Impact of disability or illness on work ability (partial working ability)

A disability or illness does not usually affect working, getting a job, or choosing a field. However, it can sometimes reduce your possibilities of getting work or keeping your job. When you are choosing a vocation or education, in addition to your interests or predispositions, you must also take into consideration limitations caused by your possible disabilities or illnesses.

While an illness or disability may reduce your working ability and functional capacity, this does not necessarily mean that you are completely unable to work. Your opportunities for working and finding a suitable job are improved by 

  • a correctly chosen and proportioned job,
  • tailored work tasks and environment,
  • adequate skills and training, and
  • support for employment provided by TE Services or the local government pilot.

A specialist at your local TE Office or the local government pilot will help you when you need information about your opportunities for finding work and keeping your job despite a disability or illness. Contact the TE Office or the local government pilot when considering the answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of work or education would suit me?
  • Can I continue in my job or should I consider changing careers?
  • Who should I contact when I need rehabilitation?
More information

Employment and staying in working life can be supported in various ways

All public employment services take special needs for service caused by a disability or illness into consideration. You will not be left alone.

You can discuss matters related to your employment with a professional such as a job coach. The municipal social services can also be included in this discussion.

If your job search has continued for half a year or more, and you have not yet found a job, training, or employment promotion service suitable for you, the TE Office or the local government pilot will arrange job search discussions with you.

A specialist at your local TE Office or local government pilot is responsible for referring you to services suitable for your working ability and functional capacity.

TE Offices also employ work ability coordinators who help employers hire persons with partial working ability and support job seekers in matters related to work ability and employment. This means that the work ability coordinator will support you at all stages related to finding employment or staying in working life.

If you are a customer of a local government pilot, your municipality of residence will support you in matters related to work ability and employment.

TE Office’s telephone services are also available to you.

Work ability coordinators (⁠

If your job search has continued for half a year or more, and you have not yet found a job, training, or employment promotion service suitable for you, the TE Office or the local government pilot will arrange job search discussions with you. The purpose of these discussions is to find an in-depth job search service that best advances your situation. An activation plan will be made for you to improve your employment and life management.

Career choice, career guidance, and education advisory services help you find options that are right for you, for instance, if you are unsure which industry would suit your work ability. The services may also be helpful if your current job or profession is no longer suitable for you, or you want to look for new kinds of tasks for other reasons.

If you are aged under 30, a visit to a One-Stop Guidance Center can help you get started with identifying your working ability. The One-Stop Guidance Center provides you with information and guidance on matters related to studying, finding employment, and the workings of everyday life.

One-Stop Guidance Center Ohjaamo (⁠

The job search training process will teach you the skills that you need to look for work independently and in a goal-oriented manner. In career coaching, you will get information, counselling, guidance and support for clarifying your vocational guidance and career options, applying for education and developing working life competencies.

A job coach will help you personally when you are looking for a job that matches your work ability.

Job coaching

A work try-out allows you to test how stressful a job is and find out whether it matches your work ability.

Work try-out

A pay subsidy is a form of financial support that the TE Office or local government pilot can grant to an employer to cover the salary costs of an unemployed job seeker and as compensation for the time spent on work supervision. Your employer may also be granted a pay subsidy if you have a disability or illness that affects your ability to cope with your work tasks.

Discuss with a specialist at your TE Office or local government pilot whether the employer could receive a pay subsidy for hiring you. If the subsidy can be granted, you should mention it to the employer when you are applying for a job.

When agreeing on work covered by a pay subsidy with your employer, explain whether you are a TE Office or a local government pilot customer. The employer needs this information for submitting an application for a pay subsidy.

If you find employment supported by a pay subsidy in your municipality of residence, i.e. the municipality is the applicant for the pay subsidy or the pay subsidy is funded by the European Social Fund, the pay subsidy is granted by the TE Office.

Pay subsidy to support job seeking

The Abilitator is a free self-assessment method for all people of working age. With the Abilitator quiz you can find out about your situation, strengths, and development needs.



You may also need other support and rehabilitation alternatives to get into working life or stay at work.

You should find out what your current state of health is if it has not been checked in a long time or if you feel like it has changed. If you are unemployed, the TE Office or local government pilot is responsible for providing you with an examination of your working ability and functional capacity. You need a medical certificate so that you can participate in services promoting work ability.

The state of health of unemployed persons can be ascertained in the health examination of unemployed persons organised by the municipality, the state of health of employed persons in occupational healthcare, and the state of health of students in student healthcare.

You may have an opportunity to access a cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP), if you are struggling to find employment due to problems with life management or limitations in your functional capacity, or if your work ability has otherwise decreased.

Cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP)

Rehabilitative work activities can be a suitable solution when you are returning to working life after prolonged unemployment, starting your career, or rehabilitating from an illness or a difficult time in your life. The purpose of rehabilitative work activities is to assist individuals whose unemployment has been prolonged, who have received unemployment benefits or basic social assistance for a certain time period, and who are unable to participate in the services offered by the TE Office or local government pilot projects.

Rehabilitative work activities

Rehabilitation may help you when the disability or illness complicates your studies, work, or coping at different stages of life.

Rehabilitation is organised by Kela, public health care, occupational health care, municipal social services, disability organisations, transport and accident insurance institutions, and earnings-related pension insurance companies. Kela and the transport and accident insurance institutions can also secure your livelihood when you participate in rehabilitation. They may also cover costs related to participation in rehabilitation.

Vocational rehabilitation can help you with choosing a suitable vocational field, finding employment, and staying in or returning to working life despite your illness. Traffic and accident insurance institutions, work pension companies, and Kela organise legally mandated professional rehabilitation. Access to rehabilitation requires meeting certain requirements.

You can find out from your doctor or Kela which party organises the rehabilitation that you can apply for. An expert at your TE Office or local government pilot can also help you find out about your possibilities for rehabilitation.

Työkanava Oy on valtion omistama yhtiö, joka työllistää kaikkein vaikeimmassa asemassa olevia osatyökykyisiä henkilöitä. Yhtiö palkkaa työntekijät palvelukseensa työsuhteeseen ja välittää heidän työpanostaan yrityksille, järjestöille, julkisyhteisöille ja yksityishenkilöille, jotka tarvitsevat työntekijöitä.

Jotta voit hakeutua Työkanavan palvelukseen, sinun täytyy ilmoittautua TE-palveluihin työttömäksi työnhakijaksi. TE-toimiston tai kuntakokeilun asiantuntija arvioi soveltuvuuttasi Työkanavassa työskentelyyn laissa määriteltyjen kriteerien perusteella. Päätöksen soveltuvuudestasi Työkanavaan tekee TE-viranomainen. Et voi hakeutua itsenäisesti Työkanavan palvelukseen.

As a client of TE Services, you can ask your local TE Office or local government pilot for a certificate that indicates that you have been entered into the customer register of the TE Office as a job applicant with partial working ability. The purpose of the certificate is to make it easier for job seekers with partial working ability to find employment with large employers. Once you have received the certificate, submit it to the employer.


Working conditions can be arranged to correspond to your working ability

Employers have an obligation and often also the desire to make reasonable modifications in the work and working conditions if it will eliminate an impediment to work caused by an injury or illness.

If issues such as illness or disability prevent you from doing your work, your workplace can make adjustments to your job. Adjustments refer to changes at work that involve modifying your job description to better correspond to and support your expertise and working ability.

Ways of adapting work to fit the employee

Getting a job or keeping it can require changes at the workplace. You might also need help in some work tasks.

A subsidy may be granted to the employer for the task of arranging working conditions. Discuss with an expert in your TE Office or local government pilot whether your employer could receive the subsidy for arranging working conditions if they are paying you a wage.

You can discuss the matter with your occupational health care provider if you are already employed and feel that changes should be made at your workplace to support your work ability. If the subsidy can be granted, you should mention it to your employer.

Subsidy for arranging working conditions


Working as a recipient of a pension or support related to partial working ability

If you wish, you can work and earn a salary at the same time as you receive a pension or support related to partial working ability. In this situation, you need to figure out the earning limits. Earning limits define the amount of salary you can earn without the salary affecting the amount of your pension or allowance. If you want to try returning to work that will exceed your earnings limit, you have the option to put your pension on hold. Leaving the pension on hold means that the payment of the disability pension or partial disability pension is suspended for the duration of your employment relationship.

More information

Organizations to support work ability

Various organizations offer a wide range of support for employment and the ability to work. The experience and knowledge of these actors complement public sector employment services.

From organizations you can get answers to, for example, questions related to working life or studies, if you feel that you belong to their target group. In addition to providing support, many organizations employ people who have challenges with their work ability.

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