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Disability allowance for persons aged 16 years or over
The allowance aims at supporting persons aged 16 years or over who have a disability or chronic illness in their daily lives, work or studies. The need and the amount of disability allowance is always assessed on an individual basis.
You may be entitled to disability allowance if the following criteria are met:
- you have an illness or a disability that has been diagnosed by a doctor
- your functional capacity is impaired for at least a year
- the illness or disability causes impairment or you need assistance or guidance because of the illness or disability.
Reduced functional capacity for at least a year
One prerequisite for entitlement to disability allowance is that your functional capacity is reduced continuously for at least one year due to disability or illness. This means that you have difficulties in taking care of your everyday chores or of yourself due to illness or disability.
However, disability allowance cannot be granted solely on the grounds of reduced functional capacity. Functional impairment does also not refer to an impairment of one’s ability to work.
Impairment or need of assistance
Furthermore, the entitlement to the allowance is assessed either on the basis of whether the illness or disability causes impairment, or if you need assistance or guidance because of the illness or disability.
Kela assesses the impairment caused by the illness or disability on the basis of the classification of impairment defined in the Workers’ Compensation Act. You can be granted disability allowance on the basis of impairment, if the impairment is considered significant enough.
Kela assesses the need of assistance or guidance on the basis of the application. You can be granted disability allowance on the basis of need of assistance if you need e.g.
- help with personal activities, such as washing, dressing and communication
- guidance and supervision, such as reminders or urging in daily activities
If you need assistance only for household chores or everyday transactions, this does not entitle to disability allowance on the basis of need of assistance.
Three levels of allowance
The disability allowance is payable at three different rates: disability allowance at the basic rate, disability allowance at the middle rate and disability allowance at the highest rate. The rate of allowance that you will be granted is affected by the need of assistance, guidance and supervision, and by the disability category. Furthermore, the disability allowance at the basic rate can be increased to disability allowance at the middle rate on the basis of the costs caused by the illness.
The allowance can be granted for a specific period of time or until further notice. If the allowance is granted for a specific period of time, you can apply for continued payment of the allowance.