Invalidity insurance benefits

Invalidity insurance aims to ensure the labour market (re-)integration of individuals who are disabled owing to a congenital or other illness, or as the result of an accident. Individuals only receive an IV pension if it has been determined that their professional (re)integration is not feasible. In this system, rehabilitation measures are always preferred above pension payments. Since 2008, the 5th revision of the IV provides for additional rehabilitation measures, some of which offer companies effective support with their efforts to incorporate disabled employees in the workforce. These include financial assistance, employee induction allowances, as well as compensation for absenteeism. For their part, the disabled can avail of additional benefits, such as retraining, job placement and job coaching services. IV is a compulsory nationwide insurance scheme; contributions are deducted together with the compulsory AHV contributions.

What constitutes a “disability”?

In accordance with the federal law on the general part of social insurance law (in force since 1st January 2003), disability is defined as “a full or partial earning incapacity that is likely to be permanent or persist in the longer-term”. This is understood to mean “continuing full or partial loss of ability to take up employment in the relevant job market due to impaired health in spite of reasonable treatment and rehabilitation”. Earning incapacity also refers to the inability to carry out day-to-day activities (e.g. housework, child rearing, education). There are three disability criteria: impairment to health (regardless of whether it is congenital, illness-related or accident-related) leading to earning incapacity (medical criterion), a permanent or longer-term earning incapacity (economic criterion), and a causal link between them.

The principal benefits to which the disabled are entitled are those which prevent their health impairment from deteriorating, remedy the condition (certain medical measures) or alleviate its effects (supply of appliances, as well as occupational measures). IV pensions are only a subsidiary entitlement.

Rehabilitation before a pension

Targeted rehabilitation measures should assist the disabled to restore, fully or partially, their earning capacity and to become as independent as possible. By supporting and reinforcing the self-determination of individuals and their desire to be re-integrated in society, such measures afford them the possibility of leading their life as they see fit.

Rehabilitation measures

Where necessary and appropriate, claimants who are disabled or likely to become disabled are entitled to rehabilitation measures to restore, maintain or improve their earning capacity or their ability to perform day-to-day activities. They are entitled to these measures irrespective of whether they were gainfully employed prior to the onset of their disability. In this context, the anticipated working life of the person is taken into consideration.

Invalidity insurance benefits aimed at the rehabilitation of the disabled include:

Cash benefits

The benefits are paid out in the form of a pension, a helplessness allowance or a personal assistance allowance.

Supporting providers of services for the disabled

Last modification 12.07.2017

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