Vocational rehabilitation is the start of something new

Vocational rehabilitation can help you keep working despite health-related limitations. Even if your health prevents you from continuing in your current job, there may be other jobs for which your work ability is more than sufficient.

Vocational rehabilitation can help you

  • discover jobs that are better suited to your health, or
  • facilitate your return to your own job after a long sick leave.

You are eligible for vocational rehabilitation if:

  • you are at risk of disability in the near future because of illness
  • you are established in employment, meaning that you have an occupation and work experience of several years
  • your employment income over the five preceding calendar years comes to at least 37,725.23 euro (2022)
  • rehabilitation will help you continue at work
  • you are not entitled to vocational rehabilitation granted on the basis of accident or road accident.

Rehabilitation pays off

Vocational rehabilitation and thus continuing at work makes financial sense:

  • you will be paid a rehabilitation benefit for the duration of work trial or training
  • you receive a higher income during vocational rehabilitation than on pension
  • rehabilitation is also an investment in the future because the longer you keep working, the better your old-age pension will be.

Besides income, work also provides purpose in life and creates wellbeing. A work trial or training can help you update and expand your skills or discover an entirely new job that is better suited to your particular abilities.

Many paths back into the world of work

Vocational rehabilitation offers a number of ways of regaining your ability to work. The best choice for you depends on your particular circumstances. The options are:

  • work trial
  • work training
  • vocational education and training
  • apprenticeship training
  • business subsidies in order to become self-employed.

Work trials

Work trials can

  • help you return to your earlier job, or
  • make it possible for you to switch to another job that is better suited to your health status, or
  • help you determine if you are suited to a job before enrolling in education and training.

Work trials can be organised with your current employer or with a new employer. If you are employed, you should always first consult your employer about a work trial. The work trial plan should be prepared in collaboration with the employer and occupational health care or your own health care provider.

Work trials usually have a duration of three months and can be continued in the form of work training if the job duties require you to acquire new skills.

Daily working hours may vary from four to eight hours per day. It is commonplace for working hours to be extended as the trial progresses. The hours worked during the work trial do not affect the amount of the rehabilitation benefit. If it becomes apparent during the trial that part-time work is the only viable alternative, you should determine whether you would be entitled to partial disability pension. Bring up the matter at the work trial progress review meeting. If you cannot extend your working hours, contact a rehabilitation specialist at Keva.

Annual holiday should be taken before or after a work trial in order to ensure an uninterrupted trial period. Any unavoidable interruptions should be notified to Keva when submitting the application, and a rehabilitation specialist from Keva will discuss these with you.

A progress review meeting of the employee, employer and occupational health care is advisable during the work trial. Keva’s rehabilitation specialist should be contacted especially if problems arise during the work trial. A final review meeting will be held at the end of the work trial.

Work trial with support from Keva (30 kb) Studying with support from Keva (25 kb)

Work training

Work training is an option when the transition to new job duties requires on-the-job learning of longer duration than a work trial.

Work training can also involve formal training and courses.

Vocational education and training

Keva can support your supplemental training or re-training if work suitable to your health status cannot be provided by means of work arrangements in your current job or on the basis of your existing education and work experience.

The training may take place as multiform learning or full-time education, apprenticeship training, and occasionally also courses and continuing education. No vocational rehabilitation benefits are available for the completion of basic education or general education, however. The new field of education must be appropriate to the applicant’s health status.

Apprenticeship training

Apprenticeship training is a good way of learning a new trade. Keva can provide support for the completion of apprenticeship training as a form of vocational rehabilitation.

Business subsidies for becoming self-employed

Keva may grant you a business subsidy if you wish to start your own business, transform your existing business or carry on a trade. The business subsidy is intended as a partial contribution towards acquiring the essentials for the business.

Contract with rehabilitation service provider

If it is not possible to prepare the rehabilitation plan together with the employer and occupational health care, Keva may contract it to a rehabilitation service provider  who will provide you with personal assistance in preparing the plan.

The potential for work arrangements in the workplace must always be determined before any contract is concluded, however.

How to apply for vocational rehabilitation

If you are trying to figure out a way to raise the subject of diminished work ability and vocational rehabilitation in your workplace, we recommend that you first consult the page How to go forward

Applying to Keva for vocational rehabilitation

  1. Complete the application form for rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension, pdf (Etk.fi)
  2. Send the completed application and a recent medical statement B to Keva. Enclose the memorandum on any occupational health care meeting that may have taken place.
  3. Send the application and the enclosures to:
    FI-00087 KEVA.
  4. Keva will issue its decision on your application within approximately three weeks of receipt.

You can apply for vocational rehabilitation even if your application for disability pension has been rejected.

You can also apply for a preliminary decision on vocational rehabilitation

If you have yet to prepare your rehabilitation plan, you can apply to Keva for a preliminary decision on your right to vocational rehabilitation.

The decision will be issued within approximately two weeks of filing the application. An estimate on the amount of the rehabilitation allowance will be enclosed with a positive decision.

Preliminary decision without an application

If you have applied to Keva for cash rehabilitation benefit, i.e. fixed-term disability pension, you can obtain a preliminary decision on vocational rehabilitation without filing a separate application for it.

Under law, whenever a pension provider considers a disability pension application it must also evaluate the applicant’s right to vocational rehabilitation and issue a positive decision when certain conditions are met.

How to proceed after receiving a preliminary decision

The preliminary decision remains in effect for nine months. You can submit your rehabilitation plan to Keva during this time.

If you are employed, contact your employer or occupational health care after receiving the preliminary decision and prepare the rehabilitation plan together with them.

If you are not employed and you wish to discuss your plans, please contact the rehabilitation specialist at Keva whose name and contact information appear in the supplemental information letter enclosed with your decision.

Rehabilitation benefits, taxation and reimbursement of expenses

Rehabilitation benefits

Keva will pay you a rehabilitation allowance during your work trial or education and training. The amount of the rehabilitation allowance is equal to the disability pension plus 33%. Upon request Keva will inform you in advance of the precise amount of rehabilitation allowance payable to you.

If you are already receiving fixed-term disability pension, i.e. cash rehabilitation benefit, a rehabilitation increment of 33% will be made to this for the duration of your rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation benefit payment dates: 

  • local government employees, the 3rd weekday of the month
  • State employees, the 20th of the month
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church and Kela employees, the 1st weekday of the month

Taxation of rehabilitation allowance and rehabilitation increment

Keva will withhold tax from the rehabilitation allowance and rehabilitation increment on the basis of your tax card. Tax cards may be obtained from the tax office.

  • If you are receiving rehabilitation allowance, request a tax card for social benefits.
  • If you are receiving rehabilitation increment, request that a mention of this also be made on your tax card for pension.

If you submit a tax card for employment income to Keva, we will withhold a minimum of 25% of your rehabilitation allowance in taxes.

The tax rate for the rehabilitation increment is 40% if the increment is not mentioned in the tax card for pension (Tax Administration guideline).

Please contact the tax office (Vero.fi) to learn more about the taxation of benefits.

Rehabilitation allowance during holidays in education and training

Keva will pay rehabilitation allowance and rehabilitation increment during the Christmas holiday period.

Rehabilitation allowance will also be paid for the summer if your studies continue the following autumn. This will enable you to make progress in your studies also during the summer.

Reimbursement of expenses

Keva will reimburse expenses relating to vocational rehabilitation in observance of the recommendations of the Finnish Pension Alliance Tela.

Once your rehabilitation plan has been approved, information on the reimbursements for which you are eligible will be enclosed with your decision.

Use the reimbursement application form to apply for reimbursement of expenses

Expense reimbursement application form (in Finnish only)

If you have any questions about the reimbursement of expenses, please contact our dedicated service number +358 20 614 2880.