, e.g. due to unforeseen closure of a nursery or kindergarten that the child attends.

Both the mother and the father of the child are entitled to the allowance, but it can only be received by one parent for a given period, the one who applies for its payment. Care allowance is granted when there are no other family members who can provide care. This does not apply to caring for a sick child under the age of 2.

When 30 days?
Care allowance of up to 30 days per calendar year can be used if we are caring for:
– a disabled child who is older than 8 but younger than 18 – due to childbirth, illness, or hospital stay of your spouse or child’s parent who is responsible for the child’s care,
– a disabled child who is older than 14 but younger than 18.

The 30-day limit of caregiving allowance applies if the disabled child:
– has a certificate of significant disability,
– has a certificate of disability along with indications of the need for constant or long-term care or assistance from another person due to significantly limited ability to live independently, as well as the need for the daily involvement of the child’s caregiver in the process of their treatment, rehabilitation, and education.

The 30-day limit of caregiving allowance in a calendar year also applies when there is more than one disabled child in the family aged between 8-14 and 18.

For whom 14 days?
If we have to take care of a sick child over the age of 14 (who is not disabled) or another sick family member (e.g. spouse, parent, grandchild, sibling, in-laws, grandparents), the allowance is granted for a maximum of 14 days per calendar year.

Care allowance regardless of the insurance period
– Importantly, care allowance is granted regardless of the insurance period. Therefore, even if a child falls ill after a week of our work and requires our care, we can already take advantage of this benefit in such a short period of time – explains the spokesperson.

The total period of payment for care allowance due to caregiving for children and other family members cannot exceed 60 days per calendar year, and when caring only for disabled children and other sick family members – 30 days.

ZUS press release