Infectious disease doctor's decision still needed to accompany applications for infectious disease allowance
Payment of the infectious disease allowance requires the applicant to present to Kela a decision from the doctor in charge of infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district. The decision must indicate that the applicant has been barred from work or placed in quarantine or isolation. Infectious disease allowance and sickness allowance cannot be paid at the same time.
The infectious disease allowance provides cover for loss of income if the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district has ordered someone into quarantine or isolation, or to be absent from work in order to prevent the spread of an infectious disease. The allowance is also available to the guardian of a child under 16 whom the doctor responsible for infectious disease control has ordered to stay at home and the guardian incurs loss of income because of this.
According to Mikko Toivanen, head of Kela’s Centre of Expertise in Benefits Supporting Work Capacity and Functioning, the infectious disease allowance is based on law, so a formal decision by the doctor is needed. In practice, this means that someone who thinks that they may have contracted COVID-19 must be tested for it in order to be paid infectious disease allowance or to be issued a certificate of having recovered from COVID-19. Finally, if the test is positive, they need a decision from the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in which they are ordered to go into quarantine or isolation.
Infectious disease allowance and sickness allowance cannot be paid at the same time. Persons who have come out of isolation or quarantine but who remain disabled for work can apply for sickness allowance. A doctor's note showing that a person is disabled is needed to qualify for sickness allowance.
Amount of the infectious disease allowance
The infectious disease allowance is calculated on the basis of the salary that the recipient would get if they were able to work normally. For self-employed persons, the allowance is determined on the basis of their annual earnings under the Self-Employed Persons’ (YEL) or Farmers’ (MYEL) Pensions Acts at the beginning of the absence.
How to apply for infectious disease allowance
Applications for the infectious disease allowance can be made using the OmaKela e-service or on the SV8e application form.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- A decision issued by the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district concerning the absence from work, quarantine or isolation
- Employer’s statement concerning the loss of income incurred during the absence.
- Employers can use either the e-service for employers or the Y17e form to make the statement.
Kela can pay the infectious disease allowance to the employer if the employee is prevented from working due to an infectious disease but is paid by their employer.
Applications for infectious disease allowance can be made retroactively for up to 2 months.