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 salaries, certain benefits and other income.
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 an employee or an entrepreneur, 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 the so-called medical certificate A, you can usually get sickness allowance for a maximum of 60 working days. The more extensive statement B gives you the right to sickness allowance for a maximum of 300 working days, which is roughly one year. 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. You can apply for disability pension if your sick leave has lasted for over a year.
When you are in rehabilitation, you can get financial support: rehabilitation allowance or fixed term disability pension, which is a rehabilitation subsidy granted by Kela. If you are too ill to take part in rehabilitation and go back to full or part time work, you can apply to your employment pension institution 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.
The amount of your sickness allowance depends on your annual income. Your annual income consists of your salaries, certain benefits and other income. The annual income for the 12 calendar months before the month preceding the start of the entitlement to the daily allowance is reviewed. In other words, there will be 1 month between the period reviewed and the start date of the allowance.
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. The annual income is calculated for a reference period of 12 calendar months prior to the calendar month that precedes the start of your work disability.
If the amount of your YEL or MYEL income has changed under the reference period, calculates the sickness allowance using your average income.