Applying for insurance
Grants awarded from Finland in general must be insured, even if the grant recipient comes to work in Finland only on a temporary basis. You can read more about insurance conditions here: General information about MYEL pension insurance
If you are uncertain about whether you have an insurance obligation, send an insurance application to Mela and we will clarify the matter for you.
Further information about insurance for persons coming to work in Finland on a grant is available here: Foreign recipients of Finnish grants
The right to deduct expenses is determined by the body that awarded the grant. Refer to the original decision or enquire from the body that awarded the grant.
No. Expenses must be deducted already on the insurance application or within the 30-day period during which changes can be made to your application. Once insurance has been issued on the basis of your calculated annual earnings, the amount of these earnings remains valid for the entire insurance period and the level of insurance cover cannot be changed after the 30-day period.
If your grant has been awarded to fund your work and related expenses without a set limit, Mela can accept expenses amounting to no more than half the total amount of your grant. The body that awarded the grant may further limit the amount of expenses that can be deducted, in which case the same limit is applied by Mela.
Further information about expenses that can be deducted and the affect of these deductions on your insurance cover is available here: Expense deductions
Determination of the insurance period and notification of the work period
Yes. If the grant has been awarded for work lasting at least four months, you should apply for insurance as soon as your grant work begins. In principle, Mela issues insurance on a one-time basis, even if your grant work is performed in multiple shorter periods.
Insurance can be issued also for multiple periods if the conditions for interrupting your grant work are fulfilled. Further information about suspending your insurance is available here: Changes to your grant work
In your insurance application, you should always write the working period that is stated in your grant decision. Unless part-time work has not been agreed with the body that awarded the grant, Mela always issues insurance for the work period notified in the decision. If the party awarding the grant does not stipulate the duration of the work and you can determine it yourself, please indicate on the application the entire period during which you will be working on the grant.
The insurance decision confirms the annual earnings based on the amount of the working grant and the working period stated in the grant decision or insurance application. The confirmed earnings are valid for the entire insurance period stated in the insurance decision, and the earnings cannot be revised for any reason other than due to disability or a part-time pension. Therefore, changes in the amount of the grant or the working period during the grant period can no longer be revised for insurance purposes at a later date
Multiple grants or scholarships
Yes. Each grant is handled as a separate insurance case, so each one requires a separate insurance application.
Yes. Multiple MYEL pension insurance policies can be valid simultaneously.
Annual earnings (MYEL earnings) refer to the amount of your grant calculated on an annual basis. In other words, the amount of your annual earnings is not necessarily the same as the amount of your grant. Your earnings are calculated on an annual basis even if your grant work lasts for less than one year. Further information is available here: Annual (MYEL) earnings
Mela sickness allowance
Yes, as long as your insurance application has already been submitted and is being processed by Mela. Your MYEL insurance must be valid or your application pending at the time you fall ill.
You can claim Mela sickness allowance in the following ways:
- Online using our e-services
- By printing out the Mela sickness allowance application from our website
- By contacting our customer service.
A medical certificate is always required when claiming Mela sickness allowance. The physician should also be notified that Mela sickness allowance is also paid for weekends. You can submit medical certificates to Mela electronically using our e-services (Send attachments).
Submit your claim for Mela sickness allowance within 6 months of the onset of your work incapacity.
Yes, at the start of your illness, it is sufficient to supply us with a medical certificate signed by a nurse explaining your work incapacity.
If you have YEL insurance for other entrepreneurial activities, you should always claim sickness allowance directly from Kela. When you fill in the Kela claim form, remember to check the box marked “Allowance for persons insured under MYEL during the waiting period”.
When calculating your sickness allowance, Kela also takes into consideration income from other entrepreneurial activities (insured under the YEL scheme), as well as income from regular employment.
The length of your sick leave determines whether you have to claim sickness allowance from Mela or Kela. You should claim sickness allowance from Kela if the length of your sick leave after the first day of illness is more than 9 working days.
When you fill in the Kela claim form, remember to check the box marked “Allowance for persons insured under MYEL during the waiting period”. Kela will then provide Mela with the information about your sick leave required for payment of your Mela sickness allowance.
The Mela sickness allowance is based on your MYEL-earnings and represents 1/514 from this per day. Employment related earnings are not considered when calculating the Mela sickness allowance and therefore the claim for sickness allowance must be submitted directly to Mela. Remember that a waiting time of 4 days is applied for the Mela sickness allowance (the day of the visit to a physician + 3 days). We recommend that you contact either your employer or Kela in regard of your employment related earnings.
No, Mela sickness allowance is not paid for caring for a sick child. If the child’s sickness is acute, the parent may be entitled to a special care allowance from Kela.
No, Mela sickness allowance can only be paid for a sickness. Burnout is considered an occupational phenomenon (Z diagnoses) and is not classified as a medical condition. Accordingly, Mela sickness allowance is not paid for burnout diagnoses.
There are no deductibles for leisure-time accident insurance.
Mela sickness allowance may be paid if the sickness is not related to the one on the basis of which the disability pension has been granted. In addition to receiving a disability pension, the injured party must have valid MYEL insurance.
It is paid to you. Mela sickness allowance is never paid to the employer.
Yes, you can submit a claim form electronically using Mela’s e-services. Remember to notify Mela about any occupational accident or disease within 60 days of the accident or onset of the disease.
Yes, you can submit copies of receipts, also as attachments using our e-services (Send attachments).
Yes, you can fill in a claim form also after 60 days, but remember to include on the form an explanation for the delay. Any claims that are submitted after the 60-day deadline are evaluated by Mela to clarify the reasons for the delay and whether denying compensation is reasonable in the circumstances.
Taxation of accident compensation
You can request a new card for your accident benefits online from the Finnish Tax Administration website (www.vero.fi). You will need to provide information about all accident benefits, pensions and other income that has been paid to you so that the correct tax percentage rate can be calculated.
The new tax card will be valid as soon as it is issued to you. If you want the new tax card to apply also to loss of income compensation that is paid retrospectively, remember to request this from the Finnish Tax Administration.
If the new tax card is applied retrospectively, you will be refunded for any excess taxes that have been paid on your accident benefits during the retrospective period.
New tax cards should always be submitted on paper. However, increases in the tax percentage can be notified by phone.
Please note that, according to the guidelines of the Finnish Tax Administration, the withholding tax percentage rate for allowances, rehabilitation compensation amounting to the same, and loss of income compensation during the examination period paid on the basis of voluntary insurance policies is always 50 percent.
The minimum withholding tax percentage rate issued by the Finnish Tax Administration is 25 percent for mandatory insurance policyholders. In other cases, the withholding tax percentage rate is 40 percent.
According to the guidelines of the Finnish Tax Administration, the withholding tax percentage rate for allowances, rehabilitation compensation amounting to the same, and loss of income compensation during the examination period paid on the basis of voluntary insurance policies is always 50 percent.
If the applicable periods for loss of income compensation are in years preceding the payment year, the withholding tax percentage rate in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Tax Administration is always 50 percent.
The physician treating you must always request a payment commitment from Mela for any medical examination or procedure costing 350 euros or more (2023).
If the physician treating you recommends a medical examination or procedure that requires and is eligible for a payment commitment, explain that you have occupational accident and disease insurance issued by Mela. The physician or treatment facility will then send a request to Mela for a payment commitment together with the required medical records.
In order to process your payment commitment, we need a copy of the prescription. You can submit a copy to Mela electronically using our e-services (Send attachments).
Working as an entrepreneur or employee alongside grant or scholarship work
Yes. Having paid employment or YEL insurance as a self-employed person does not affect your insurance obligation for grant work. The Finnish pension system is based on the idea that pension is accrued for all paid labour. For example, if you work as an entrepreneur alongside your grant work, you will accrue pension simultaneously for both your grant work and your work as an entrepreneur.
Taxation of a grant or scholarship
Your annual (MYEL) earnings are used to calculate your healthcare contribution and public broadcasting tax.
MYEL and MATA insurance premiums are tax deductible. Insurance premiums can be deducted for the tax year in which the premiums are paid. The amount of premiums that you have paid are reported automatically to the tax authorities by Mela.
If you have any other questions concerning tax issues, you should contact the Finnish Tax Administration directly.
Customer service in English
Unfortunately, Mela does not issue insurance decisions in English. However, if you are an English-speaker, your insurance decision will come with a cover letter in English containing basic information about the decision and instructions for any possible further measures.
Yes, Mela also provides customer service in English. You can send any questions you may have using our secure e-mail service on the Mela website. In most cases, you should select ‘Insurance matters’ as the recipient of the message. You can also contact our customer service by phone, in which case your call will be forwarded to one of our English-language staff members.
If you would like to appeal an insurance decision, instructions for filing an appeal can be found on the reverse side of your insurance decision.
Further information about appeals can be found here: Appeals
If you are planning to retire on an earnings-based pension, you can check the amount of pension that you have accrued from your pension record, which you can access from our e-Services.
Pensions must always be applied for in writing by filling in an application form for the type of pension in question. After filling in the application form, you can submit it to Mela, a Mela agent or Kela.
If you are working abroad, you can apply for a pension using the same application form as if you were applying from Finland, but you must also fill in Appendix U.
You can also apply for an old-age pension, partial old-age pension, disability pension or extension of a cash rehabilitation benefit online using our e-Services.
Our customer service happy to help if you have any questions about retiring on a pension.
If you would like to apply for a pension and you live in an EU/EEA country, the United Kingdom, Switzerland or a country that has a social security agreement with Finland, you can submit your pension application to the social insurance institution of the country in which you reside.
If you reside in a country that does not have a social security agreement with Finland, you can apply for an earnings-related pension from Finland. Fill in the application form for Finland and submit it to the Finnish Centre for Pensions or Mela.
Finnish earnings-related pensions are paid to foreign employees regardless of the country in which they reside. Pension premiums are not returned when you move away from Finland. Instead, they are paid in the form of a pension when you eventually apply for a pension also from Finland.
You can see on your pension record how much pension you have accrued from your employment relationships and entrepreneurial activities. You can view your pension record using our e-Services.
If the amount of your pension accrued from your earnings is small, you may also be eligible for a supplementary national pension (guarantee pension). In this case, the total amount of your pension will be the sum of your earnings-related pension and your national pension.
The amount of your pension will be affected by when you decide to retire. For example, if you have received a partial old-age pension before the minimum retirement age for your age group, it will have the effect of reducing the amount of old-age pension you receive. You can read more about accruing a pension here.
We pay pensions and cash rehabilitation benefits once a month on the second banking day of each month.
If a pension is paid retroactively, the first payment is made as soon as possible after you have received your pension decision. The first payment date is specified in the pension decision.
Any pension that you have accrued in Finland can also be paid abroad, regardless of which country you reside in or whether you have moved away from Finland. The pension security you have earned is retained, in other words, even if your work ends.
You can read more about accruing a pension and the payment of pensions from Finland on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions: New in Finland
Mela sickness allowance is paid as compensation for loss of income due to work incapacity caused by an illness, such as seasonal flu. You can read more about Mela sickness allowances here.
If you have an injury or illness that threatens your ability to work, you should check to see what you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation under the earnings-related pension scheme. Vocational rehabilitation provides support to keep you working despite the limitations caused by our injury or illness.
If you have difficulties continuing your work due to an occupational accident or occupational injury, you may be eligible for occupational rehabilitation under the Occupational Accident and Disease Act for Farmers (MATA).
Even if you have not reached the minimum age for an old-age pension, you may be granted a disability pension. Your eligibility for a disability pension will be evaluated on the basis of your health and socio-economic factors. If you are over the age of 60, your ability to work will be considered only within your own profession. If you are younger than 60, your ability to earn a living from other work will be considered.
If you are on an old-age pension or partial old-age pension, you can work as much as you like without it having any effect on the pension you are receiving. If you choose to work while drawing a pension, you will accrue a new pension until you reach the age when your insurance obligation ends.
For disability pensions, there is an earnings limit. In 2023, this is 922,42 euros per month (gross). If you have been granted a higher earnings limit, this will be stated in your pension decision. Earnings are considered all those covered by pension insurance and that are monitored on a monthly basis. Exceeding the earnings limit may lead to your disability pension being suspended, and you may have to refund any excess pension that has been paid to you.
1. If you and your spouse have or have had a child together, you may be eligible for a surviving spouse’s pension if you meet the following conditions:
- you were married to your spouse at the time of their death and
- you were married before your spouse turned 65.
2. If you and your spouse do not have or have not had a child together, you may be eligible for a surviving spouse’s pension if you meet the following conditions:
- you were married to your spouse at the time of their death and you were married before your spouse turned 65,
- you were married before you turned 50 (the age limit does not apply if you are a widow and you were married to the deceased before 1 July 1990),
- you were married for at least five years before your spouse passed away, and
- you were at least 50 years old or you had received a disability pension for at least three years when your spouse passed away.
3. If you are a common-law spouse, you may be eligible for a surviving spouse’s pension if you meet the following conditions:
- you shared a household for at least five years with your deceased common-law spouse before their death,
- you moved into a shared household with your common-law spouse before they turned 65 years, and
- you have a dependent child together with the deceased who is under the age of 18 and who has at least partially lived with you in the same household, and
- neither of you were married to another person.