Luxembourg offers excellent benefits for its citizens. Unfortunately, the cost is severe and the government is considering changes to the system.
Social security is managed by the Centre Commun de la Securité Sociale - CCSS. They have offices at
125, route d'Esch, L-1471 Luxembourg
Telephone: 40 14 1-1
Fax: 40 44 81
Open: Monday to Friday from 08:00-16:00
All employees and self-employed people are automatically enrolled in social security. The benefits extend to family members (i.e. spouse, children and other dependent family members). Non-family members (i.e. au pair) may also be covered in certain circumstances. Special consideration is given to students, trainees and apprentices if they are not included in their parents' coverage.
Contributions are taken directly from worker's salaries, employer, and the government. The overall social security contribution is around 31 percent of the first 7,000 euro of an employees gross income with 11 percent covered by the worker.
Self-employed workers pay their own contributions. Pensioners do not pay social security contributions.
The social security card (Carte de Sécurite Sociale) indicates the name and identification number (numéro matricule) of an individual (sometimes referred to as "the grey card"). It is valid for all medical treatment and prescriptions within Luxembourg. The other side of the card is the European Health Insurance Card, used if medical assistance is required during a stay in an EU member state.
Social Security in Luxembourg includes health care. Once issued the social security card, you may visit medical clinics, doctors, dentists, etc as well as receive prescriptions. Medical care is paid for at the place of business, and the insured person is responsible for sending a claim form to the Caisse de Maladie. It is then, at lest partially, reimbursed. In most cases, visits to a health professional are reimbursed 80 percent of the amount paid. The amount reimbursed for medicines depends on the type of medication and is between 0 and 100 percent.
Sickness benefits refer to temporary work incapacity because of illness. These are paid by the National Health Office (Caisse Nationale de Sante).
A temporary work incapacity form (constat medical d'incapacité de travail) must be obtained from a doctor to receive benefits. The first sheet of the form must be sent to the employer, the second sheet to the Caisse Nationale de Sante. It must be sent within three days of the beginning of the illness.
The benefit is calculated according to the salary received over the last 12 months, but cannot exceed the equivalent of five times the minimum wage.
A maternity allowances is available for residents of Luxembourg. The worker must have worked at least six months prior to the pregnancy.
Maternity benefits allow pregnant women eight weeks optional paid leave before the birth and eight weeks compulsory paid leave after the birth. This can be extended to 12 weeks in cases of premature births, multiple births or if the mother is breast feeding. Mothers who adopt are also entitled to 8 to 12 weeks paid maternity leave. Pregnant women should send a medical certificate to the Caisse de Maladie in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy in order to receive maternity benefits.
Each parent can take up to six months parental leave (conge parental) surrounding maternity benefits. One of the parents must take the leave immediately after the end of maternity leave. The other parent can take leave at anytime, up to the child's fifth birthday.
Parental leave entitles the parent to a monthly allowance (reviewed annually, but corresponding approximately to the minimum legal salary). The employer must be informed in writing and is required to re-employ the worker in an equivalent position at the end of the parental leave.
The state provides some financial aid in the form of family allowances (allocation familiale). This covers children up to the age of 18, or can be continued for students up to the age of 27 as long as they are in full-time education and live in Luxembourg. The allowance for one child is 143 euro per month, but increases with every additional child. To claim family allowance, a family must fill out a Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales (CNPF).
In the event of death, the family of the insured deceased can receive a survivor's pension (pension de survie). Applications can be filed at the National Pensions office (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Pension). To be entitled to the benefit, the deceased person must have been insured for at least 12 months.
It is also possible to claim a small state benefit in the form of a funeral allowance (indemnité funéraire). This covers burial costs, the coffin, flowers, transportation, cremation or burial, obituary, municipal taxes and expenses. The benefit is reduced to 20 percent of the funeral allowance in the event of the death of a still born child and 50 percent of the allowance for children under six. These benefits will be paid directly to the funeral home, with any leftover money paid to survivors who lived with the deceased.
Social security agreements exist between Luxembourg and many other nations. These include all EU countries and the USA (check with your consulate or embassy to find out about agreements between your country and Luxembourg). This enables expatriates to remain under their home country's social security scheme for a period.
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