30 October 2023
The care allowance is granted to an insured person for the period of release from work due to the necessity to take personal care of a family member.
The insured person receives care allowance when he/she takes personal care of:
- a healthy child under 8 years of age if:
- he institution (nursery, kindergarten, school or children’s club), attended by the child, has been unexpectedly closed,
- one of the spouses or parents of a child who is constantly taking care thereof is not able to take care of the child because of sickness, childbirth or hospitalisation,
- a day carer or nanny, with whom parents have concluded an activation agreement, falls ill,
- a child with disabilities (who has a certificate of severe degree of disability or a certificate of disability together with the indication of: the need for permanent or longterm care or assistance of another person in connection with a significantly limited ability of independent existence and the need for permanent participation of the child’s carer in the process of his/her treatment, rehabilitation and education on a daily basis), who is under 18 years of age, when one of the spouses or parents of the child who constantly cares for him/her is not able to provide care due to sickness, childbirth or hospitalisation,
- a sick child with a disability who is under 18 years old,
- a sick child under 14 years old,
- other sick member of the family, including a child over 14 years old.
The following shall be considered as children:
- the insured person’s own children or his/her spouse’s children,
- adopted children,
- children taken for upbringing and maintenance.
The following persons shall be considered as family members if they share a household with the insured person during the period of their care:
- husband or wife,
- other parent of the child,
- children over 14 years old.
The right to the care allowance is acquired by the insured person immediately after being covered by sickness insurance.
The care allowance is granted to the mother and father of the child. However, it is paid only to one of the parents – the one who takes care of the child and claims the allowance for a given period. Every person who is covered by sickness insurance (both compulsory and voluntary) is entitled to the care allowance.
The person insured is awarded the allowance only in absence of other persons in the common household who could take care of the child or of other family member. The exception is care for a sick child under 2 years of age. If this is the case, the care allowance is due even if other members of the family can look after the child.
The family members living in a common household who could provide care do not include (inter alia):
- a person completely incapable of work,
- sick person or person who due to age is physically or mentally disabled,
- a person running a business.
- a person running a farm,
- a person being an employee resting after working the night shift,
- a person not obliged to provide care under the provisions of the Family and Guardianship Code, if he/she refuses to provide care.
The care allowance is granted for a maximum of:
- 60 days per calendar year if the insured person takes care of a healthy child up to the age of 8 years or of a sick child up to the age of 14 years, including a disabled child at that age,
- 14 days per calendar year if the insured person takes care of a sick family member, including a sick child over 14 years of age,
- 30 days per calendar year if the insured person takes care of:
- a sick child with a disability who is 14 years old but is under 18,
- a child with a disability who is over 8 years old but is under 18 if the spouse of the insured person or the parent of the child who is permanently looking after the child cannot look after him/her due to sickness, childbirth or hospitalisation.
If in a calendar year, the insured person takes care only of a disabled child and other sick family members (and there are no other children under 14 years of age), the care allowance is granted for a maximum of 30 days in a calendar year, including a maximum of 14 days for taking care of sick family members.
The total allowance period in respect of care of children and other family members may not exceed 60 days in a calendar year. It does not depend on the number of persons entitled to the allowance, number of children or family members who require care.
The insured father of the child or another insured member of the immediate family (e.g. the child’s grandmother) may also be entitled to an additional care allowance.
It may be granted for a maximum of 8 weeks (56 days) after the birth of the child. Such an allowance is granted to the father or another member of the immediate family if he/she personally takes care of the new born child and has stopped working for this purpose, because the child’s mother:
- is in hospital at the time,
- has a decision on incapability of independent existence or a decision on severe degree of disability,
- has abandoned the child.
The period of receipt of the additional care allowance is not included in the limit of 60 days and 14 days in the calendar year for which the care allowance is due.
In order for the insured person to be entitled to the care allowance for a sick family member, a doctor must issue an electronic medical certificate of incapacity for work, which confirms the sickness of the family member.
The maternity allowance is payable at the rate of 80% of the basis of sickness allowance assessment.
The basis of assessment of this allowance is calculated in the same way as the basis of the sickness allowance assessment. The expenditure on care allowances in 2021 amounted to PLN 1,728.8 million. The Social Insurance Institution pays care allowances to employees of work establishments that report no more than 20 employees for sickness insurance. However, in work establishments with more than 20 employees reported for sickness insurance, the care allowance is paid by the employer during the period of insurance.
Additional care allowance is granted to an insured person for the period of release from work due to the necessity of taking personal care of the child or a disabled adult in connection with the closure of facilities attended by children or disabled adults due to COVID-19 pandemic. The right to receive the additional care allowance is determined periodically by means of a regulation of the Council of Ministers – in 2022, additional care allowance was paid for 36 days, i.e. from 2 to 9 January and from 1 to 27 February.
Parents of children under 8 years of age are entitled to the additional care allowance if the parent provides personal care for the child in the event of:
- the closure of a nursery, children’s club, kindergarten, school or other facility attended by the child due to COVID-19,
- opening of these facilities when they cannot provide care because of their limited operation during the COVID-19 (e.g. because the school operates in a hybrid system); or
- the inability of a nanny to provide care or the inability of a day carer to provide care due to COVID-19.
The additional care allowance due to the closure of a nursery, children’s club, kindergarten, school or other facility attended by a child, but also in the event of their opening when these facilities cannot provide care, or when a nanny or day carer cannot provide care due to COVID-19, is available to insured parents of children:
- under 16 years of age who hold a disability certificate,
- under 18 years of age who hold a certificate of moderate or severe degree of disability,
- under 24 years of age, who hold a decision on the need for special education.
This also applies to parents or guardians of adults with disabilities released from work due to the need to provide care for such a person in the event of closure due to COVID-19 of a facility attended by an adult with disabilities, i.e. a school, a remedial and educational centre, a support centre, an occupational therapy workshop or another day-care centre of a similar nature. The additional care allowance for providing care to adults with disabilities is also granted if the facility is open, but cannot provide care, e.g. due to a limitation in the number of participants. The period for which the additional care allowance is granted is not included in the limit of 60 days, 30 days or 14 days respectively in a calendar year for which the care allowance is granted under the general rules. The additional care allowance is granted under the procedure and on the terms laid down for the care allowance.
Legal status as of 2022