Vocational rehabilitation

The purpose of vocational rehabilitation is to support one’s ability to cope at work. The vocational rehabilitation provided by Elo may be an option for you if it is no longer possible for you to carry out your current work tasks due to an illness or injury and you are facing a threat of disability. Vocational rehabilitation also enables you to return to working life after a temporary disability pension or a rehabilitation subsidy period.

Always discuss vocational rehabilitation first with your occupational health service or other health care professional, and ask them to provide you with a medical statement B to attach to your vocational rehabilitation application. Log in to Elo’s Online Pension Service and apply for vocational rehabilitation. 

Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation

Elo can support your vocational rehabilitation if:

  • You are under your lowest pensionable age;
  • There is a risk that you will need to retire with disability pension within the next few years;
  • You have several years of professional and work experience;
  • Your earnings from the previous five calendar years total at least 35,614.03 euro;
  • You are not entitled to vocational rehabilitation as the result of an accident or traffic injury; and
  • You are working or your work ended a relatively short time ago.

Manage your pension and rehabilitation matters online

In Elo’s Online Pension Service, you can do the following:

  • Get an estimate of the rehabilitation allowance.
  • Apply for rehabilitation.
  • Submit a rehabilitation plan.
  • Apply for rehabilitation cost reimbursements.


Rehabilitation plan

A proper rehabilitation plan is an essential part of successful rehabilitation. It’s a good idea to begin drafting your rehabilitation plan as soon as possible after receiving your preliminary decision. A successful plan calls for a proactive attitude and co-operation with the occupational health service and HR representatives of your workplace.

If drafting the plan by yourself feels like an overwhelming or even impossible task, please contact our rehabilitation experts, as we can, if necessary, offer you the assistance of a service provider in planning your rehabilitation.

When drawing up your plan, consider the following aspects:
- Is there a way you can take advantage of earlier work experience or training?
- What is your health situation; what are the possible limitations and how will the plan support you in the future?
- Provision of subsistence during or after rehabilitation?

The rehabilitation plan is submitted to Elo along with the preliminary application or using a separate application form. The expediency of the plan is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. The intention is always to take advantage of your earlier training and work history as part of the vocational rehabilitation.

Once the plan has been fully drawn up, you can submit it to us using a separate form through our Online Pension Service. 

Vocational rehabilitation methods

The forms of vocational rehabilitation include the following:

A work trial or work coaching

  • In your own or a new job.
  • Standard duration: 3–6 months.


  • Training for a new occupation within the workplace; the employer pays the wages.
  • Often includes the teaching of theory at a relevant educational institution.
  • Agreed on with a local vocational apprenticeship agency.

Vocational retraining

  • For example, shorter refresher courses or longer studies for a vocational qualification.
  • Maximum duration: 4.5 years.

Support for the start-up or continuation of entrepreneurial activities

  • Assistive devices
  • Work trial

Preliminary decision regarding the eligibility for rehabilitation

When you apply for vocational rehabilitation, you will receive a decision from Elo regarding your eligibility status. If you are deemed by Elo to be eligible, you will receive a preliminary decision that is valid for nine months. This period of time is intended to be used for the drafting of the rehabilitation plan and actual initiation of the rehabilitation.

The preliminary decision will contain an estimate of the rehabilitation allowance that you will receive throughout the period in which active rehabilitation measures are taking place. You can apply for a preliminary decision even though you do not yet have a completed rehabilitation plan.

Subsistence during rehabilitation

During the period in which active rehabilitation measures are taking place, you will be paid a rehabilitation allowance or increased rehabilitation subsidy and reimbursements for any crucial and necessary rehabilitation-related costs. It is also possible to get a business subsidy intended for self-employed persons engaged in entrepreneurial activities.

Read more about the possible rehabilitation methods

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Work trial
The work trial facilitates the return to working life with lighter work arrangements, for example, after an extended absence due to illness. It enables you to return to working life with reduced working hours and/or fewer tasks. You can return either to your previous position or to a new, adapted position for your previous or a new employer.

The work trial requires a preliminary decision of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation as well as a joint agreement signed by the employer, the rehabilitee and Elo.

The work trial can be a paid or unpaid arrangement. It generally lasts 2–3 months, but it can continue, for a justifiable reason, up to a maximum of 6 months.

During the work trial, your working hours may vary between four and eight hours per day. The goal is to increase the working hours gradually up to eight hours as the work trial progresses. If, during the work trial, it becomes apparent that the position is not suitable for your health status, the work trial can be discontinued.

A work trial in a new workplace may be necessary if your employment relationship is no longer valid or your employer no longer has the possibility to offer you tasks that are suitable for your health status.
In terms of ensuring a successful outcome, it is important for the occupational health service to monitor the progress of your work trial.
Work coaching
Work coaching is generally utilised in situations in which the return to working life requires periods of induction and training for new tasks that are longer than what is possible during a work trial. In addition to being longer in duration, work coaching periods can also include external training or courses, if necessary.
Study support
If the workplace rehabilitation methods are not sufficient to enable you to continue in the work tasks deemed as suitable for your health status, additional vocational or professional training may be helpful. Elo can support training for a new occupation or profession in the form of an apprenticeship or studies for a vocational upper secondary qualification or a degree from a university of applied sciences. The training can be comprised of individual courses or continued education. The appropriateness of the training plan in relation to your health status is always assessed on an individual basis.
Support for entrepreneurial activities (business subsidy)
Elo can provide a business subsidy to support individuals in establishing their own company, changing the direction of already established business activities in order to make them more suitable for the person’s health status, or conducting independent professional activities. The eligibility for the subsidy requires that the business or professional activities will provide the applicant with subsistence.

The business subsidy can also be granted towards the acquisition of work equipment and machinery related to the professional activities in accordance with a specific decision and submitted purchase receipts.

Read more about the benefits that are available during rehabilitation

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Rehabilitation allowance
The rehabilitation allowance is calculated on the basis of the amount of disability pension that you would receive if you had become incapable of working at the moment you applied for rehabilitation. The amount of the pension is increased by 33 per cent.

The rehabilitation allowance is only paid during active periods of rehabilitation.

If you are working, the rehabilitation allowance is paid as a partial rehabilitation allowance.

Rehabilitation subsidy and rehabilitation increase
The rehabilitation subsidy is a fixed-term disability pension that can be granted if you are currently unable to work, but your work ability can be restored through treatment or rehabilitation.

The rehabilitation increase is paid in addition to the rehabilitation subsidy if Elo supports your active rehabilitation. The amount of the increase is 33% of the rehabilitation subsidy for full months of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation costs
  • Any rehabilitation-related costs, such as travel and study expenses are reimbursed in accordance with TELA’s recommendations (in Finnish only) >

  • Generally, the annually confirmed amount is paid as equal instalments in euro for each academic term. 

  • Living expenses for those studying in a municipality other than their home municipality may also be paid. 

  • During an unpaid work trial or work coaching, Elo insures the rehabilitee with occupational accident insurance.

Rehabilitation assistance
  • If you are not eligible for other forms of subsistence
  • Equivalent to disability pension
  • Can also be paid for a maximum of three months during waiting periods or intervals between active rehabilitation periods or while the rehabilitation plan is being drafted.
Supporting entrepreneurial activities (business subsidy)
Elo can provide a business subsidy to support individuals in establishing their own company, or in changing the direction of or continuing already established business activities.

Are you a vocational rehabilitation student?

Elo is here to help and support you

Elo's Online Pension Service enables you to manage your pension and benefit matters whenever it’s most convenient for you. For pension and benefit matters, please call us at +358 (0)20 694 717 (weekdays 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)