Special care allowance

The special care allowance is a compensation for loss of income available in situations where a person providing for a sick or disabled child under the age of 16 years is unable to do their regular work because of the need to participate in the treatment or rehabilitation of their child.

Who can claim

The age of the child, the place of care, the severity of the illness, and the stage of treatment all affect the award of the special care allowance.

A claim for the special care allowance must be accompanied by a medical certificate on form D identifying the child's illness and attesting to the need of the child's provider to participate in the care.

To qualify for the special care allowance, the child's provider must

  • participate in the care of a child under the age of 7 in a hospital or outpatient clinic
  • participate in the hospital or outpatient treatment or rehabilitation of a child, who is between 7 and 15 years of age and severely ill
  • participate in the rehabilitation of a child, who is between 0 and 15 years of age (a statement detailing the rehabilitation may be submitted instead of a medical certificate on form D)
  • look after a child, who is under 16 and severely ill, at home as part of a hospital or outpatient treatment plan
  • is on call while their child attends school or daycare on a trial basis in connection with a diagnosed serious illness.

You can get special care allowance for the care and rehabilitation of a biological or adopted child. It can also be granted for the care and rehabilitation of your spouse's or partner's child or some other child if you effectively act as the child's provider.

For children with a diagnosed serious illness

During home care and the care of a child between 7 and 15 years of age in a hospital or outpatient clinic, the special care allowance is paid only if the child suffers from a serious illness within the meaning of the Health Insurance Decree.

The child's doctor should note the severity of the illness and that the illness is rapidly progressive or at a therapeutically challenging stage. The evaluation that the illness is at a therapeutically challenging stage may require you to provide information about the treatments undertaken or a detailed statement from the child's doctor.

Serious illnesses are:

  • leukaemia or other malignant neoplasm
  • a serious heart condition, injury or burn
  • brittle diabetes or the initial stage of diabetes care
  • severe mental disorder
  • severe developmental disorder
  • severe bronchial asthma
  • severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • other illness or injury comparable to the above in its severity.

The child's doctor should note and describe the severity of the illness and the stage of therapy on medical certificate D.

When is special care allowance not available?

The special care allowance is not available if you are paid a salary or a daily allowance by Kela during the treatment. The latter includes maternity, paternity and parental allowances and the sickness allowance. If you are being paid special care allowance, you cannot be paid an unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy at the same time.

Only parents who are participating in the hospital care of their child can get special care allowance. This means that you cannot get it if you stay off work in order to look after your other children while the other parent participates in the care of the sick child.

The special care allowance is not available for children who are in day care outside the home or who attend school during the day. The exception to this is where the child's parent stands by at home while the child attends school or day care on a trial basis in accordance with the doctor's evaluation.

Tell Kela of any changes as soon as possible so as to avoid having to pay back payments to which you were not entitled.