The aim of rehabilitation is to enhance the individual's functional capacity, independent coping, opportunities for participation, work and study ability as well as their opportunities for employment and continuing working. 

Rehabilitation is based on the needs and objectives of the rehabilitee. Rehabilitation is a systematic process in which the rehabilitees maintain and improve their functional capacity and work ability with the help of professionals. It is essential that the rehabilitees' own activity and involvement is supported and their operating environments are adapted to support the rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is part of a cross-sectoral service system that also supports people close to the rehabilitee. 

The majority of rehabilitation services are free of charge for the rehabilitee. A client fee or a fixed non-reimbursable payment may be charged from the rehabilitee for some rehabilitation services, such as therapies and care periods at rehabilitation facilities.   

Rehabilitation is regulated by a number of laws. 

Kela and occupational pension institutions pay rehabilitation allowances in the form of income support. Read more:

Medical rehabilitation

Medical rehabilitation improves and maintains the physical, mental and social functional capacity of the rehabilitee. Rehabilitation helps the rehabilitees to manage different life situations and to cope with daily chores.

Medical rehabilitation provided by healthcare services is included in preventive healthcare. Medical rehabilitation strengthens the person’s functional capacity or prevents functional impairment.

Supply of assistive devices forms part of medical rehabilitation. Provisions on medical rehabilitation are laid down in the Health Care Act and in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Decree on the supply of medical rehabilitation aids.

Medical rehabilitation granted by the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) supports and promotes coping in daily activities, participation, and the ability to work and study. Provisions on medical rehabilitation granted by Kela are laid down in the Act on the Social Insurance Institution of Finland’s Rehabilitation Benefits and Rehabilitation Allowance Benefits.  

In the case of accidents at work, occupational diseases and traffic accidents, insurance institutions are responsible for their part of the costs of medical rehabilitation and assistive device services. In the case of patient injuries, the compensation shall be paid by the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre.

Vocational rehabilitation

Employee pension institutions and Kela organise vocational rehabilitation in order to prevent rehabilitees’ incapacity for work and to improve their ability to work and earn a living if their illness or disability poses a risk of incapacity for work.

Kela also organises vocational rehabilitation for persons whose ability to work or study has essentially deteriorated as well as vocational rehabilitation for young people if their functional capacity has essentially deteriorated. They do not need to have a diagnosis. 

Provisions on vocational rehabilitation are laid down in the acts on employee pensions and in the Act on the Social Insurance Institution of Finland’s Rehabilitation Benefits and Rehabilitation Allowance Benefits. 

Vocational rehabilitation measures may also be compensated under the Occupational Accidents, Injuries and Diseases Act or the Act on Rehabilitation Compensable under the Third Party Motor Liability Insurance Act.

Rehabilitative work

Rehabilitative work activities are intended for long-term unemployed people to improve their employment opportunities and life management. The Act on Rehabilitative Work lays down provisions on rehabilitative work activities, which are social services.

Social rehabilitation

Social rehabilitation means enhanced support to strengthen the client’s social capacity, combat social exclusion and promote inclusion. Social rehabilitation is a social service in accordance with the Social Welfare Act. In social rehabilitation, individual support is combined with activities that meet the client's needs, such as group activities.

Services for persons with disabilities as part of special social welfare services

The aim of these services is to promote the prerequisites of persons with disabilities to live and to interact with others as equal members of society as well as to prevent and remove obstacles and disadvantages caused by disabilities.

Services for persons with disabilities include transport services, housing services, personal assistance services and day activities. The services may also include rehabilitation guidance and adaptation training.

Economic support measures for persons with disabilities may include special nutrition and special clothing as well as devices, machinery and equipment and their modifications necessary for coping with daily activities.

Services for people with disabilities are always the last-resort social welfare services and thus not included in actual rehabilitation. 

Rehabilitation of persons with disabilities caused by occupational or traffic accidents

Where the need for rehabilitation is caused by an occupational accident, an occupational disease or a traffic accident, the cost of medical and vocational rehabilitation is covered by accident and motor liability insurance institutions, in accordance with the legislation on occupational accidents and diseases and legislation on motor liability insurance.

Further information