Lääkäri tutkii rannevammaa

Occupational accidents and illnesses

Accident insurance compensates for medical expenses and loss of income resulting from occupational accidents and occupational illnesses. The insurance can also be used to support rehabilitation from the effects of an occupational accident or occupational illness.

Benefits and compensations for occupational accidents and illnesses:

  • The daily allowance compensates for the loss of income caused by incapacitation for the first year.
  • Employment accident pension is paid to the victim if the inability to work continues a year after the accident.
  • Disability indemnity is paid for general permanent damage caused by an injury or illness.
  • The daily allowance and accident pension can also be paid as a partial compensation if the inability to work and loss of income are partial.
  • In the event of death, the children and the spouse of the deceased are paid family pension, and the estate of the deceased is paid a funeral allowance.
  • Also paid out are handicap, clothing, and guide dog supplements, compensation for higher costs of home help, and indemnity for loss of income during the time of physical therapy.


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the development and drafting of legislation on accident insurance and occupational illnesses.

Who is entitled to the benefits?

All employees with employment contracts or a permanent post in the public sector are insured for accidents and occupational illnesses. The employer is obligated to take out a legally mandated accident insurance policy from an accident insurance company for employees whose time of employment exceeds 12 working days in a calendar year.

An entrepreneur is not required to take out an accident insurance policy, but may take out a voluntary policy under the Employment Accident Act.

Agricultural entrepreneurs and recipients of grants are covered by MATA accident insurance.  It is part of the mandatory pension insurance for agricultural entrepreneurs (Myel). Agricultural entrepreneurs who are not required to be insured can take a voluntary MATA insurance.

The legally mandated insurance policies for agricultural entrepreneurs and recipients of grants are handled by the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution (MELA).

The state does not take out accident insurance for its employees, but the State Treasury pays them compensation according to the Employment Accident Act.

Where are benefits available?

Applications for compensation should be made to the accident insurance company where the employer has taken the accident insurance.

The employee must notify the employer of an occupational accident or illness. The employer gives the victim an insurance certificate, entitling the victim to free medical care and medications prescribed by a doctor.

The employer is required to send the information about the occupational accident or illness to the insurance institution. Serious accidents must also be reported to the police and occupational safety and health authorities.

An employee has the right to compensation according to the Employment Accident Act even if the employer had neglected the obligation to insure the employee or if the employer is not obligated to provide insurance. In such situations compensation for an industrial accident or occupational illness is provided by the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions.

Appealing a decision

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health does not handle complaints or appeals.

Decisions on compensation include information on how to appeal the decision. Those dissatisfied with a decision can appeal it to the Accident Appeal Board.