When a self-employed person falls ill

If you fall ill, you can apply to Kela for an allowance. You will start receiving it after you have been ill for one day. The size of the allowance depends on your YEL income.

How does YEL income affect the sickness allowance?

If your sick leave lasts a maximum of 10 days, the allowance you receive from Kela is called YEL allowance. The YEL allowance is based on your YEL income alone. If your YEL income has changed during the 12 months under review, Kela will take into account your average income. Your YEL insurance must be in force the day you fall ill in order for you to receive the YEL allowance.

If your illness lasts longer, you may be eligible for sickness allowance after the YEL allowance. Your sickness allowance will be calculated based on your annual earnings. As a self-employed person, your annual earnings are based on the YEL income. If your YEL income has changed during the 12 months under review, Kela will take into account your average income. If you work as a wage-earner outside your own company in addition to your entrepreneurial activities, the amount of your allowance is affected by both your earnings as an employee and your YEL income as a self-employed person. The annual earnings are calculated based on the earnings from the 12 calendar months preceding the calendar month when the entitlement to the benefit begins.

More information on how annual earnings are determined is available on Kela’s website (kela.fi) >

When can I receive sickness allowance and how do I apply for it?

If you fall ill, you can apply to Kela for an allowance. Your waiting period is the day when you fall ill (one day). Follow these steps:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately when you fall ill and get a certificate stating that you are unable to work. If you intend to apply to Kela for the YEL allowance, you need a certificate issued by at least a public health nurse or a nurse. If you apply for the sickness allowance paid after the YEL allowance, you need a medical statement. If you apply for the allowance for no more than 60 days, ask the physician to issue you a certificate A. If you apply for the allowance for a longer period, request a more comprehensive Medical Statement B.
  2. Apply for the allowance from Kela within two months of when your disability began. After a one-day waiting period, Kela will start paying you the YEL allowance for the first 9 days and thereafter the regular sickness allowance. The YEL allowance automatically converts into sickness allowance. You will receive the sickness allowance for a maximum of 300 weekdays.

Does my YEL insurance have to be in force during sick leave?

If you are on short sick leave, keep your YEL insurance in force. During sick leave, your work input probably decreases. In that case, also reduce your YEL income to reflect the amount of work you do at that time, which also reduces your insurance contribution. Act in time, because you cannot change your income retroactively. In our online service, you can also apply for more time to pay your YEL contribution during your sick leave.

If your sick leave lasts several months, you can terminate your YEL insurance to end on the day you fell ill. You can submit the termination notification in our self-employed person’s online service. If you get back to being an entrepreneur after your sick leave, take out new YEL insurance.

Your YEL income determines the size of your sickness allowance. Apply to Kela for the allowance.

Read more about changing the YEL income >

Read more about requesting a payment extension >

The YEL income determines the amount of your allowance

Keep your YEL income up to date at all times – you cannot change it retroactively. Our YEL calculator shows you how your YEL income affects the sickness allowance you receive.

Estimate the amount of sickness allowance using the YEL calculator >
Read more about the YEL income >