Persons experiencing prolonged disability because of COVID-19 can apply to Kela for a sickness allowance

The infectious disease allowance and the sickness allowance cannot be paid at the same time. Persons who have left quarantine or isolation (and therefore no longer qualify for an infectious disease allowance) but who continue to be disabled because of COVID-19 can apply to Kela for a sickness allowance.

Most COVID-19 patients recover after a short period of illness, but some may experience prolonged symptoms and disability.

COVID-19 can be asymptomatic, or its symptoms may range from mild to severe. It is classified as a generally hazardous communicable disease, and anyone exposed to it can be placed in quarantine, while those infected with it can be ordered to go into isolation.

The infectious disease allowance provides compensation for loss of income for persons who have been ordered to go into quarantine or isolation and are therefore unable to go to work. The allowance is only available if a municipality or hospital district physician in charge of infectious disease control has ordered the person infected with or exposed to COVID-19 to go into isolation or quarantine. Disability for work is not a requirement.

The infectious disease allowance and the sickness allowance disease 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 a sickness allowance. A doctor's note showing that a person is disabled is needed to qualify for sickness allowance.

The sickness allowance provides compensation for loss of income resulting from a period of disability lasting less than 12 months. After completion of a waiting period, it can be paid for a maximum of 300 working days. If a person becomes disabled while in receipt of the infectious disease allowance, their waiting period to qualify for a sickness allowance begins to run right away.

Sometimes an illness can prevent a person from carrying out only certain parts of their job. If an occupational health doctor finds that they can do some of their work without endangering their health, it is possible to agree that they should return to work on a part-time basis. Any such agreement is voluntary and between the employee and the employer. Partial sickness allowance is payable for a maximum of 120 working days.

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