THE disability pension guarantees a means of subsistence to those who have a disability that does not allow them to work.
What to do when a disabling illness or accident arrives before statutory retirement age? How to survive when, for health reasons, you cannot return to work in the same way? It is precisely in these cases that you can apply for disability retirement.
Thus, and as he is still too young to have access to the old-age pension, the beneficiary can apply for the disability pension. If the answer is positive, you will receive a certain amount every month.
Who is entitled to disability pension?
To qualify for disability pension it is necessary to go through an evaluation process, which will confirm (or not) this permanent incapacity.
This assessment takes into account the physical, sensory and mental functioning, but also focuses on the general condition, age, professional skills and work capacity that you may still have.
The degree of disability will determine whether the disability is relative or absolute.
Relative and absolute disability: the differences
THE relative disability occurs when, due to the disability, it is not possible to obtain, in the activity that one develops, more than a third of what one would earn under normal conditions.
In addition, it is not expected that the beneficiary will be able, within a period of three years, to recover the skills in order to be able to earn more than 50% of the respective remuneration. If the person has two professions, the one that gives him a higher salary is taken into account.
THE absolute disability presupposes that that person has a permanent and definitive incapacity for any profession. In addition, it is not expected that, until the legal retirement age, he will be able to recover in order to have means of subsistence.
Permanent incapacity for work cannot result from an illness
professional or accident at work. It has yet to be confirmed by the Disability Verification System.
There is yet another situation in which a disability pension can be awarded: when the limit of 1095 days of sick leave has been exhausted.
In this case, for the temporary incapacity to become permanent, it must be recognized by the Permanent Disability Verification Committee (CVIP). Pending this assessment, you are entitled to a provisional pension.
Conditions for access to disability pension
The disability pension it can be requested by employees, self-employed, domestic workers, members of statutory bodies or beneficiaries of the Voluntary Social Security.
In addition to verifying incapacity, it is necessary to have completed the warranty period. That is, having paid Social Security or another social protection system for a minimum period.
Thus, in the case of relative disability, employees and self-employed must have at least five years of discountsfollowed or not.
Retirement for absolute disability is accessible to employees and self-employed workers with at least three years of discounts. For beneficiaries of the Voluntary Social Security, 72 months of contributions are required.
Although, the warranty period can be waived in two situations:
- When the period of 1095 days of medical leave ends and permanent incapacity for work is certified;
- If there is a disability review and, instead of the absolute disability pension, a relative disability pension is awarded.
What is the value?
As happens, for example, with the old-age pension, the value of the disability pension is also based on the years of deductions and the salary you received.
Pensions prior to 2019 are updated annually. Anyone receiving disability pension is also entitled to holiday and Christmas subsidies.
There are also minimum values. Thus, and as of January 1, 2021, the minimum amount to be received for relative disability is determined by this table:
|Less than 15 years||€291.48|
|15 to 20 years||€305.77|
|21 to 30 years||€337.41|
|31 and over||€421.75|
In the case of the absolute disability pension, the minimum amount is equal to the relative disability and old-age pension equivalent to a contributory career of 40 years. So, in 2023 this amount is 421.75 euros.
Can disability retirement be combined with other income?
Having disability retirement does not prevent you from obtaining other income, whether from work or subsidies. However, it all depends on the type of retirement and the income in question.
For example, in the case of relative disability, you can continue to have income from work, in Portugal or abroad. If they come from the same profession they practiced when they started receiving their disability pension, the accumulation can be up to 100% of the reference remuneration (RR) that served as the basis for calculating the pension.
If they result from a different profession or activity, there are these limits:
|Years of accumulation||Accumulation limits|
|2nd||1.75 x RR|
|3rd||1.5 x RR|
|4th||1.33 x RR|
The disability pension can also be combined with the supplementary pension for a dependent spouse. But only if you are a pensioner before January 1, 1994.
You can receive the disability pension at the same time as the dependency supplement, survivor’s pension or pensions from other schemes. You cannot combine this benefit with sickness benefit or unemployment benefit.
In the case of absolute disability, it is not allowed to accumulate with income from work or support subsidy for the main informal caregiver.
What is the duration?
the disability pension begins to be paid from the date of decision of the verification or appeal commission, or the date on which the commission understands that the incapacity occurred. However, this date cannot be earlier than the date on which the application for the pension is submitted.
With regard to the provisional pension, the dates are different. Thus, it is attributed whenever the beneficiary meets the necessary conditions or has exhausted the maximum period of sick leave. In this case, an assessment must be carried out by the Permanent Disability Verification Commission within 30 days.
And when does it end?
You may lose your right to disability pension if the Permanent Disability Verification Commission considers that you have recovered from the disability that led to the award of the pension.
THE disability pension ceases to be granted when it becomes an old-age pension. That is, when the beneficiary reaches legal retirement age.
How to order?
The most convenient way to apply for disability retirement is through Direct Social Security, as it avoids traveling or having to schedule an appointment.
If you choose this route, when submitting the application you will have access to information such as the conditions of access to the pension. In addition, you can follow the evolution of the process and have access to the documents you have submitted.
If you wish, you can apply in person at Social Security services or the National Pensions Centre. In this case, you must fill in the form Mod.5072-DGSS and deliver the documents referred to therein.
According to Social Security, the average response time is 150 days.
It is not necessary to apply if:
- Be entitled to a provisional disability pension for having exhausted the period of 1095 days of sickness benefit;
- The disability pension is awarded due to verification of permanent disability on the initiative of Social Security.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in January 2023.