Saturday 10/16/21

People disabled by Covid-19 can apply for Kela sickness allowance

An infectious disease allowance also provides compensation for loss of income for those who have been ordered to go into quarantine or isolation
13 August 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: A traveler (R) who has been in Switzerland gets tested by medic at a coronavirus testing center set to allow travellers returning from risk areas to take COVID-19 tests at the main railway station in Stuttgart. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa.
A woman gets tested by medic at a coronavirus testing center. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa/File photo.

Most coronavirus patients recover after a short period of illness, but some may experience prolonged symptoms and disability.

The Covid-19 disease can be asymptomatic, or its symptoms may range from mild to severe. It is classified as a generally hazardous communicable disease, and anyone exposed to it can be placed in quarantine, while those infected with it can be ordered to go into isolation.

According to the Finnish Social Security Institution (Kela), the sickness allowance provides compensation for loss of income resulting from a period of disability lasting less than 12 months. After completion of a waiting period, it can be paid for a maximum of 300 working days.

A different thing is the the infectious disease allowance, which provides compensation for loss of income for people who have been ordered to go into quarantine or isolation and are therefore unable to go to work. This allowance is only available if a municipality or hospital district physician in charge of infectious disease control has ordered the person infected with or exposed to Covid-19 to go into isolation or quarantine.

In the case of the infectious disease allowance, disability for work is not a requirement.

Not paid simultaneously

If a person becomes disabled while in receipt of the infectious disease allowance, their waiting period to qualify for a sickness allowance begins to run right away.

The infectious disease allowance and the sickness allowance disease cannot be paid at the same time.

People who have come out of isolation or quarantine but who remain disabled for work can apply for a sickness allowance. A doctor's note showing that a person is disabled is needed to qualify for sickness allowance.

Sometimes an illness can prevent a person from carrying out only certain parts of their job. If an occupational health doctor finds that they can do some of their work without endangering their health, it is possible to agree that they should return to work on a part-time basis. Any such agreement is voluntary and between the employee and the employer. Partial sickness allowance is payable for a maximum of 120 working days.