Thursday. 09.04.2020
El tiempo

CORONAVIRUS

Impossibility of obtaining sickness allowance for many people

If you or one of your family members have mild coronavirus symptoms and have to be quarantined, that will likely affect your income. To get a sickness allowance, a medical certificate on 'form A' is required. But it is extremely difficult to obtain it because Covid-19 testing has been limited to people with severe symptoms.

Impossibility of obtaining sickness allowance for many people

If you or one of your family members have mild symptoms of coronavirus and have to be quarantined, that will likely affect your household income.

Normally, Kela pays sickness allowance on account of infectious diseases to employees who have been ordered to stay away from work in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as the novel coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish).

This sickness allowance is also available to the provider of a child under the age of 16 who is placed in quarantine, making it impossible for the provider to continue working while the quarantine is in effect.

According to Kela, there is no waiting period to qualify for the sickness allowance on account of infectious disease, and the allowance provides full compensation for the loss of income suffered during a period of absence from, isolation or quarantine.

How the amounts are determined

Kela says they can pay "full compensation". This means that for employees the sickness allowance is determined based on the salary they would have earned if they were able to continue working. So, basically it does not matter how big the salary is.

In the case of private entrepreneurs or self-employed persons, the amount of the allowance is determined based on their annual earnings under the Self-Employed Persons' (YEL) or Farmers' (MYEL) pensions act at the beginning of the absence.

Documents needed

But the problem is that, of course, just saying “I am sick” is not enough to qualify for this benefit. For the payment of the allowance, the affected people must provide evidence of the disease to Kela.

Kela requires a medical certificate on form A to issue a sickness allowance.

A condition for receiving the sickness allowance is that the doctor has given a decision that the affected or exposed person in quarantine, isolation or absence from the workplace. This means a doctor will have to provide you with a medical certificate on form A.

This medical certification must be attached to the application for a daily allowance.

At the present time, it is extremely difficult to obtain a medical certificate on form A due to health care overload. Moreover, The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommended minor cases are treated at home and Covid-19 testing has been limited to those with severe symptoms. The rest of infected people are simply ordered to stay at home.

No papers, no money

Anne Neimala, Executive Vice President of Kela said, “We understand that clients now have a lot of questions. We will work out the answers to these questions until we get clarity.”

Still, the reality right now is that if you do not get a medical certificate on form A you can not get any money from Kela. And without testing, getting the mandatory certificate is extremely complicated.

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