It is important to know that under the name of rehabilitation and rehabilitation services, similar services are being partially reimbursed by the health insurance fund (rehabilitation), the Estonian National Social Insurance Board (social rehabilitation service) and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (work rehabilitation). These include, for example, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc. The difference in the services lies in their objective, target group and funding principles.

Social rehabilitation service is intended for disabled persons or persons with partial or no work ability who require support in their everyday life. Through the rehabilitation service the person and family learn how to cope with the special needs due to their health condition on a daily basis.

Work rehabilitation is intended for persons of working age who have restrictions due to disability or illness and who therefore need the help of various specialists or the rehabilitation team to start or continue working.

The rehabilitation reimbursed by the health insurance fund deals with the restoration or maintenance of decreased functions or adjusting to disability after an illness or trauma. A person is not referred to rehabilitation because of disability or illness; the prerequisites for rehabilitation are restrictions in daily activities. Restrictions may be mobility, adjustment, swallowing or speech disorders.

  • In order to receive the social rehabilitation service provided by the Estonian National Social Insurance Board, an application must be submitted and an assessment for the need of service must be completed. The entire process and the principles have been described on the website of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.
  • Referrals to rehabilitation services reimbursed by the health insurance fund are usually given by a rehabilitation physician who decides the need for medical treatment and procedures, and considers whether the patient can receive treatment by attending procedures regularly or whether hospital treatment is necessary. Physicians in other areas of specialisation (e.g. neurologist) can give referrals to certain rehabilitation services. A referral is required to go to a rehabilitation physician. Read more about rehabilitation services and referrals to services on the website of the health insurance fund under the rehabilitation section.
  • The target group of work rehabilitation is persons of working age with decreased work ability who have a disability or permanent incapacity for work or partial work ability and who occupy a position (employees, students, entrepreneurs) or are registered as unemployed. The entire process and the principles are fully described on the website of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.

In order to provide rehabilitation services and rehabilitation to as many people in need as possible, a limitation on the number of uses or on the total cost of the services has been set for a number of services. For example, a rehabilitation patient can receive up to 60 individual half-hour physiotherapy sessions over 6 months. A child can receive the social rehabilitation services for up to 1395 euros per year.