Rehabilitation options

When selecting a rehabilitation option, your education and employment history, your state of health and your interests are taken into account.

What are the vocational rehabilitation options?

  • work trial
  • job coaching
  • education
  • support for the self-employed/for someone considering self-employment

During the rehabilitation programme, the rehabilitant is paid a rehabilitation allowance. If the rehabilitant receives the cash rehabilitation benefit, i.e. fixed-term disability pension, during the rehabilitation programme, a rehabilitation increase is paid on the cash rehabilitation benefit.

Read more about income during vocational rehabilitation

Work trial

A work trial helps restore your work ability and prevents prolonged sick leave. A work trial can take place with your current or a new employer.

A work trial can help

  • support a soft return to your current work after a long sick leave
  • assess your ability to cope with your current work
  • modify your tasks to better suit your state of health
  • support your placement with a new employer in tasks that are better suited to your health
  • test out the suitability of new work tasks

When planning a work trial, it is important to assess whether the work will support your work ability in the long term.

A valid employment relationship or sick leave are not barriers to starting up a work trial in order to find new work for you.

Work trial planning

Work trials are planned at the workplace as a co-operative effort between the rehabilitant and the employer. In the case of a work trial in your current work, it is important for occupational health care to be part of the co-operative planning. If the work trial involves new work with a new employer, the rehabilitation partner’s career coach also often joins the process with the rehabilitant and the employer.

When planning a work trial, the following is agreed

  • the goals of the work trial
  • the work tasks during the trial
  • the working hours and follow-up
  • whether the work trial is paid or unpaid, and
  • the persons responsible at the workplace and in occupational health care

If your work trial is with a new employer but your employment relationship with your previous employer is still valid, it is a good idea to inform the employer and occupational health care of your work trial plans.

Duration and working hours of the work trial

A work trial can last anywhere from one to six months. Work trials are most often started for two to three months, but they can be extended after a mid-term evaluation if warranted.

The minimum number of hours for a work trial is 20 hours per week. The daily working hours may vary between four and eight hours. The aim is to gradually increase the amount of working hours during the work trial to full-time hours.

We recommend that you postpone any holidays you may have until after your work trial. If you must take a holiday during your work trial, Varma must be notified thereof before the work trial begins. Rehabilitation benefits are not paid for holidays.

Job coaching

Job coaching is learning a new profession by means of on-the-job training. It can be carried out with your current employer or with a new employer. If necessary, job coaching can include customised training. Job coaching often follows a work trial, which helps to determine that the planned job description is suited to your health.

Job coaching planning

The rehabilitant and the employer and/or rehabilitation partner together draw up a job coaching programme which lays down:

  • the job description targeted through job coaching and the competence the job require
  • the work tasks during the coaching
  • the working hours and follow-up
  • whether the coaching is paid or unpaid, and the persons responsible at the workplace

Duration and working hours of job coaching

The contents, duration and working hours of job coaching are planned individually. The goal is to achieve a sufficient skill level.

Unpaid or paid work trial or job coaching?

The rehabilitation allowance or cash rehabilitation benefit (and rehabilitation increase) granted as the source of income during an unpaid work trial or job coaching is paid to you. Varma will take out accident insurance for you in case of an occupational accident during your work trial or job coaching period.

In the case of paid work trial or job coaching, the employer will pay your salary and Varma will pay the employer the rehabilitation allowance during your work trial or job coaching period upon application by the employer. The salary that is paid corresponds to full-time work, even if you only work part time. If the rehabilitation allowance exceeds the salary paid by the employer, the difference between the rehabilitation allowance and the salary will be paid to the rehabilitant.


Documents related to a work trial and job coaching


If you have not already completed a rehabilitation plan in connection with your application, fill in the plan when you have one in our online service.

Log in to Varma Online Service

Occupational health negotiation record

Agree with occupational health care on who will send the occupational health negotiation record to Varma. You can attach a medical statement B if you have one.

Occupational health care can send all the attachments to Varma via secured email:

  1. Enter your email address. Enter as the recipient. 
  2. Click "Continue" and enter the subject and your message, and attach any required files. Send the message.


Varma’s rehabilitation specialist will carefully read through your plan and give you a decision on whether it will be supported. You will receive a separate decision concerning rehabilitation allowance.

Work trial or job coaching agreement

Varma’s rehabilitation specialist will send your work trial or job coaching agreement electronically to the contact person at the workplace, e.g. to a supervisor and possibly also to HR.

If a rehabilitation partner is also involved, he/she will send the agreement to the employer.

Work trial or job coaching agreement, unpaid
Work trial or job coaching agreement, paid

Employer’s application for rehabilitation benefits

If the work trial or job coaching is paid, the employer will pay the employee a full-time salary and apply for the rehabilitation allowance from Varma.

The rehabilitation specialist will send the application to the employer electronically once a positive decision on a paid work trial or job coaching has been issued.

If a rehabilitation partner is also involved, he/she will send the application to the employer.

Employer’s application for rehabilitation benefits


At the end of a work trial and job coaching, the employer and the employee assess its implementation and success and give feedback on it.

If a rehabilitation partner is also involved, he/she will send the feedback questionnaire to the employer.

Employer’s feedback on the rehabilitation

You can send employee’s feedback on the rehabilitation through our online services.


Health care, occupational safety and follow-up during a work trial and job coaching

The employer, occupational health care and a possible rehabilitation partner follow up on the planned progress of the work trial or job coaching. The rehabilitant, employer or occupational health care representative may contact Varma if any challenges appear.
If the employment relationship is no longer valid during the job coaching and therefore occupational health care cannot be used, the health care measures will be implemented as part of basic health care.


Occupational safety legislation and the guidelines and regulations laid down on the basis of such legislation apply during the work trial and job coaching period, as in normal employment. The employer and the employee are bound by the rights and obligations of the employment contract, but the nature of the work trial or job coaching should be taken into consideration in the work to be carried out.

The rehabilitant must inform the employer of sickness absences in accordance with the rules of the workplace. In the case of absences lasting longer than one week, Varma must be provided with a sick leave certificate.


Retraining is an option if suitable work tasks cannot be found based on your education and work experience. Sometimes a work trial or job coaching is not enough in the long term. The planned education programme must lead to a vocation that is suited to your state of health. Education is applied for according to the general application practices.

Education supported by Varma may consist of

  • a course or other shorter refresher training or a partial degree or qualification
  • a vocational upper secondary qualification
  • a vocational qualification
  • a specialist vocational qualification
  • a polytechnic degree

What are the options for pursuing studies?

You can pursue studies in a number of ways. The approaches to studying vary by field of study and educational institution. You can ask educational institutions directly about the study programmes that interest you.

Full-time studies are generally studies that take place in an educational institution, and they include an internship at a workplace.

Multiform studies refer to studying that take place both in an educational institution and as part of independent studies and projects. They also include on-the-job learning. Multiform studies may be supported if the extent of the studies corresponds to full-time studies or if the studies are part of your job coaching programme.

  • An apprenticeship consists of studies based on a fixed-term employment relationship and work carried out at a workplace. It also includes study days at an educational institution and independent learning.
  • An apprenticeship agreement is drawn up between the employee, the employer and the apprenticeship office. The apprenticeship office is responsible for purchasing the theory instruction. Contact the apprenticeship office once you know your apprenticeship place.
  • A personal study plan will be drawn up together with the training organiser and this will be attached to the apprenticeship agreement.
  • During your apprenticeship, the employer will pay you a salary according to the relevant collective agreement. Varma will pay the employer, as compensation, the rehabilitation allowance that is granted to you as a rehabilitant. If the rehabilitation allowance is larger than the salary, Varma will pay you the difference. If the rehabilitation allowance is smaller than the salary, the employer pays the difference.
  • The condition for receiving support from Varma is that the employer also pays your salary during your theory studies.
  • In addition to paying salary, the employer also takes care of other earnings-related pension and social insurance payments, and pays the withholding tax.
  • In order for the rehabilitation allowance to be paid, the employer must provide Varma with the employee’s salary information and the employer’s bank account number in a separate form (Employer’s application for rehabilitation benefits).

Compensation during studies and follow up on your studies

Your income during your studies is the rehabilitation allowance. The allowance is paid for the full calendar year. Summer holidays lasting longer than one month must be used to advance your studies.

Submit a notification of vocational training or the start of an apprenticeship immediately when your studies begin and at the start of each school term, in August/September and in January. You can submit the form at the earliest on the day your studies begin. In addition to the rehabilitation allowance, you will be compensated for the cost of your study supplies and your commuting costs. The cost of study supplies is paid twice a year, at the beginning of each school term, once we have received your notification of studies.

Working alongside your studies is possible. Your work must not, however, interfere with your studies, and your earnings must remain within the earnings limits. You can see your personal earnings limit in our online service.

The progress of your studies is followed up on each term based on your transcript. Your studies must be full time, and they must advance in line with your study plan. Vocational studies are full time if they equal at least 4.5 competence points/study month. Studies in higher education institutions are full time if they equal at least 5 credits/study month.

Varma’s rehabilitation partners may help in following up on your studies.

Support for the self-employed

There are many vocational rehabilitation options for a self-employed person whose work ability has weakened and is impeding their entrepreneurial activities. During the rehabilitation programme, the self-employed person is paid a rehabilitation allowance.

Plan for returning to work

If you need help in drawing up a plan for returning to work, Varma can offer you the coaching service of a rehabilitation partner. You can think about work tasks that are suited to your state of health together with your personal coach.

Work trial for the self-employed

After a long period of sick leave, we can support your return to work in the same entrepreneurial activities as before by means of a work trial for the self-employed. The objective of a work trial is a soft return to work. Daily working hours can vary between 4–8 hours and can be increased gradually during the trial work. A work trial usually lasts from three to six months. We can support a work trial for a self-employed person also in cases where the person’s entrepreneurial activities are just beginning.

Agreement on rehabilitation at the workplace for a self-employed person

New or modified entrepreneurial activities through job coaching for a self-employed person

Job coaching can be used to start a new business or to develop an existing business. The contents and duration of the coaching are agreed on individually, and it generally consists of on-the-job learning and further education.

Business subsidies

A business subsidy can be granted for the purpose of establishing a company or for changing entrepreneurial activities. The subsidy can be used, for instance, to purchase aids to help you perform your work or to acquire new tools. The support is based on a needs assessment, and it must be accompanied by other forms of financing.


In some situations, an apprenticeship for entrepreneurs, for instance, can give you the opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial activities to suit your health. If you cannot continue performing your entrepreneurial activities for health-related reasons, you may be able to find a new profession through retraining. You can find out what your options are with the help of our rehabilitation partner.

YEL insurance must be taken out right from the start of entrepreneurial activities.

Take out YEL insurance

Help with using our services

Take care of your rehabilitation matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • apply for vocational rehabilitation and send attachments
  • draw up and send a rehabilitation plan
  • fill in the notification of studies at the start of the school terms in August/September and in January
  • check your earnings limit
  • send a message to your rehabilitation specialist
Log in to Varma Online Service