The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

Up to €180,000 occupational accident benefit scheme to launch in May

Jeremy Micallef Monday, 25 February 2019, 16:35 Last update: about 4 months ago

The Occupational Personal Accident Benefit Scheme was announced today with the intention of insuring the disciplined forces for up to €180,000, in case of them sustaining injuries or death during their time working within the service.

The scheme was initially announced as part of the 2019 Budget, when Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia had publicized that the government is aware that officials of the disciplined forces are exposed to dangerous situations, and thus will create an insurance system that covers the officials in an event of a fatal accident or permanent disability suffered during their line of duty.

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Speaking at the press conference, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna explained that this scheme had been requested by members of the Armed Forces of Malta and the Police Corps, although other entities will be added such as the Civil Protection Department and the Prison Correctional Officers.

Instead of going to court to get compensation, Scicluna clarified, government asked insurance industry experts to help create a scheme which will give out a maximum of four times the concerned individual's salary, or up to a maximum of €180,000 in extreme cases of death or total debilitating injury.

An office will also be set up with a experts on hand to manage it, paired with an appeals board chaired by three persons where one can appeal his case if he believes he has not been served right by the scheme.

The scheme will be available for all employees, including part-time and casual workers, from the beginning to the end of their career, and will go on for three months after the end of the individual's career.

Farrugia was also present for the announcement and proclaimed that today was a day where "we are making history".

He recalled Sgt Simon Schembri's incident, which he said helped speed up the process to get the scheme off the ground.

Schembri was critically injured when he was the victim of a hit and run accident in Luqa last year by Liam Debono. Schembri had stopped him over a seatbelt infraction, and ended up losing an arm in the incident, narrowly escaping with his life.

"This is recognition for the work that the disciplined forces do."


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