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FAQ about the rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension system

​1. Who evaluates the need for rehabilitation and instructs to apply for vocational rehabilitation?

An occupational health physician or another doctor responsible for medical care evaluates the need for rehabilitation and presents in a medical certificate his recommendation for both the vocational and medical rehabilitation i.e. the rehabilitation that improves ability to function and instructs how to apply for different allowances.

The occupational health physician knows the illness and the conditions at the workplace as well as the requirements of the work and evaluates the need for measures of vocational rehabilitation.  A meeting is often required between the employee, supervisor, representative of personnel management, occupational health physician and nurse to evaluate together e.g. a possibility for work arrangements and to agree on a work trial when necessary.
The occupational health nurse can help to fill in the rehabilitation application form.

2. Who applies for vocational rehabilitation and how is it done?

The employee applies for rehabilitation. The vocational rehabilitation is applied for by filling in the form at ETK 2136e.  
You find the instructions how to fill in the form within the form itself.
You need to enclose the medical certificate B issued by an occupational health physician or another doctor responsible for medical care for the evaluation of physical condition and remaining ability to work and function.

3. Who is responsible for the rehabilitation in the case of a road accident, occupational accident or occupational disease?

The rehabilitation due to an occupational accident or disease is covered by the statutory accident insurance according to the Employment Accidents Insurance Act. The rehabilitation due to a road accident is covered by the motor insurance. If a rejecting decision has been made for the motor insurance or accident insurance, it is possible to apply for a vocational rehabilitation allowance within the earnings-related pension system.

4. Can an employment pension fund finance the rehabilitation that improves ability to function, e.g. physiotherapy, or participate in expenses due to treatment?

The rehabilitation improving ability to function i.e. so called medical rehabilitation is arranged by the health care or the Social Insurance Institution (Kela). Treatment for an illness is organized by the health care. The rehabilitation financed by the employment pension fund is vocational rehabilitation which means a work trial, work coaching, vocational or professional training or a subsidy to start or continue a business. Thus, the employment pension fund does not finance a medical rehabilitation or expenses due to treatment.

5. What kind of examinations can be financed by the Seafarers' Pension Fund in order to create a rehabilitation plan?

The Seafarers' Pension Fund can finance the rehabilitation plan made at the employment office or at a rehabilitation service provider. However, the Seafarers' Pension Fund does not finance examinations where ability to work or function or need for rehabilitation are evaluated.

6. What happens if the rehabilitation fails?

The rehabilitation is a process that aims at enabling a return to work. If the planned rehabilitation programme does not attain this goal, your doctor must review the treatment and rehabilitation plan.  For example, after the necessary treatment has been given, the rehabilitation programme can restart or other forms of vocational rehabilitation may be considered.

7. How long can the rehabilitation financed by the Seafarers' Pension Fund last?

The rehabilitation is a process with varying duration. The minimum duration of rehabilitation may consist of a vocational rehabilitation programme e.g. a work trial that lasts three months. Sometimes several vocational rehabilitation programmes are needed. For example, retraining may be preceded by an order to vocational guidance and a work or training trial.  At its longest, the rehabilitation may last up to five years. A named person in charge of rehabilitation in the Seafarers' Pension Fund monitors the advancement of rehabilitation during the whole process and advises and guides the person in rehabilitation in its different phases.

8. What happens if I fall ill during a work trial?

What comes to a sick leave, you do as agreed on at the workplace. Short sick leaves of couple of days, due to e.g. a flu, do not affect the payment of the rehabilitation allowance and you do not have to inform them to the Seafarers' Pension Fund. If the sick leave lasts longer than a week, you must inform it immediately and submit a copy of a sick note to the Seafarers' Pension Fund. If the sick leave lasts several weeks, it must be considered if the payment of rehabilitation allowance should be suspended or discontinued.  

9. Who is in charge of insurance cover during the work trial?

The Seafarers' Pension Fund covers the person in rehabilitation against an industrial accident for the period of an unpaid work trial. Furthermore, the Seafarers' Pension Fund has a liability insurance which compensates the personal injury or material damage caused by the person in rehabilitation due to an illness according to the insurance terms. The liability insurance does not compensate the damage for the part it is compensated by the employer's liability insurance.

For the period of a paid work trial, the employer covers the person.

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