You can be granted a disability pension if vocational rehabilitation does not help and your work ability has declined. The disability pension is sometimes informally referred to as the ’sickness pension’ or ’sick pension’.
When can I receive a disability pension?
You may be granted a disability pension if
- you are at least 17 years old and you have not yet turned your lower old-age pension age
- in addition, your work ability must have been reduced for at least one year due to an illness, an injury or a disability.
If your work ability weakens
If your work ability has declined or your disability is prolonged, bring the matter up with your occupational health care physician or your treating physician. You can apply to Kela for partial sickness allowance or rehabilitation that will help you cope at work or return to working life.
If the means provided by Kela do not enable you to return to work, apply to Ilmarinen for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation will help you continue in your job or return to it after your sick leave.
How is the decline in work ability assessed?
When assessing the decline in your ability to work, your remaining work ability is taken into account. It depends on, among other things, your age, education and your professional skills based on your work experience. Other factors considered in the evaluation are how long you did the work in question and how you performed. If you have turned 60, your work ability is assessed based on the job you have performed last.
The assessment is based on the medical statements concerning your state of health and the descriptions of your illness and coping at work that you included in your pension application.
Start of a disability pension
Your disability pension will usually begin at the beginning of the month following the end of your daily sickness allowance. Therefore, you should apply for the disability pension about three months before your sickness allowance period ends. You can be granted a disability pension retroactively for a maximum of six months of the arrival of the application.
You will receive the disability pension decision within around two months of the date on which we received your application. Read more about what to do if you receive a negative disability pension decision.
Vocational rehabilitation will help you continue in your job or return to it after your sick leave. If vocational rehabilitation or other means that support return to work have not helped, you can apply to us for a disability pension.
Read more about vocational rehabilitation >
More information about the disability pension
A disability pension consists of two components: the pension accrued before the onset of disability and the pension for projected pensionable service. Read more about what affects the amount of pension and what pension accrues on.
Partial disability pension is half of a full disability pension.
The pension accrued on the projected pensionable service is added to the pension that has already accrued. The component for projected pensionable service is calculated based on the earnings during the five years preceding the onset of the illness. Pension on the projected pensionable service will accrue until the lower old-age pension age specified for the age group.
You will receive the pension on projected pensionable service if your earnings subject to pension insurance during the ten years preceding the disability amount to at least EUR 18,410.22 (in 2021).
If you have been on a disability pension for five calendar years, your pension will be subject to a one-time increase at the turn of the next year. You will be granted this one-time increase if you lost your ability to work when you were under 50 years old. The younger you were when you lost your work ability, the larger the increase.
If you are 24–31 years old at the time of the one-time increase, you will receive the full increase, which is 25 per cent of your pension amount. If you are 55 years old at the time of the one-time increase, you will receive a 1-per-cent increase. If you are older than that, your pension amount will not be increased. You can receive the one-time increase also if you receive survivors’ pension.
This one-time increase will increase your pension permanently and you are not required to apply for it separately. We will inform you of your increased pension amount.