Changes to the criteria for infectious disease allowance

A decision by a doctor responsible for infectious disease control is no longer required for infectious disease allowance. You can now be granted the allowance on the basis of certain other certificates issued by health care providers. Further, the application period has been extended from two to six months.

Following a temporary amendment to the Health Insurance Act, eligibility for infectious disease allowance no longer requires a decision on absence from work, quarantine or isolation issued by the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district. Under the amended legislation and the relevant government decree, infectious disease allowance may be available to persons who have a certificate from a doctor, registered nurse or public health nurse practising in the public or private sector proving a reliably diagnosed COVID-19 infection and advising the person in question not to go to work in order to prevent the spread of the infection. The reliable detection of a COVID-19 infection requires a laboratory-verified PCR or antigen test.

This change in criteria also applies to the infectious disease allowance granted to the guardian of a child infected with COVID-19. Kela can pay the allowance to the guardian of a child under 16 with a reliably diagnosed COVID-19 infection who is advised not to attend daycare or school due to the risk of spreading the infection. A further requirement is that the guardian is prevented from working due to the child’s illness.

Infectious disease allowance is granted only for absences from work that are necessary to prevent of the spread of the coronavirus. Cases of prolonged illness will be treated as regular sick leave and the affected persons can apply for sickness allowance for the duration.

Infectious disease allowance will continue to be available to persons who have been issued a decision by the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district.

As a consequence of the legislative amendment, the application period for infectious disease allowance has been temporarily extended from 2 months to 6 months.

The new provisions apply to situations where an absence from work due to a COVID-19 infection has started on 1 January 2022 or later. The changes will be effective until 30 June 2022. Persons who have received a certificate from a doctor, showing a laboratory-verified COVID-19 infection prior to the law and decree entering into force, and whose absence from work has started between 1 January 2022 and 27 February 2022, may also be entitled to infectious disease allowance.

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