Allowance on account of an infectious disease

The allowance on account of an infectious disease (infectious disease allowance) provides cover for loss of income if the physician responsible for infectious disease control in the municipality or hospital district has ordered you into quarantine or isolation, or to be absent from work in order to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

Quarantine is when the movements of a person who has been exposed to an infectious disease, or who may have been exposed to an infectious disease, are restricted for example by ordering the person to stay at home.

Isolation is when a person who has contracted a disease, or who with good reason is believed to have contracted a disease, is cared for or monitored separately from other persons, to prevent the spread of the disease.  

To qualify for an infectious disease allowance, you must. as a rule, be covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance scheme. If you are an EU/EEA, Swiss or UK national working in Finland, you may be eligible for the allowance even if you do not have health insurance coverage in Finland.

Infectious disease allowance to the provider of a minor child

If you provide for a child aged under 16 years, you can receive infectious disease allowance if your child has been ordered to stay at home due to an infectious disease and for this reason you cannot work. Two providers can take turns to stay at home with the child, but infectious disease allowance for one child can only be paid to one of them at a time. Provider means the legal guardian of the child.

Under a temporary amendment of the Health Insurance Act, you can also get infectious disease allowance if you have a certificate from a healthcare provider showing that your child has reliably tested positive for COVID-19 and is recommended not to attend day care or school to prevent the spread of the infection. Additionally, you must be prevented from working.

Decision issued by the doctor responsible for infectious disease control or other certificate to qualify for infectious disease allowance

You need a decision on absence from work, quarantine or isolation from the physician responsible for infectious disease control in your municipality or hospital district. The decision, or a copy of it, must be enclosed with your application. A medical certificate A is also accepted, if it contains the corresponding information and has been signed by the physician responsible for infectious disease control.

If absence from work on account of a coronavirus infection began on or after 1 January 2022, applications for infectious disease allowance can be accompanied by a decision from the doctor responsible for infectious disease control or one of the following documents from a medical professional practising in the public or private sector:

  • certificate from a doctor showing that a COVID-19 infection was detected reliably and recommending you to stay away from work to avoid spreading the infection
  • certificate from a nurse or public health nurse showing that a COVID-19 infection was detected reliably and recommending you to stay away from work to avoid spreading the infection.

The reliable detection of a COVID-19 infection requires a laboratory-verified PCR or antigen test.

Please note that the EU Digital Covid Certificate available on the My Kanta Pages is not sufficient documentation for the application for infectious disease allowance.

Certificate issued retroactively

The new provisions are applied retroactively, so Kela can also recognise certificates issued retroactively, provided that the absence from work began on or after 1 January 2022.

Example: A doctor, nurse or public health nurse issues a certificate on 1 March 2022 valid for the period 1 February - 5 February 2022, during which the issuee was recommended to stay away from work on account of a reliably detected COVID-19 infection.

Certificates issued between 1 January and 27 February 2022

If a customer has not presented a certificate issued specifically for purposes of the infectious disease allowance, Kela can also recognise, in support of an application for infectious disease allowance, a certificate issued before the law was amended (28 February 2022), provided that it meets all of the requirements described below.

A certificates:

  • The certificate was issued as proof of disability due to a laboratory-verified COVID-19 infection.
  • The certificate was issued as proof of disability which began between 1 January and 27 February 2022.
  • It was issued no later than 27 February 2022.

Certificates of work absence or child illness issued by a nurse or public health nurse

  • The reason for the absence stated in the certificate is a COVID-19 infection or a symptom indicative of such an infection.
  • If the certificate does not show that it is based on a laboratory-verified test result, details of the test result are also required.
  • The certificate was issued for a period of disability or child illness which began between 1 January and 27 February 2022.
  • It was issued no later than 27 February 2022.

Foreign decision on quarantine, isolation or absence from work

Persons who are covered under the Finnish social security system and who have been ordered into isolation or quarantine in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland may be entitled to infectious disease allowance. In such cases, a certificate from a physician authorised to issue an isolation or quarantine order in the relevant country must be enclosed with the application.

If the absence from work began between 1 January and 31 December 2022, infectious disease allowance can also be granted on the basis of a certificate issued by a doctor, nurse or public health nurse in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. The certificate must indicate that it pertains to a laboratory-verified COVID-19 infection. The treatment record or test result is not sufficient in itself.

No entitlement to infectious disease allowance

There is no entitlement to the infectious disease allowance, for example, if

  • you are working remotely and you do not incur any loss of income
  • you are working remotely, so there is no risk of spreading the infection
  • you are on a leave of absence or laid off and therefore do not incur any loss of income
  • you are not working for some other reason (such as a sick leave), and therefore do not incur any loss of income
  • you are self-quarantined.

Unemployed and students

If you are unemployed or a student, you cannot receive infectious disease allowance since you do not incur any loss of income. However, if a physician finds that you are also incapable of work due to an infectious disease, you can apply for sickness allowance.

If you work alongside your studies or sporadically while being unemployed and you are ordered to stay away from work due to an infectious disease, you may be entitled to infectious disease allowance. 

Impairment due to an infectious disease

If your illness continues and you cannot return to work, you can apply for sickness allowance. The sickness allowance secures an income in case of illness or incapacity for work.

 

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