Social assistance is given with discretion
Reasons for granting social assistance
If you or your family have more expenses than income, you can apply for basic social assistance from Kela. When determining the amount of basic social assistance, all essential living expenses of the applicant are taken into account. More information on the income and expenses to be taken into account while applying for basic social assistance you can receive from Kela. If needed, when you have other unexpected expenses, you can also apply for supplementary or preventive (täydentävä ja ehkäisevä toimeentulotuki) income support at your local social services. However, in order to receive supplementary income support, you must first receive a positive decision on Kela’s social assistance.
Ask your local social services for more information.
Applying for social assistance
If you need basic social assistance, visit Kela. Contact information you can fine here. You can apply for basic social assistance for a whole calendar month and you will need to attach bank account statements of your family members in your household for the last 3 months. If any of your members of family (in your household) earns a salary, you will need to attach a payslip of their salary.
Submit the following documents with your application:
- account statements for all your accounts
- account statements for your family members
- receipt that you paid the rent and the water charge
- receipt that you have paid the electricity bill
- receipt that you have paid for home insurance
- receipt that you bought vitamin D
- receipt of prescription medicines that you have purchased
- receipts that prove that you have purchased medicines for children
- payroll statement
- proposed tax
- medical, dental and physiotherapy charges.
If the bank does not send an account statement to you by post, print it yourself. You can also request an account statement from the bank.
Please note that social assistance does not pay for private medical care. If you have asked your doctor for a certificate for a driving licence, social assistance will not pay for it.
Fill in the form and return it together with all necessary certificates to Kela.
Social assistance calculation
When processing basic social assistance, Kela calculates all of your or your family’s income and assets. Income is for example your salary, social benefits and assets such as savings.
Income and assets
We will first sum all your family’s income and assets. Income includes, for example, Kela benefits while assets include savings or car.
If someone in your family earns income, 20% of earned income is excluded from the calculation. If the earnings are high, no more than EUR 150 is excluded. Earned income includes:
- self-employed income
- carer’s allowance.
The statutory amount is deducted from the income and assets. The statutory amount is the sum of money estimated to be enough for one month’s:
- food shopping
- clothes shopping
- small health care expenses
- personal hygiene expenses
- home cleaning
- paper and magazine subscriptions
- phone bill
- leisure activities and recreation.
If you have other expenses that are thought necessary, they will also be deducted from income and assets. The necessary expenses include, for example, rent, electricity and large amounts of health care expenses.
How fast will you receive the decision?
When you submit an application, Kela will process it within seven working days. If your application is urgent, you will receive a decision no later than on the following working day. If your application is incomplete, Kela will send you a request clarify the lacks. This will prolong the processing time until you submit the required information. If you fail to submit the required documents during given time, Kela will process the application without the documents.
You will receive a decision in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal. The decision explains how you can appeal.