Skip to main content
The ANED logo

The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

DOTCOM: the Disability Online Tool of the Commission

Skip to search options

Finland

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

Finland has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which obliges the states to ensure that people with disabilities can choose their place and type of residence as well as with whom they want to live on an equal basis with others. There is no legislation in Finland, which would determine living arrangements of persons with disabilities, there is only guidance.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D2. De-institutionalisation

In 2010, the Government of Finland decided that the number of people with intellectual disability living in institutions should be diminished from 2,000 to 500 people within the next five years (during 2010-2015). The government resolution on housing of people with intellectual disabilities of 21 January 2010 sets goals for a housing programme for intellectually disabled persons, namely:

  1. To manage a quick, but systematic and controlled decrease in the number of places of residence in institutions.
  2. To produce approximately 1,500 apartments for intellectually disabled people moving out of institutions and 2,100 apartments for adult intellectually disabled people moving away from their childhood homes.
  3. All of this adds up to 3,600 apartments for people with intellectual disabilities. The plan is to produce 600 apartments per year for six years.

This process received its confirmation in 2012, when the Government of Finland decided to close down all institutions for people with intellectual disability. The National plan on developing community living arrangements issued on 8 November 2012 sets as a national goal that by 2016 there should have been maximum 500 people living in institutions. There are approximately 40,000 people with intellectual disability in Finland. About 739 of them were still living in institutions at the end of 2017. In 2017, 173 children with intellectual disabilities were living in institutions.
The aim was that by 2020 no one lives in institutions, but it seems that this target will not be reached. De-institutionalisation is especially targeted to people with intellectual disabilities. People with other kind of disabilities rarely live in institutions and, for example, the statistics and indicator bank SOTKAnet does not separate any other disability groups living in institutions.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D3. Quality of social services

There are no Acts in Finland that require certain quality standards in social services for people with disabilities. The main steering and guidance concerning this issue is based on the Social Welfare Act (1301/2014), the Disability Services Act (380/1987) and the Law on Intellectual Disabilities (519/1977).
In May 2013, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health set up a working group with the task to combine the Disability Services Act (380/1987) and the Law on Intellectual Disabilities (519/1977) to a new Disability Act that would cover social services for people with all kinds of disabilities. The working group submitted its final report on 16 April 2015. Comments for the proposed bill were invited from stakeholders by July 2017. The Government presented the bill to the Parliament on 28 September 2018. The preliminary debate was in the plenary session of 02 October 2018. At the end of the debate, the Parliament referred the matter to the Social and Health Committee which has to consult the Constitutional Committee.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

Assistive equipment and adaptations are included in public services for people with disabilities. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, ‘assistive devices are available from health centres or by referral from the assistive device units of health care districts. Assistive device services include instruction on use, renewal and maintenance. The services are free of charge. Assistive devices for use to help with social life and recreation are also available as a disability service from social welfare departments.’ Moreover, ‘people with severe disabilities are reimbursed for renovations made to their home and for devices installed at home, as well as for the costs of acquiring devices and equipment.’ Assistive devices are provided by local authorities. This service is based on the Disability Services Act, the Act on Housing Condition Improvement Grants for Special Groups (1281/2004) and the connected recommendations.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

From 1 September 2009, an amendment to the Disability Services Act has granted all ‘severely’ disabled people, including people with intellectual disability, the legal right to have a personal assistant. A person is defined as ‘severely disabled’ if s/he needs, due to a long-term disability, on a regular basis, another person’s help in order to manage daily activities, studies, work, hobbies, social participation or to maintain social interaction. People whose needs for regular support are caused by ageing are not included in the scheme.

This legislative change introduced rights to personal assistance for domestic, social, educational and employment purposes, including a right to 30 hours per month to support recreation and social interaction. The act also underlines the importance of involving the disabled person in the assessment of need. The Bill was drafted through collaboration between the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Disability Forum. The change also offers a broader choice of services, including personal assistance under the person’s own control.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D6. Income maintenance

The disability pension is available to eligible disabled people. The criterion for receiving the pension is an incapacity to work. Persons who have a permanent mobility disability or blindness always receive the full amount of this pension. The disability allowance is an alternative to the disability pension and is tax free. It is divided into three levels based on the degree of disability. The legislative basis for the disability pension is included in the National Pensions Act (568/2007). The maximum of the national pension in 2019 is EUR 628.85 per month (for a person living alone) and EUR 557.79 per month (for a person living in a relationship). Disabled people may also receive an earnings-related pension depending on their employment history. The national pension and work pension are combined if the work pension does not exceed the maximum amount of EUR 55 per month. In addition, it is possible to receive other allowances, such as a housing allowance, meals allowance, disability allowance or pensioners’ care allowance. People in rehabilitation programmes receive a rehabilitation benefit instead of the disability pension.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D7. Additional costs

According to the Disability Services Act, extra costs will be paid when a disability causes a need for special clothing or special diet.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

D8. Retirement income

The national pension is a basic income for persons who are entitled only to a very small earnings-related pension or to none at all. The national pension is paid by the Social Insurance Institution. National and earnings-related pensions systems do not exclude disabled persons, if they fulfill the criteria. Earnings-related pension rights are accrued through employment and self-employment. There are several earnings-related pension providers. To qualify for a national pension, any other pension or benefits received may not exceed a certain limit. The age limits for the disability pension is 16-64 years old and after that the disability pension is automatically converted into an old-age pension. The Act on Guarantee Pensions came into effect on 1 March 2011, introducing a guarantee pension, which is paid to persons whose other retirement incomes are under the amount of full guarantee pension. Furthermore, a pension reform was agreed on 20 November 2015 and it came into effect in the beginning of 2017. For example, the reform increases the pension age limit gradually from 63 to the age of 65.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2019-04-05

Search the database

Countries
( | )
Themes
(|)
Result view type