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Sickness allowance covers loss of income for up to one year.


Kela provides reimbursements for the cost of medical treatment and pays sickness allowances on account of loss of earnings. No reimbursements are available for medical services obtained from public-sector providers.

The cost of treatment by a doctor or dentist in private practice is reimbursed according to a schedule of fees. Reimbursements are available for prescription medicines. The reimbursement is normally deducted from the price of the medicine right at the pharmacy.

Sickness Allowance is intended to compensate for loss of earnings during a period of incapacity for work. A 10-day waiting period must normally be completed before Sickness Allowance is paid. If you are paid a wage or salary while on sick leave, your Sickness Allowance is paid to your employer. If you return to work on a part-time basis after a sick leave of several months, you can get a Partial Sickness Allowance from Kela. If you have been incapacitated for over a year, you can claim a Disability Pension from Kela. You must have received Sickness Allowance for the maximum period of 300 working days and be unable to return to work on account of your illness.

Rehabilitation may be useful if you have an illness or injury that threatens your capacity to work or makes it more difficult for you to work and to function in everyday life.

Occupational health services are available to all employees. Besides occupational health services, employers may also provide their employees with access to medical services. Self-employed persons and entrepreneurs may also wish to arrange for access to occupational health and GP-level medical services for themselves. Part of the cost of such services is reimbursed by Kela.

If your child becomes ill, you can get a Special Care Allowance from Kela to compensate for the loss of earnings caused by having to take a leave of absence from your job in order to look after your child or to participate in his or her treatment in a hospital or some other place of treatment.

If you need medical treatment abroad (while staying in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland), you can present your European Health Insurance Card to obtain medical treatment on the same terms as the local residents.

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Last modified 03/07/2015
Updated 22/10/2012