Are you struggling to do your job because of injury or illness? Or are you returning to work after a long sick leave? You could benefit from vocational rehabilitation.
Vocational rehabilitation can help you keep working
A long period of illness or an injury may prevent you from doing your present job. This means you then need to find a job better suited to your health. Vocational rehabilitation is one way to help you with this. The aim of vocational rehabilitation is to help you to find work that is better suited to your health.
Vocational rehabilitation takes place through work or studying. For example, you can try out new tasks for a while at your existing workplace. You can also study the knowledge and skills required in a new job. You can study while working or in school, for example.
Vocational rehabilitation does not mean medical rehabilitation. It doesn’t include visits to a physician, nurse, physiotherapist or psychologist. Nor does it include acquiring technical aids.
If you have a job, you, your employer, your workplace physician and Keva discuss and agree rehabilitation.
If you don’t have a job, discuss rehabilitation with TE office employee or the physician or nurse treating you, for example.
Vocational rehabilitation does not cost you anything and Keva pays you while you are in vocational rehabilitation.
Are you eligible for vocational rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation may suit you if
- illness or injury means that you could be at risk of having to be on disability pension in the next few years
- you have been working for several years
- despite your illness or injury are able to do some work
- you are of working age
- you have earned at least €39,157.84 (at the 2023 level) during the preceding five calendar years, in addition, you are required to have received earnings from employment or have looked after your child during the three calendar years preceding the application.
First raise the matter at your workplace
First talk with your employer or occupational health physician about coping at work. Ask to consider together how you can continue to cope better in your job.
If you are unable to continue in your present job, think about which occupation or job you could be better suited for than your present job.
Ask your employer or occupational health physician to find out whether vocational rehabilitation supported by Keva would be suitable for you.
Vocational rehabilitation comes in many forms
The aim of vocational rehabilitation is to help you to find work that is better suited to your health.
Vocational rehabilitation takes place through work or studying. Below, we give you more details about the various forms of rehabilitation, one of which may suit you.
Work trials take place at the workplace. A work trial allows you to try out what job suits you. You can also learn how to do new tasks.
Plan the work trial with your employer and occupational healthcare. Agree on the tasks and how the new tasks will be taught to you.
Agree too, how long the work trial will last. Work trials usually last three months. Working hours may be 4-8 hours a day. It’s advisable to begin the work trial with short working hours.
Before starting your work trial, consult your employer whether you can continue working as an ordinary employee if the new job suits you. During the work trial, your employer and occupational healthcare will assess whether the new job suits you.
Job coaching takes place at the workplace. During job coaching, you will learn the knowledge and skills needed in the new job by on-the-job learning.
Plan job coaching with your employer. Also agree what new knowledge and skills you need to learn to cope in the job.
Job coaching usually lasts 3-18 months, depending on how many new things you need to learn. Agree on the length of the job coaching with your employer.
Keva can support education if you are unable to find suitable work through work trial or job coaching.
Before applying for education, first find out from Keva’s rehabilitation whether you can get support from Keva. Send a message to this effect to Keva’s rehabilitation via the My Pension Message service or phone Keva’s customer service.
When planning education, find out whether there is a job for you to do suitable for your health once you have completed education. Your new occupation should be one that you can continue to do for as long as possible.
Education may take place in a vocational college or university of applied sciences and last a maximum of four years.
You should apply for a college or university place in the same way as others. Keva does not arrange a study place for you. Keva can pay you rehabilitation allowance while you are studying. If you already receive cash rehabilitation benefit from Keva, this will be paid to you at a higher rate while you are studying.
You must have a job for apprenticeship training. While most of the studying and learning is by learning on the job, you also learn the knowledge and skills needed for the job at an educational institution.
First find out whether the new job is appropriate to your state of health. Make a plan about apprenticeship training with your employer and then contact the apprenticeship office. After this, you, your employer and the apprenticeship office employee can make the apprenticeship contract.
Apprenticeship training usually lasts around 1-3 years.
Services of a rehabilitation instructor
If you don’t know how to find a new job or occupation yourself, a rehabilitation instructor can help you. A rehabilitation instructor can also be called a rehabilitation planner or career counsellor, for example. Regardless of the name, the service is the same.
You can talk with the instructor several times while using the service. He or she will work with you to find potential trial work places or training. In addition, you and your rehabilitation instructor can make a rehabilitation plan, after which you can continue your rehabilitation in a work trial or education.
You pay nothing for the services of a rehabilitation instructor. You can apply direct to Keva for this service once you have received a vocational rehabilitation decision.
How to access vocational rehabilitation
1. You need a medical statement B before applying
If you have a job
Before applying for vocational rehabilitation, ask your occupational healthcare to arrange a joint meeting with you and your employer. This meeting is known as an occupational health negotiation.
Ask the physician to write:
- a medical statement B concerning your state of health
- a memorandum of the occupational health negotiation.
If you don’t have a job
Before applying for vocational rehabilitation, discuss the kind of work that would suit you and how you can get it with the physician treating you. Ask the physician to write a medical statement B concerning your state of health.
Apply for vocational rehabilitation via the My Pension online service.
Send the medical statement B from your physician and the memorandum of the occupational health negotiation to Keva with your application.
Then ask your employer to complete the ”Työnantajan lausunto työssä selviytymisestä” form (Employer’s statement on coping at work).
3. You receive a decision from Keva
After this, Keva will process your application and you will receive a decision after around three weeks.
The decision will tell you whether Keva will grant you vocational rehabilitation and how much cash or rehabilitation benefit you can receive from Keva during rehabilitation.
4. Next make a rehabilitation plan
Before vocational rehabilitation and cash payment can begin, you still need to send Keva a rehabilitation plan, which Keva needs to approve.
The rehabilitation plan is where you tell what you intend to do during rehabilitation, for example work trial or job coaching. Your employer or career coach can help you make your rehabilitation plan.
Complete the rehabilitation plan application in the My Pension service.
5. Rehabilitation starts
You receive a decision from Keva on the rehabilitation plan. After this, rehabilitation can start and Keva will begin to pay you rehabilitation benefit.
Money matters during rehabilitation
Keva will pay you rehabilitation benefit, i.e. rehabilitation allowance or cash rehabilitation benefit and a rehabilitation increment during rehabilitation.
You can estimate beforehand the amount you will get during vocational rehabilitation in the My Pension service “Eläkelaskurit > Työkyvyttömyyseläke ja kuntoutusraha-arvio” (in Finnish).
Rehabilitation benefit is taxable income and you need to get a separate tax card for this from the tax office.
Payment of rehabilitation benefit begins once your work trial, job coaching or studies begin.
Reimbursement of expenses
If you incur expenses as a result of rehabilitation, Keva can reimburse some of these. Costs may be incurred from travel or study materials, for example. Keva will provide you instructions on how to apply for the reimbursement of expenses.