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The number of long sickness absences increases once more
A total 286,630 persons received sickness allowance payments from Kela in 2017. The number of new payments has decreased significantly from ten years ago. However, the number of new payments again increased in 2017, just as did the number of sickness allowance recipients and their share of the working-age population.
Sickness allowance recipiency is an indicator of the prevalence of long sickness absences in the working-age population.
Mental health disorders a more common cause of sickness allowance payment
In 2017, sickness allowance was paid for a total of 14.1 million days, and the total expenditure reached EUR 764 million. Partial sickness allowance was paid for 1.1 days at a total cost of EUR 37 million. The number days on partial sickness allowance has increased from year to year.
In 2017, 30% of the days on sickness allowance were due to musculoskeletal disorders, while 29% were caused by mental health and behavioural disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders, in particular, have over the past 10 years grown less common as a cause of sickness allowance payments.
At the same time, mental health disorders are now a more frequent cause of sickness allowance recipiency, and account for nearly as many days of payment as musculoskeletal disorders.
Differences between occupational groups
Long sickness absences are more common in manual occupations than in white-collar occupations.
Sickness allowance payments due particularly to musculoskeletal disorders are more common among persons performing physically demanding work than in other groups. Daily allowance payments on account of mental health disorders show only small differences between occupational groups.
Sickness absences are more common among women than among men.
Long sickness absence is often a precursor to retirement on a disability pension
About a third of all sickness allowance spells last longer than 30 working days.
Extended periods of sickness absence often lead to retirement on a disability pension, which is typically preceded by a sickness absence of about one year.
However, receipt of sickness allowance can be a predictor of disability retirement many years earlier.
- Pitkät sairauspoissaolot vähentyneet kaikkien aikojen ennätykseen (Long sickness absences at an all-time low
- Yhä harvempi saa sairauspäivärahaa – etenkin tuki- ja liikuntaelinten sairaudet vähentyneet (Fewer receive sickness allowance payments – Largest decrease seen in musculoskeletal diseases)
- Kun työttömyys vähenee, sairauspoissaolot yleistyvät (A decrease in unemployment is accompanied by an increase in sickness absences)
- Terveempi ja tasa-arvoisempi Suomi (A healthier and more equitable Finland)
- Pitkät sairauspoissaolot työikäisillä naisilla ja miehillä. Sairauspäivärahan saajat 1996–2015 (Long sickness absences among working-age women and men. Recipients of the sickness allowance, 1996–2015)
- Sairauspäivärahaa maksetaan useimmin työntekijäammateissa toimiville (Receipt of the sickness allowance most common among those in manual occupations)
- Occupational class differences in long sickness absence: a register-based study of 2.1 million Finnish women and men in 1996-2013
- Occupational class differences in diagnostic-specific sickness absence: a register-based study in the Finnish population, 2005–2014
- Sickness allowance trajectories preceding disability retirement: a register-based retrospective study
- Sickness allowance histories among disability retirees due to mental disorders: a retrospective case-control study
- Työkyvyttömyyseläkkeelle siirtyneiden sairauspäiväraha-, kuntoutus- ja työttömyyshistoria: rekisteripohjainen tarkastelu (Sickness allowance, rehabilitation allowance and unemployment histories of disability retirees: a register-based study)
- Ortopedista leikkausta odottaneille oletettua harvemmin Kelan sairauspäivärahaa (Recipiency of cash sickness allowance is unexpectedly low among patients on waiting list for orthopedic surgery)
- Sairauspäivärahaa saaneiden määrä pienentynyt (The number of persons receiving sickness allowance has decreased)
- Sairauspäivärahakausia alkoi vähemmän viimeksi vuonna 1997 (Lowest number of new sickness allowance spells since 1997)
Lectures and presentations
- Sairauspäivärahan saamisen väestöryhmittäiset muutokset ja kustannukset Suomessa vuosina 1990–2014 (Sickness benefit recipients and changes by population groups and costs in Finland in 1990–2014)
- Työkyvyttömyyseläkettä edeltävä aika (Time and processes before disability pension)
- Tackling Inequalities in Times of Austerity (TITA)
- Research: Jenni Blomgren, Head of Research Team, tel. +358 50 5522 286
- Statistics: Siru Keskinen, Coordinator, tel. +358 20 634 1372