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How is earnings-related daily allowance affected by illness or incapacity for work?

Illnesses and injuries are unpleasant events that can happen to anyone. A minor cold or injury will have no effect on your entitlement to daily allowance. However, situations that involve hospitalisation and incapacity for work may have an impact on your unemployment security.

What should I do if I fall ill or get injured while applying for unemployment allowance?

Short-term illnesses or minor injuries will have no effect on your entitlement to allowance. If necessary, see a doctor to receive treatment. However, be sure to state in your application for daily allowance that you have been ill and be prepared to provide us with a medical certificate should we ask for it.

If your illness lasts for longer than 10 days, state in your application for daily allowance that you have been ill and apply for sickness allowance from Kela.

If your illness or injury is severe enough to require hospitalisation or other institutional care, state this in your application. While you remain in institutional care, you are not considered to be a jobseeker available for the labour market. You are not entitled to earnings-related daily allowance for this period of time.

Incapacity for work

You are not entitled to earnings-related daily allowance if you are incapacitated for work.

We will determine your incapacity for work based on whether you have been found to be so under the Health Insurance Act or National Pensions Act. In other words, the unemployment fund does not decide whether or not you are incapacitated for work.

In practice, this means that we do not assess your incapacity for work solely on the basis of a medical certificate. If you are considered incapacitated for work by a medical certificate but no decision has been made on the matter by Kela or your pension insurance company, we cannot conclude that you are either incapacitated for work or healthy.

In terms of unemployment security, you are incapacitated for work also if you have been found to be so under the Health Insurance Act, Employees Pensions Act or National Pensions Act, even when you have received no allowance under said acts. In other words, we cannot pay earnings-related daily allowance if you have been found to be incapacitated for work but have not received disability allowance due to low income, or the allowance is paid only after your incapacity for work has lasted at least 55 days without interruption.

Disability pension may be granted to persons who are permanently blind or incapable of movement, as well as to persons whose condition is so helpless due to illness, disorder or disability that they cannot cope without outside assistance. In these situations, incapacity for work does not prevent the payment of earnings-related daily allowance. However, the amount of disability pension is deducted from the unemployment allowance.

Exception to the general rule on incapacity for work

Incapacity for work does not prevent the payment of earnings-related daily allowance if:

  1. You have received sickness allowance for the maximum period.
  2. You remain unfit to perform your work duties for health reasons.
  3. Your application for disability pension is pending or rejected.

This exception applies only if all three conditions are met. If your employment relationship is still in effect, a further condition is that your employer cannot offer duties that match your work capacity.

Waiting period for sickness allowance

Sickness allowance may be paid for the period of incapacity for work, excluding a waiting period after the incapacity for work has been determined. The waiting period for sickness allowance is the start date of incapacity for work plus the following nine weekdays. Weekdays include Saturdays but not mid-week holidays.

We can pay earnings-related daily allowance for the waiting period for sickness allowance only if you have received earnings-related daily allowance immediately before the start of the waiting period for sickness allowance.

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