Seasonal workers coming to Finland from abroad may be eligible for infectious disease allowance

Under certain conditions, Kela may grant infectious disease allowance to seasonal workers who have come to Finland from abroad.

Persons who are not citizens of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland must have health insurance coverage in Finland to qualify for the infectious disease allowance. Non-EU seasonal workers can get health insurance coverage in Finland if they earn at least 741.75 euros per month (as of 2022). Workers can get health insurance coverage from the date they start working.  

Citizens of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland who are employed in Finland may receive infectious disease allowance even if they are not covered by health insurance in Finland.

When a worker applies for the infectious disease allowance, Kela checks whether he or she is covered by the Finnish health insurance system. That requires the worker to file a notification of moving to Finland either by using the OmaKela e-service or on the form Y77e. In order for Kela to reach the applicant, the applicant's full contact information must be included on the form.

How to apply for infectious disease allowance

Applications for infectious disease allowance can be made using the OmaKela e-service or on the SV8e application form.  

The application must be accompanied by

one of the following health-care documents:

  • a decision by the doctor in charge of infectious disease in the applicant’s municipality or hospital district, ordering the applicant to stay off work or to be placed in quarantine or isolation
    • a certificate from a doctor, nurse or public health nurse showing that a COVID-19 infection has been reliably detected and recommending the applicant to stay away from work to avoid spreading the infection
    • a loss-of-earnings notification and notification of wages paid, provided by the applicant's employer
  • a notification that the applicant has moved to Finland
  • a tax card

These documents can be submitted to Kela either on paper or online. Any documents that are not in a digital format can be sent in as a scanned or photographed copy. The employer can submit a loss-of-earnings notification either via the e-service for employers or on the Kela form Y17e. The applicant can submit a notification of moving to Finland either in the OmaKela e-service or on the Y77e form. More information about tax cards for seasonal workers is available on the Finnish Tax Administration website.

The allowance can also be paid to the employer

The infectious disease allowance is paid to the bank account specified by the applicant, provided it is with a bank operating in the EU. If not, the allowance is deposited to a prepaid card. 

The allowance can be paid to the employer as compensation for the salary paid to the employee during the absence from work. However, the allowance is paid to the applicant only if he or she is covered under the Finnish health insurance system.

Applications and supporting documents that are carefully completed are less likely to require additional information and can be reviewed more quickly.

It is important that the applicant’s contact information and bank details are stated clearly. Applicants can also issue a power of attorney for handling the application process, for example to their employer.

Read more: infectious disease allowance (kela.fi)