In the event of illness, maritime workers are entitled to the following sector-specific allowances, subject to health and administrative requirements:
- allowance for temporary absolute incapacity due to fundamental illness: due in case of an illness that occurs during embarkation, preventing the continuation of navigation; if the doctor does not deem it necessary, the worker is not disembarked and, in the absence of the administrative requirement of disembarkation, the illness is not indemnified by the INPS;
- allowance for temporary absolute incapacity for supplementary illness: due in case of illness occurring within 28 days of disembarkation, only to workers on board a ship or a motor vessel carrying a charter or a tugboat on the high seas, or on vessels of more than 200 gross tonnage, engaged in fishing beyond the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar and the Dardanelles;
- allowance for temporary incapacity for illness for seafarers under permanent paid contract: due in case of illness occurring beyond the 28th day and not later than the 180th day after disembarkation;
- temporary unsuitability for embarkation following a common illness: given that the INAIL is responsible for the possible recognition of the benefit for a contingent event constituting an accident at work/occupational disease, the contributions paid by shipowners to cover the benefits for "temporary unfitness for navigation", equal to 0.15% of the declared taxable contribution, are collected in full by the INAIL and subsequently subject to the related accounting regulations between bodies.
The allowance is payable to workers classified as maritime workers and to certain different categories of workers who, when embarking to work on a vessel, are treated as such.
START DATE AND DURATION
The allowance for temporary absolute incapacity due to fundamental illness is paid from the day following disembarkation and for all days of prognosis (including holidays) until clinical recovery; in the presence of health requirements, up to a maximum of one year from disembarkation is recognised.
The allowance for temporary absolute incapacity due to complementary illness is paid from the fourth day following the date of reporting; in the presence of health requirements, it is recognised for the maximum duration of one year from disembarkation.
The allowance for temporary incapacity for illness for seafarers under a permanent paid contract starts from the fourth day following the date of reporting the illness; in the presence of health requirements, a maximum period of 180 days shall be paid.
The allowance for temporary unsuitability for embarkation following a common illness is recognised for the entire period of temporary unsuitability, up to a maximum of one year from the date of declaration.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO?
The allowance for temporary absolute incapacity due to fundamental illness is paid to the extent of 75% of the salary received in the 30 days prior to disembarkation. If the policyholder has worked for a period of less than 30 days, the fixed elements of remuneration shall be related to the month; in the case of hospitalisation, the allowance shall be reduced by the value of the sustenance, provided that the seafarer has no dependants for tax purposes: in all cases, the allowance thus paid may not be less than half of the normal allowance, including the sustenance.
The allowance for temporary absolute incapacity due to complementary illness is paid to the extent of 75% of the salary received in the 30 days prior to disembarkation; in the event of hospitalisation, the allowance is reduced by the value of the sustenance, provided that the seafarer has no dependants for tax purposes: in all cases, the allowance thus paid may not be less than half of the normal allowance, including the sustenance.
The allowance for temporary incapacity for illness for seafarers under a permanent paid contract is paid to the extent of 50% (for the first 20 days) and 66.66% (from the 21st to the 180th day) of the remuneration actually received when the illness occurred; in the event of hospitalisation for workers with no dependants for tax purposes, the illness benefit is reduced to 2/5 of the normal amount.
The allowance for temporary unsuitability for embarkation following a common illness is paid to the extent of 75% of the remuneration used for the event of illness; for the calculation it is necessary to consider only the items of ordinary remuneration excluding variable items (e.g. compensation for overtime, tank cleaning); the navigation allowance (to the extent of 50%) needs to be considered instead, as this compensation is ordinary and continuous in nature.
Medical home visit to ascertain illness of an employee medical documentation
With the electronic certificate the worker is exempted from the obligation to send it to the INPS.
In cases where, residually, electronic transmission is not possible, the worker must have the illness certificate drawn up in paper form and complete with all the data required by law issued by the GP.
In this case, they must, within two days from the date of issue, present or send the original certificate to the territorially competent INPS facility (as well as to their employer where required), in order not to incur legal penalties, consisting in the loss of the right to the illness benefit charged to the INPS for each day of unjustified delay in sending beyond the aforementioned two-day period.
Electronic transmission is also required for hospital admission and illness certificates issued by hospitals. If, on the other hand, the certificates are prepared in paper form, they must be presented or sent in original by the worker, to the territorially competent INPS facility (as well as to their employer where required). In the case of hospitalisation certificates (but not any post-hospitalisation illness certificates), delivery can take place even more than two days from the date of issue, but in any case within the limitation period of one year. The hospitalisation certificate and the certificate regarding the day spent at the emergency room without diagnosis are not considered to have certifying value for the purposes of recognising the social security benefit.
It is the responsibility of the worker to provide all the elements regarding their contact address (district, hamlet, complexes including multiple buildings, etc.) and verify that this data has been correctly reported in the illness certificate prepared by the GP, to allow the regular performance of possible home medical-legal checks.
For the payment of the allowance, the worker must be available at home during the periods of availability provided for by law, to be subject to checks to verify the actual temporary incapacity for work.
The periods of availability are, for all days reported in the illness certification (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), from 10 to 12 and from 17 to 19.
Absence during the medical home visit, if not justified, entails the application of penalties with the consequent failure to compensation for illness days:
- for a maximum of 10 calendar days, from the start of the event, in case of a first unjustified absence during the medical home visit;
- 50% of the allowance for the remainder of the illness period in the event of a second unjustified absence during the medical home visit;
- for the total of the allowance from the date of the third unjustified absence during the medical home visit.
If, as a result of a home medical visit, the worker is unknown or unavailable (a case that can occur in cases where it has not been possible, for the doctor in charge, to trace the address indicated by the worker or if the subject is unknown at that address), the worker loses the right to illness benefit and consequently the financial allowance is not paid until the person in question communicates the omitted or incomplete data.
During the prognosis period of the electronic certificate, if actually necessary, the worker can change the contact address by communicating it promptly and in good time to the INPS using the appropriate online service.
For the allowance for temporary unsuitability for embarkation following a common illness, the medical documentation consists of the medical examination report issued by the collegial medical commission established at the port authorities or the decision on any appeal against the outcome of the first instance visit; any appeal is proposed to the central commission.
HOW CAN I CLAIM?
The claim for the recognition of the illness benefit of seafarers can be submitted through the online service "Supplementary communication of disease of seafarers", accessible through your credentials. It is a tool for the aggregate acquisition of administrative and health elements.
As indicated in INPS circular no. 127 of 12 August 2021, those users unable to use the online services independently can delegate a trusted person, through the digital identity deleagation tool.
As an alternative to the online service, the claim may be submitted through the online services offered by patronage institutes and intermediaries thereof.
The supplementary communication must be submitted only in relation to the first medical certificate, even if the event consists of several illness certificates; the communication must be sent in the event of the onset of the illness, based on the aggregation elements "Event type" and "Disembarkation date".
For the "continuation" of the same event, any certifications will be automatically acquired at the time of processing if transmitted electronically; in the presence of a certification issued in paper form, the relative burden of transmission to the territorially competent INPS facility remains with the worker, within two days of issue, in order not to incur legal penalties, consisting in the loss of the right to illness benefit for all days of unjustified delay.
For events of allowance for temporary unsuitability for embarkation following a common illness, it must be submitted in relation to the report issued by the port authorities/decision of the central commission (on any appeal filed by the patient against the unfavourable report).
Information required for the claim
To submit the supplementary communication, the user must have the following information:
- tax identification code of the employer;
- in the case of seafarers (for shipowners or in the fisheries sector), the vessel on which they have worked;
- the classification qualification;
- IBAN, if required, and, in the case of a foreign IBAN outside the SEPA area, the SWIFT/BIC code.
In the case of a seafarer, the user must attach to the supplementary communication, the documentation certifying the disembarkation date (copy of the Seaman's Discharge Book, if held, or other equivalent documentation issued by a subject institutionally competent to manage the employment-employer relationship, port authorities, authorised foreign subjects). In addition, for the payment of the allowance by crediting a foreign IBAN (outside Italy), you must also attach the financial identification form (if not already produced to the Institute during previous payment requests).
In the relevant section of the online service, you can find the user manual, which describes the functions and contains the relative compilation guide.
The payment methods envisaged for the allowance are:
- bank transfer made payable at the post office (cash payment is allowed only within the limit set by current legislation);
- credit to a bank current account (Italian or foreign);
- credit to a post office current account;
- top-up card.
For all the payment methods, except bank transfer made payable at the post office, the IBAN/account number and, for non-SEPA foreign current accounts, the SWIFT/BIC code are required.
The ordinary deadline for issuing the measures is set at 30 days under Law no. 241/1990. In some cases the law may set different deadlines.
The table shows the deadlines exceeding thirty days, set by the Institute with Regulation.
In addition to the terms for the issuance of the decision, the table also indicates the relevant manager.