The fact that an employee is seeking a disability benefit due to inability to work does not mean that she/he (already) qualifies as unable to work. Under art 14.1 of the legislative Act of 17 December 1998 regarding pensions and disability benefits from the Social Insurance Fund (2009 DzU No 153, item 1227 as amended, hereinafter referred to as the Act), assessment of the inability to work as such, of its degree, and of:
  • The date when the inability to work first arose;
  • The permanence or anticipated duration of the inability to work;
  • The casual link between the inability to work or death and specific circumstances;
  • The permanence or anticipated duration of the inability to maintain independent existence;
  • Viability of vocational retraining;
is performed by a ruling physician cooperating with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), who issues a ruling in this regard.

Thus, from the legal perspective, disability to work arises only upon issue of an appropriate ruling by the ZUS physician. This ruling (or the ruling by a medical committee, should the original ruling be challenged) is taken by the appropriate authorities as a basis for issue of a decision concerning the benefits provided for in the Act.