Chapter V: Invalidity benefits
When are you entitled to invalidity benefits?
You may be entitled to invalidity benefits if invalidity is ascertained. Invalidity occurs if, due to a change in health condition (as a result of injury or disease) which cannot be improved by medical treatment or rehabilitation, the capacity for work is reduced or lost. The Invalidity Commission of the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia establishes one of the three categories of invalidity, depending on the remaining work capacity:
Category I: the insured is no longer able to perform organised productive work;
Category II: the insured has lost 50% or more of his or her capacity to perform his or her normal work;
Category III: the insured is no longer able to work full-time but can perform certain work part-time, or he or she has lost less than 50% of working capacity for his or her normal
occupation, or can work full-time in his or her normal occupation but is no longer fit for the particular work to which he or she was assigned. Mandatory medical checks are foreseen every five years for persons who have acquired a right to benefit on the ground of invalidity before the age of 45 years. Medical checks can also be requested after that age or prior to expiration of the five-year period, based on the circumstances of each individual case. It might also be the case that medical checks are not required, even for a person who is younger than 45 years.
What is covered?
You may be entitled to an Invalidity Pension, if invalidity is established as:
Category II, and you are unfit for any other suitable work without rehabilitation, which is not offered solely on account of being over 50 years of age;
Category II or III, but you cannot find suitable work or be redeployed because you reached the age of 63 years (men) or 61 (women).
If the invalidity was caused by an employment injury or an occupational disease, the insured person is entitled to an invalidity pension without prior insurance requirement. Otherwise, he or she is entitled to an Invalidity Pension only, if a certain ‘density of insurance’ exists, explained as follows. For instance, insurance should cover at least one third of the period between attaining 20 years of age (or 23 or 26 after higher or university education) and the occurrence of invalidity. If the disabled person is over 21 years but not yet 30 years of age, only one quarter of the period between reaching 21 years of age and the occurrence of the invalidity is required. More lenient conditions are stipulated if the invalidity of Category I occurred before reaching 21 years of age. In this case insurance at the time of invalidity or at least three months of insurance are required.
The amount of Invalidity Pension is determined on the same basis used for calculating Oldage Pensions (average wage in the 18 best consecutive years after 1970).
The percentage of assessment is fixed taking into account the actual pension qualifying period and the added (fictitious) qualifying period for an insured person who did not reach the full pensionable age (63 years for men and 61 for women).
Recipients of a very low Invalidity Pension might be entitled to a Supplementary Allowance (varstveni dodatek), a kind of categorical social assistance.
Invalidity Benefit (nadomestilo za invalidnost) could be paid to insured persons with invalidity of Category II, after reaching the age of 50, or with invalidity of Category III.
Disability Allowance (invalidnina) is a monthly cash benefit that can be paid to an insured person or pensioner for a physical impairment that appeared during the insurance or pension period. It is not necessary that infirmity causes invalidity.
The amount of Disability Allowance depends on the cause of the physical impairment and its degree (there are 8 degrees). If it was caused by non-work related illness or injury the impairment has to be at least 50%, in order to be entitled to a Disability Allowance. The same insurance period as for the Invalidity Pension is required.
Occupational rehabilitation is organised by the employer in cooperation with the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia, which also pays the costs. Occupational rehabilitation benefit (nadomestilo za čas poklicne rehabilitacije) is paid for the period immediately before, during and after the occupational rehabilitation.
How are invalidity benefits accessed?
Loss or the degree of remaining work capacity, physical impairment and the need for other invalidity benefits is assessed by the expert physicians or Invalidity Commissions in the first and second instance. Individual experts and Invalidity Commissions are expert bodies of the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia.
Your right to invalidity benefits when moving within Europe
The competent institution of the country where you claim an invalidity pension will take account of periods of insurance or residence completed under the legislation of any other EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, if this is necessary for entitlement to invalidity benefits.
Invalidity benefits will be paid regardless of where you reside or stay in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.∗
Necessary administrative checks and medical examinations will normally be carried out by the competent institution in the country where you reside. Under some circumstances, you may be required to return to the country which is paying your pension for such examinations, if your state of health allows you to do so.
Each country applies its national criteria when determining degree of invalidity. Therefore, it may be the case that certain countries will consider a person to have a degree of invalidity of 70%, while others will not consider the same person to be invalid at all under their legislation. This is a result of the fact that the national social security systems are not harmonised, but only coordinated by the EU provisions. Further information about the coordination of social security rights when moving or travelling can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/social-security-coordination.