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For persons with disabilities

Applying for the determination of the degree of disability

A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain ADL (Activities of daily living, clinically often as a measurement of functional status) or effectively interact with the world around them (socially or physically). These conditions may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or a combination of multiple factors. Impairments causing disability may be present from birth or can be acquired during a person's lifetime. It means, a long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder [a person's] full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. In Estonia, no mild severity of disability is identified based on WHO assessment criteria.

The degree of severity of disability shall be determined by the Social Insurance Board, involving persons who have completed medical training, if necessary.

A person who has completed medical training  (expert physician) shall have, with the consent of the person, access to the following information in the health information system necessary for determination of the degree of severity of disability:

  • information concerning the submitter of information;
  • information on outpatient visits and hospital treatment;
  • information concerning medicinal products and sick-leave data;
  • health information (including environmental and personal factors) provided by the applicant or by legitimate authorities


Upon determination of the degree of severity of a disability, the following shall be taken into account:

  • the state of health as it is described by physicians (medical condition) and the applicant (percieved health);
  • restrictions on participation and performance;
  • the need for personal assistance, guidance or supervision which exceeds the need appropriate to the age of the person;
  • the need for assistance and instruction of the person, which exists regardless of the use of technical aids;
  • the living environment;
  • upon existence of a rehabilitation plan, the activities prescribed therein.


There are three degrees of disability: profound, severe, and moderate disability.
The work ability of persons under the age of 16, as well as those of retirement age, is not assessed.

If you have any questions, call the information line of the National Social Insurance Board at 612 1360, write to the e-mail address info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee, or contact us through the self-service portal in internet.

 

Determining the degree of disability in children and old-age pensioners

The degree of disability of children (up to 16 years of age) and old-age pensioners is determined based on the need for personal assistance, guidance, or supervision as follows:

  • profound disability if the person needs constant personal assistance, guidance, or supervision around the clock;
  • severe disability if the person needs personal assistance, guidance, or supervision every day;
  • moderate disability if the person needs regular personal assistance or guidance outside their place of residence at least once a week.

The degree of disability is determined in children for six months to three years. For chronic conditions (in case of severe or profound disability), it is determined for up to the age of 16 (until to working age). The duration of the degree of disability is determined by an expert-physician based on the state of health of the child,  the course of the condition and the prognosis for its change.

The degree of disability is determined in old-age pensioners for six months to five years.

The Social Insurance Board shall make the decision to determine or not to determine the degree of severity of disability within 15 working days as of the receipt of sufficient information to carry out the examination.

Determining the degree of disability of a person of working age

The degree of disability of a person of working age (a person aged 16 to retirement age) is determined based on the restrictions on daily activity and participation in society as follows:

  • profound disability if the daily activities or participation in society of the person are completely hindered;
  • a profound disability when a person's daily activities or participation in society are completely impeded;
  • a severe disability if the person's daily activities or participation in the life of society is hindered;
  • moderate if there are difficulties in a person's daily activities or participation in society.

The degree of disability is determined for up to five years, but not beyond retirement age.

A person of working age can apply for the determination of the degree of disability along with an assessment of their ability to work. In this case, a joint application can be filed with either the Unemployment Insurance Fund or the National Social Insurance Board. At the same time, you can apply for social benefits for disabled people. The work ability is determined by the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the degree of disability is determined by the National Social Insurance Board.

If a person of working age applies for the severity of the disability and the assessment of the ability to work at the same time, the expert opinion prepared during the assessment of the ability  to work and the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Fund shall be used to determine the severity of the disability.

If an expert opinion and a decision on the assessment of the ability to work made by the Unemployment Insurance Fund are used to determine the severity of the disability, the Social Insurance Board shall make a decision on determining the severity of the disability within 15 working days after receiving the expert opinion and the decision on the assessment of work capacity.

 

Applying for a social benefit

In order to receive social benefits for a disabled person, an application must be submitted to determine the severity of the disability.
You can apply:

 If you have any questions, call the Social Insurance Board's information line at 612 1360, write to the e-mail address info@sotsiaskindlustusamet.ee or contact us through self-service.

 

 

Disability card

The Social Insurance Board issues disability cards to:

  • children with (moderate, severe or profound) disabilities;
  • adults with (moderate, severe or profound) disabilities.

An expert assessment or any additional proof of the type of disability can still be used to prove the severity of the disability or the benefit of the ticket.

The purpose of the invalidity card is to facilitate the control of the severity and type of disability determined by the rights granted to a person with a disability and to receive various benefits and advantages.

 


The disability card is plastic, duochrome (previously orange and yellow, from September 2017 white and blue), dimensions 54 × 86 mm.

The following particulars are entered on the card:

  • card number;
  • person’s given name and surname;
  • date of birth;
  • determined degree of disability;
  • type of disability (motor or visual impairment);
  • card expiration date;
  • issuer.

The card is valid together with an identity document (incl. for example, a student card).
Cards with the old design (orange-yellow) are valid until the expiry date indicated on the card. In some cases, the information about the disability is marked on the pension certificate, which also remains valid until the expiry date.

 

Applying for a card

A disability card is issued to anyone who has been determined with a degree of disability.

When applying for a disability card for the first time, simply call the information line of the National Social Insurance Board at 612 1360, send an e-mail to info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee, or contact us through the self-service.

If you have been determined with a degree of disability, the card will be sent to you within a few days of receiving your request. If the degree of the disability is being determined, the card will be sent to you once the degree of disability has been determined.

The card issued will have the same expiration date as the report certifying the degree of disability and the amount of additional expenses arising due to the disability.

If the card expires, a new card is issued to the disabled person together with the expert assessment report upon repeated determination of the degree of disability. There is no need to submit a new application for receiving the card.

If you have any questions, call the information line of the National Social Insurance Board at 612 1360, write to the e-mail address info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee, or contact us through the self-service portal in internet.