Non-EU seasonal workers may be eligible for the infectious disease allowance

Kela can pay infectious disease allowance also to seasonal workers from a non-EU country if they are covered by the Finnish health insurance system. 

Persons who are not citizens of another EU/EEA country or of Switzerland must have health insurance coverage to qualify for the infectious disease allowance. Non-EU seasonal workers can get health insurance coverage in Finland if they earn at least 726.27 euros per month (as of 2021). The coverage can start as soon as the earnings reach this limit. 

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who are employed in Finland may be entitled to the infectious disease allowance even if their level of employment is less.

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 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 the infectious disease allowance can be made using the OmaKela e-service or on the SV8e application form.  Section 11 of the application is for information specifically relevant to the infectious disease allowance.

The application must be accompanied by

  • the decision (original or copy) of the municipality or hospital district doctor in charge of infectious disease allowance ordering the applicant to stay off work or to be placed in quarantine or isolation
  • a loss-of-earnings notification from the applicant's employer
  • a notification of moving 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 notify the loss of earnings either via the e-service for employers or on the Kela form Y17e. The applicant can submit a notification of moving to Finland either on 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.

If the applicant is paid while off work, the part of the allowance corresponding to the applicant’s wages can be paid to the applicant’s employer. This requires that the applicant is covered under the Finnish health insurance system.

Completing the application carefully speeds up the application process for the allowance

Applications can take longer to process during the summer as lots of applications from seasonal workers come in. Applications and supporting documents that are carefully completed are less likely to require additional information and can be reviewed more quickly.

It is very 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.

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