Social Security Benefits

Understand the cover and entitlements of the social welfare system in Costa Rica...

Social security benefits in Costa Rica include the following categories:

  • Medical
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity
  • Pension

Medical Benefits

The Costa Rican social security system includes the health care system, which offers medical treatment. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS or Caja) has a network of public hospitals and many small clinics for non-emergencies and everyday medical care. Clinics which provide basic health care are known as EBAIS (Equipos Básicos de Atención Integral en Salud).

Some individuals choose to have private insurance or a health plan in addition to using the social security system.

Sick Benefits

Sick leave is paid by the employer at 50 percent of the employee's salary for the first three sick days, and after that the CCSS pays 60 percent of the employee's salary per day for as many sick days that the employee currently has.

If sick leave results from a work-related injury or accident, 75 percent of the employee's salary is paid with no time limitation.

Maternity Benefits

An employee can take up to four months of maternity leave with full salary payment. Maternity leave is split into 30 days before the birth and 90 days after birth.

Pension Benefits

The CCSS has an obligatory pension system, which offers benefits for disability, old age and death. Pension benefits include:

  • Monthly payments (made the first working day of each month)
  • Increases in payments every six months
  • Bonus every December (aguinaldo)
  • Health insurance
  • For further information on pension benefits and when to claim: Click here (in Spanish)