Financial support when you are ill
- workers who earn a wage, self-employed persons and people who are unemployed have a right to sickness allowance.
- the amount of the allowance depends on your earlier income, if you had any.
If you are ill and unable to work for more than two weeks, you have a right to sickness allowance paid by Kela. You will get the minimum allowance even if you do not have a job and earn money.
You have a right to sickness allowance when you cannot work because of your illness. You have to see a doctor if you are ill. The doctor will give you a medical certificate that says you cannot work because you are ill.
You will not get sickness allowance for the day on which you fall ill and the following nine days. If you are working, your employer will in most cases pay your wages for these days. If you have only been working for a short time or you have a so-called zero hour contract, you may not be paid for the time you are ill.
If you are insured under the YEL scheme (Entrepreneurs’ Pensions Act ), the waiting period is the date your illness began. If you are insured under the MYEL scheme (Farmers’ Pension Act), the waiting period is the date your illness began and the following three days. You may also get partial sickness allowance after or instead of full-time sickness allowance. You may get it if you can work as a self-employed person part time without risking your health.
As employee, you may also get partial sickness allowance after or instead of full-time sickness allowance. You may get it if you can work part time even if you are ill and without risking your chances of getting better. The aim is that you go back to full-time work after partial sick leave.
With a so-called A form medical certificate, you can get sickness allowance for at most 60 working days. A longer B form certificate gives you the right to sickness allowance for at most 300 working days, or roughly a year, for the same illness. Saturdays and days before public holidays are also counted as working days, but not public holidays.
When you have been receiving sickness allowance for 60 working days, you will get a letter from Kela about different types and providers of rehabilitation. If you are working, the occupational health care service will assess your capacity for work after you have received sickness allowance for 90 days. After you have been receiving sickness allowance for 150 days, Kela will send you another letter that explains about rehabilitation and applying for disability pension.
During the time when you are getting sickness allowance, your possibilities of getting better and going back to work will be assessed. After the maximum time of sickness allowance, Kela can pay the allowance for at most 50 extra days, if this helps you get back to work. Before you can get the extra days, you must work for 30 days.
When you are in rehabilitation, you can get financial support: rehabilitation allowance or fixed term disability pension, which is a rehabilitation subsidy. If you are too ill to take part in rehabilitation and go back to full or part time work, you can apply for a disability pension that you can get until further notice. A disability pension that you get for a fixed term or until further notice can also be paid to you as a partial benefit if you can work part time or manage lighter work.
If you have been working, the amount of sickness allowance paid to you this year is based on the income on which you paid tax the year before the last, or on your income in the last six months before you became ill. You have a right to a minimum amount of sickness allowance even if you had no income that you paid tax on.
If you are self-employed and you have a self-employed person's (YEL) or a farmer’s (MYEL) insurance, your sickness allowance is based on your income from work under the YEL or MYEL scheme. Your sickness allowance may be based on your income from work under the YEL/MYEL scheme in the last six months, rather than the income on which you paid tax the year before the last. You can ask for this if your annual income, based on your YEL/MYEL income in last six months, is at least 20% bigger than your income in the year before the last.
If you are insured under the YEL scheme, the waiting period is the date your illness began. If you are insured under the MYEL scheme, the waiting period is the date your illness began and the following three days. You can also get partial sickness allowance after or instead of full-time sickness allowance if you can work as a self-employed person part time without risking your health.