Sick leave to care for illness of minors and persons with terminal illnesses.

Sick leave to care for illness of minors and persons with terminal illnesses.

In 2014, CCSS regulations on sick leaves were amended eliminating the possibility for parents with seriously ill children to obtain sick leave to care for them.

Several parents brought this before the Constitutional Court seeking a way to re-establish this option and make it possible for them to care for their ill children, without having to use up vacation time or even resign from their jobs. The Court recognized that the higher interest of children is paramount and that the State of Costa Rica has the obligation to care for them.

With the recent publication of Law 9353, this possibility is restored and the conditions for sick leave are amended to include the care of persons with terminal illnesses.

  • Conditions:

The attending physician must certify that the child is seriously ill and requires the care of an adult.

In the case of terminal patients, the benefit applies when the sick person has a life expectancy of less than or equal to six months.

The attending physician must be an employee of the CCSS. If the diagnosis is issued by a private physician, it must be analyzed and approved by CCSS authorities.

  • Term: The term set by the attending physician. Sick leave is renewed every calendar month and the physician may suspend it at any time.
  • Procedure:  The sick person or interested party requests the attending physician to issue a diagnosis accrediting the situation. With this diagnosis, the worker may apply for sick leave before the medical center director.
  • Amount of Subsidy: The amount of subsidy to be received during the sick leave will depend on the income of the person given the sick leave.


Monthly Income

Subsidy Percent

Up to 2 base salaries

100% of the average income

On the amount in excess of 2 base salaries and up to 3 base salaries

80% of the first income

On the amount in excess of 3 base salaries

60% of the average income


Pro-Tip: The subsidy amount is paid by the CCSS. As with other sick leaves, the employer may establish policies and procedures for the payment of the remaining percentages, if it decides to do so.


Alejandra Montiel Quirós