BASIC (06-09)

GN 01751.025 Polish Disability, Dependents and Survivors Benefits — Eligibility Requirements

A. Eligibility for disability benefits under the Polish system

The eligibility requirements for Polish disability benefits under ZUS and KRUS programs are as follows:

1. The Social Insurance Institution (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych-ZUS)

  • Payable if worker is either completely disabled (that is, cannot do any work) or partially disabled (that is, cannot do work for which the worker is qualified).

  • Disability must occur during a period of coverage or within 18 months of last period of coverage. Generally, the worker must meet minimum and recent coverage requirements; from 1 to 5 years of coverage depending on age. If disability occurs after age 30, the period of 5 years of coverage must be within the last 10 years before disability or before the claim for benefits.

  • A partially disabled person receives 75 percent of what he or she would get if completely disabled.

  • ZUS physicians make Polish disability decisions. Since January 1, 2006, decisions certifying disability are issued for a period not longer than 5 years, or for a longer period if there is no prognosis of restoration of earning capacity within 5 years.

2. The Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpiecenia Spolecznego-KRUS)

  • The individual can be granted the right to a disability pension for farmers on the condition that he or she is subject to old-age and disability pension insurance for a required period (from 1 to 5 years) depending on the age when the individual becomes disabled. The total incapacity to work due to disability must happen within the period when the individual is subject to old-age and disability pension insurance and not later than 18 months after this insurance expires. Periods of employment are included in the period of old-age and disability pension insurance, provided these periods have not been included in the labor system of ZUS.

  • The total incapacity to work on a farm due to disability is determined by medical experts and boards of KRUS. Doctors determine whether the incapacity to work is permanent or temporary and on this basis, KRUS grants permanent or temporary disability benefits. The pensioner is not entitled to a temporary disability benefit, if he or she is covered by any other social insurance (e.g., ZUS).

B. Work accident and occupational disease benefits

1. The Social Insurance Institution (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych-ZUS)

  • Entitlement to a pension for work accidents and occupational diseases under the laws of Poland shall be established only when the insured person was subject to Polish law at the time of the work accident or at the time of the onset of the occupational disease.

  • Disability benefits in the event of work accident or occupational disease are awarded without regard to the duration of the coverage period or the date of occurrence of incapacity to work.

  • One-time compensation payment is a lump-sum compensation awarded to a covered worker at a designated percentage of average earnings according to the designated percentage of medical impairment assessed by the ZUS physician. The impairment must be the result of a work accident or occupational illness, and must be either permanent or protracted (exceeding 6 months, but recovery is expected).

  • Survivor pension from work accident or occupational disease – A survivor pension is awarded to surviving family members after the death of an insured person or pensioner entitled to work accident and occupational disease pension, who died as a result of the work accident or occupational disease. A survivor’s pension is awarded to the surviving spouse (including divorced spouse who receives alimony), children, siblings, grandchildren, and parents meeting eligibility requirements.

2. The Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpiecenia Spolecznego-KRUS)

  • The insured person is entitled to receive benefits due to any accident at work or occupational disease (disability pension for farmers due to accidents) only when he or she has completed an old-age and disability pension insurance period that includes the day of the accident or the first day of the occupational disease.

  • Single compensation – KRUS specifies the amount of single compensation for the insured person for 1% of any damages to his or her health estimated by a doctor from KRUS. The damage to the individual’s health (any bodily function disorder) must be the consequence of any accident at work on a farm or occupational disease and it can be permanent or long-lasting (if it exceeds 6 months, but recovery is expected).

C. Policy — Dependents of retired or disabled workers

There is no provision under either the Social Insurance Institution (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych-ZUS) or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpiecenia Spolecznego-KRUS) for benefits for family members or children of the insured person. These benefits are granted and paid by municipal institutions.

D. Policy — Eligibility requirements for survivors benefits under the Polish system

The eligibility requirements for Polish survivor’s benefits under the ZUS and KRUS programs are as follows:

1. The Social Insurance Institution (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych-ZUS)

  • A survivor pension is awarded to surviving spouses (including divorced spouses who receive alimony), children, siblings, grandchildren, and parents meeting eligibility requirements. A survivors pension is awarded to a surviving spouse provided that, at the time of the worker’s death, the survivor has attained age 50 or is unable to work, or is caring for at least one child, grandchild, brother or sister meeting the eligibility requirements.

  • The right to a survivor pension is awarded to children: natural children, children of other spouses, adopted children up to 16 years old or up to 25 years if they are continuing their education, and without limitation of age if disabled prior to age 16 or during their continuing education up to age 25.

  • Survivor pensions may be from 85 to 95 percent of what the deceased worker would have received in the month of death, depending on the number of beneficiaries. For survivor benefit purposes, a deceased person is treated as completely disabled on the day of death, if he or she dies prior to entitlement.

  • Minimum survivor pensions are generally the same as minimum old-age benefits, but those based on work accident insurance (including benefits for the survivors of workers partially disabled prior to death) are 120 percent of the old-age guaranteed minimum.

2. The Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpiecenia Spolecznego-KRUS)

In the case of the insured person’s, retired employee’s or pensioner’s death, the living spouse and children have the right to one survivor’s pension for all entitled individuals. The survivor’s pension is guaranteed in the lowest amount (the amount of the lowest old-age pension), except that this may not be higher than the amount of the benefit that could have been received by the deceased person. Requirements that must be met for receiving the survivor’s pension by children and the widow are identical to those applied in ZUS.

3. Funeral benefits under the Polish Social Security system

Funeral grants are intended to cover the burial costs of the insured person, beneficiary, or his or her family members and other eligible persons who on the date of death have not established entitlement to benefits but have met the requirements to qualify. The grant is payable to the individual who has incurred the funeral costs of the deceased insured person, retired employee, or pensioner.

4. Procedure to apply for burial/funeral benefits:

Print and give a copy of form PL/USA 10 – Burial/Funeral Benefit Application to the requestor. Advise the individual to submit the completed form and all requested information to the Polish authorities at the following address:

1 Oddizal w Warszawie
Wydzial Realizacji Umów Miêdznarodowych
ul. Kasprowicza 151
01-949 Warszawa
POLAND

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0201751025
GN 01751.025 - Polish Disability, Dependents and Survivors Benefits -- Eligibility Requirements - 06/08/2009
Batch run: 06/08/2009
Rev:06/08/2009