Financial support for informal care
Informal care support includes the services provided to the care recipient, and the carer's fee, time off and informal care support services, such as meal and transport services.
If your help is vital for your loved one due to their disability, illness or old age, you can get financial support for taking care of your loved one. The extent of the support, i.e. the care fee, is determined based on how much commitment is required and how difficult it is to provide the care. The fee paid to an informal carer is subject to taxation.
The income or assets of the care recipient, you or other family members do not affect the fee paid for informal care. The care fee can also be paid to an informal carer who is in paid employment or works as an entrepreneur. An informal carer can serve in the working life while acting as a carer.
If you recognise that you are already the informal carer of your loved one in practice or know that this will soon be your situation, contact the social services in your home municipality to file an application on informal care support. A home care coordinator or a social worker in elderly and disabled care is usually responsible for informal care in the municipality.
Before a decision is made on the informal care support, the person in charge of the support will discuss the situation with you and the person you care for. At the meeting, you will discuss what kind of care and municipal support services will be needed in implementing the informal care. This is typically realised as a visit at the care recipient's home.
After the home visit, the municipality will make a decision on the support and related services. If the decision is positive, the municipality will conclude an informal care agreement with you. The agreement determines the carer's fee paid for you and the method of payment, and describes how to arrange care when you are on a leave from your care task. A care plan and a service plan are appended to the agreement.
Informal care support is composed of the services provided to the care recipient as well as the care fees, time off and informal care support services given to the informal carer. These may include, for example meal, bathing and transport services, special aids as well as day care and short-term care.
If necessary, the municipality must also support the informal carer's task by providing training and education, a welfare and health examination as well as social and health services.
The municipality provides a contact person for the informal carer, and the carer can contact the person whenever needed, for example when there is a change to the situation of the care recipient or the carer.
Informal care support can be granted for both long-term and short-term needs. There is no employment relationship between the informal carer and the municipality. The municipality will take out an accident insurance for the informal carer. The insurance covers all injuries that occur in the care context or during related travel.
Under the informal care agreement, the person you care for may also be treated outside the home. As long as the person being cared for does not spend over seven hours a day outside the home, you will be considered their personal care giver. You will be entitled to receive full pay for your work. Care provided elsewhere during the informal carer's statutory days off (substitute care) does not affect the extent of the care fee.
If the care recipient is admitted to treatment outside of the home permanently or for a long term, the payment of the informal care fee will be discontinued within one month.
If you were born in or after 1940, the care fee for informal care will increase your pension until you turn 68.
If you were born before 1940, the care fee for informal care will increase your pension only if the care relationship started before you turned 65. You pension will increase for as long as the care relationship is uninterrupted, also after you turn 68.
No. The care fee paid for informal carers has no effect on the earnings-related pension or national pension paid for you or any other pension security you receive.
The care fee paid for informal carers has no effect on the housing benefit. The proportion of the care fee remaining after the payment of taxes is taken into account when granting social assistance, among other things. If you are unemployed, the informal care support does not affect the basic unemployment allowance, but it is taken into account when your need for labour market support is considered.
Find out in advance how informal care support affects the different allowances.