If you fall ill while unemployed

If you are an unemployed jobseeker, you can receive sickness allowance. If you fall ill you should apply for sick leave, because you can lose your unemployment benefit for a specified period of time or for an unspecified time, if you as an unemployed jobseeker do not accept job offers that you may receive.

The days of sickness allowance are not taken into account in the maximum period of basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by the unemployment fund. The maximum period is 400 days. Unemployment benefits are not paid at the same time as sickness allowance and partial sickness allowance.

Waiting period

The sickness allowance is paid after a 10-day waiting period. You can receive an unemployment benefit for the days when the waiting period has not yet been completed.

Amount of the sickness allowance

If you have received an unemployment benefit during the four months preceding the start of the illness, the amount of your sickness allowance is at least 86% of the unemployment benefit.

Do as follows if you fall ill

  1. Visit a doctor and request a medical certificate regarding your incapacity for work. At the same time the doctor assesses your need of rehabilitation and your work capacity.
  2. Report the period of incapacity for work indicated on the medical certificate to TE Services.
  3. Claim sickness allowance from Kela.
  4. Renew your status as an unemployed jobseeker also while you are waiting for a decision on the sickness allowance.

How to proceed when the sick leave ends

  1. Report the end of the sick leave to TE Services.
  2. The payment of the unemployment benefit will continue when you file an unemployment status report with Kela.
  3. If you have received sickness allowance for more than 30 days, you must file a new claim for the unemployment benefit.
  4. If you participate in rehabilitation arranged by Kela, you must also report this to TE Services.

Read more