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Determining the severity of the child's disability

We determine the degree of disability in a child under 16 years of age who has long-term permanent participation and performance limitation, and despite treatment and the use of an aid, there are difficulties in coping with everyday activities.

Where can I get help?

  • In case of health problems of the child, contact the family physician, who will advise and ensure the necessary examinations and treatment. If, in the family physician's opinion, the child's health concern requires the intervention of a medical specialist of another specialty, and they refer the child to a specialist.
  • If the child has difficulties in kindergarten or school, first talk to the teacher, who, if necessary, will refer the child to an educational support specialist (speech therapist, special education teacher, psychologist, or social pedagogue). If the solutions tried in cooperation between the teacher and the support specialists are not sufficient, contact the Innove Rajaleidja Center. Innove Rajaleidja's out-of-school counseling team conducts an assessment and makes recommendations regarding the appropriate learning organization, learning environment, and learning resources for the child, and advises the parent and the school or kindergarten.
  • For a child in need of technical aid (up to 18 years old) whose degree of disability has not been determined but the family physician has issued a certificate for the need for technical aid, the state discount on the purchase of the technical aid is 50%.
  • Children up to 18 years of age, who have been diagnosed with at least an average degree of disability, receive a 90% discount from the state to purchase technical aid.
  • You can always turn to the child protection or social worker of the local government, who provides information about various supporting services and allowances, assesses the need for help, and determines the necessary and justified services (for example, a support person, social transport, etc.). The local government can also provide financial support if there is a justified need.
  • If all of the above has not produced the desired results and the child has persistent difficulties in coping with daily activities, contact the Social Insurance Board to determine the severity of the disability.

On what basis is the severity of disability determined?

When determining the severity of disabilities, the following are taken into account:

  • the health status of the child
  • operational capacity
  • the need and frequency of personal assistance
  • living environment

The severity of the disability is determined in one or more key areas:

  • movement
  • vision
  • hearing
  • language and speech
  • mental disorder
  • intellectual disability
  • other disability (for example, manual activity).

Based on the application and the child's health data (including the assessment of the out-of-school counseling team and the case plan of the local government), the expert assesses the severity and type of disability the child has. Mild disability is not determined in Estonia. The expert examination is document-based and takes place on the basis of the circumstances stated in the application, the health data entered in the e-health information system, and other submitted evidence (audiograms, glucose or readings, etc.). If a decision of an out-of-school counseling team, a case plan, or other important additional document prepared by the local government has been drawn up for the child, the Social Insurance Board asks to add them to the application.

When determining the severity of the disability, the occurrence of activity limitations and the need for additional assistance in the following basic activities are assessed:

  • eating
  • hygiene procedures
  • getting dressed
  • movement
  • communication

How long is the decision valid?

The degree of disability is detected in children with a duration of 6 months to 3 years, in case of an unchanged and probably worsening condition until reaching 16 years (of working age). The duration of the severity of the detected disability is determined by the expert physician based on the child's health condition and current expenses and the forecast of its change.

Last updated: 13.06.2023

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