What has changed?

On March 25, 2020, the Technical Council of the Mexican Social Security Institute ("IMSS") approved a special health emergency permit for workers. This permit is the first of its kind in the history of the Institute. In line with the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) and in accordance with the recommendations made by the Ministry of Health, the purpose of the emergency permit, which can be obtained online, is to reduce the transmission chain of COVID-19 by preventing movement of insured workers who have COVID-19 symptoms and to instead keep them at home.

What it means for you

This measure will allow you to process temporary disability certificates for COVID-19, as well as payment of the subsidy granted by the IMSS, online.

Sick employees will be able to justify their absence from work and obtain payment of the sick subsidy granted by the IMSS by wire transfer, reducing the need for sick insured parties to travel to the clinic for medical evaluation and to the bank for payment of the IMSS subsidy.

Action steps

Insured parties with symptoms of illness should access the IMSS website to complete the procedure. Insured parties must fill out a questionnaire regarding their general information, affiliation, their medical history, and the description of their symptoms to allow the Institute to make a diagnosis.

The questionnaire will be sent to the corresponding Family Medical Unit for evaluation and approval.

The result of the diagnosis will have the following implications:

  1. If the diagnosis is negative for COVID-19, the IMSS will send indications for the treatment of the corresponding illness to the insured party.
  2. If the diagnosis is positive for COVID-19, the IMSS will take the following measures:
  • the IMSS will send the insured party the indications for the treatment of the illness at home, including protection measures for other household members.
  • the IMSS will send the necessary protective equipment to prevent family contagion, such as face masks, bacterial antiseptic and a thermometer.
  • the IMSS will issue and send to the insured party and to the employer a special leave certificate for temporary disability for a period of 14 days. This leave may be extended for an additional 14 days if the symptoms persist or if the illness worsens. If the extension of leave is sought because symptoms are persistent or the illness worsens, the assessment of the worker must be carried out in person at the Family Medicine Unit.
  • the IMSS will pay a general sickness subsidy of 60% of the employee's last wage registered before the IMSS for a period of 11 days. The first three days of the 14-day disability are not covered by the IMSS, as it is considered a temporary disability due to general illness.


The aforementioned measures will be in force from the date of their publication in the Federal Official Gazette until April 19, 2020, in accordance with the mandatory preventive measures determined by the Ministry of Health on March 24 of this year. For more information please visit this link.

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