Waiting period to qualify for sickness allowance

Before receiving sickness allowance, you must complete a waiting period.

After the waiting period, the sickness allowance is paid to your employer for the period for which you are paid by your employer. If you have several employers paying you, the allowance is divided among them in proportion to their payments to you. If the allowance is larger than your sick pay, the difference is paid to you.

The waiting period is defined as follows:

  • first day of illness plus the following nine working days
  • one working day, if you are again unfit for work for a reason for which you already received sickness allowance within the previous 30 days
  • if you are insured under the YEL scheme, the first day of illness and the following three working days
    • From the beginning of 2018 the waiting period for persons insured under the YEL scheme in one day. In the case of disability periods starting in 2018, the YEL insurance must be effective on the day a self-employed person falls ill in order for the person to be able to receive allowance under the YEL scheme during the waiting period required to qualify for sickness allowance.
  • if you are insured under the MYEL scheme, the first day of illness and the following three calendar days.

Sundays and holidays are not working days.

If you are insured under the YEL or MYEL scheme, you can be paid a YEL or Mela allowance during the sickness allowance waiting period. If you are insured under both schemes, you can be paid both allowances.

There is no waiting period if incapacity entitling you to a sickness allowance starts or continues immediately after a preceding period of partial sickness allowance or rehabilitation allowance.

If you are unemployed, you are paid an unemployment allowance either by an unemployment fund or Kela during the sickness allowance waiting period.