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What happens if you don't send your sick note to the health insurance company?

Submit sick leave to the employer

If you are unable to go to work due to illness, you must inform your employer immediately. This can be done, for example, by email or telephone. If you are unable to work for more than three days, you must show your employer a certificate of incapacity for work - also called sick leave - issued by a doctor. This must be done on the fourth day at the latest. According to the case law of the Federal Labor Court, the employer is even authorized to request a corresponding certificate before this period has expired. Details can be agreed in an employment contract. The claims of employees against their employer in the event of illness-related incapacity to work are regulated in the Continued Remuneration Act (EntgFG).

Why does the sick leave also have to be submitted to the health insurance company?

Submitting sick leave to the employer is usually a matter of course for employees. But what not everyone is aware of: It must also be submitted to the health insurance company.

Why is that? During the illness, the employee is entitled to continued payment of wages by his employer for a period of six weeks. If the employee is unable to work for a longer period of time, he will receive sick pay from his health insurance company from the seventh week onwards. Submitting the sick note to the health insurance company serves as proof that you are unable to work due to illness. Relevant for the legal relationships between the employee and his health insurance company - and thus also the right to payment of sick pay - is the fifth book of the Social Code (SGB V).

Caution, deadlines! When the sick note has to be with the health insurance company

If you want to maintain your possible entitlement to sickness benefit, you must inform your health insurance company in good time about the incapacity for work. This means: the medical certificate must be received by the health insurance company no later than one week after the start of the incapacity for work. This period results from Section 49 (1) No. 55 SGB V.

If the sick note is not sent in good time, there will be no sick pay

No matter how annoying the paperwork, you shouldn't be sloppy about this. If you fail to send your health insurance company the sick leave within the one-week period, you will lose your entitlement to sick pay. Under certain circumstances, this can involve large sums of money.

Please also note: If you have been ill for a long time and have your doctor issue a certificate of incapacity for work several times, each certificate must follow the previous one. If there are gaps in the proof of your inability to work, the health insurance company is also entitled to stop further payment of the sick pay.

Go safe

Often the health insurance company is already informed by the doctor. But you shouldn't rely on that. Better to be on the safe side and send the sick note to your health insurance company yourself. However, please note the following: