Concepts: Statistics on disability benefits provided by Kela

Statistical units

Recorded as recipients are persons who have received regular payments of disability allowance in the reference period.

The data on disability allowance expenditures include all allowance payments made during the reference period, including both regular payments and amounts recovered or repaid.

The average amount of benefit only includes disability allowances paid out regularly.

Interpreting services for the disabled are available to persons who have been issued a valid decision granting them access to such services. Active users of the service are defined as persons for whom the number of hours of interpretation billed during the statistical reference period is greater than zero.

The costs of interpreting services only include the costs registered in the referral system. The interpreter costs of the service providers include euro amounts according to normal hourly debiting, evening work compensations, compensations for Saturday work and holiday work compensations payable to the service providers as well as increases for demanding interpreter assignments. The service providers’ other costs include kilometre allowances, per diem allowances, accommodation costs and other travel costs payable to the service providers as well as other supplementary costs.

Variables describing benefit recipients


In the statistics on current disability benefits, the age of the recipient is recorded as his or her age at the end of the reference period. In the statistics on disability claim determinations, the age is recorded as at the date the claim is determined. Median age refers to the age at which half of the recipients are younger and half are older.


The municipality of residence of benefit recipients is recorded as their regular municipality of residence at the end of the reference period.

To facilitate regional comparisons, certain statistical data have been adjusted to regional population totals. In the case of the disability allowances for persons aged 16 or over, recipients between 16 and 64 years of age are compared against the insured population of the corresponding age. As regards the other disability benefits, the comparison encompasses all beneficiaries adjusted to the population of corresponding age.

Diagnosed illness

The illness of the recipient is recorded as the medical diagnosis underlying the application. If the applicant has several illnesses or impairments, the main medical diagnosis is recorded. The illness data in the online statistics are based on the main diagnosis.

The diagnoses and the diagnostic codes are based on the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which was adopted in Finland at the beginning of 1996. It is based on the previous edition (ICD-9). Diseases are recorded as symptom-cause pairs. Kela’s benefit systems use cause-specific diagnoses.

Rate of benefit

The disability allowance is payable at three different rates: basic rate, middle rate and highest rate. Some disability benefits are also paid under a so-called grandfather clause to former recipients of the invalidity payment or the helplessness or care supplement.

Type of recipient

Interpreting services for the disabled can be provided to persons with hearing, speech or hearing-vision impairment.

Procurement area/referral service

Interpreting services are arranged in six regions. They are: Uusimaa, Western, Central, Pohjanmaa, Eastern and Northern.