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Kela has mailed the decisions on the basic income to those who were selected for the basic income experiment
A group of 2,000 people were selected by random sampling for the basic income experiment which starts 1 January 2017. The persons who participate in the experiment come from different parts of Finland. Kela will inform those included in the study population with a letter that will be posted today, 28 December 2016.
In the letter, Kela informs those included in the study population that they have been selected for the basic income experiment. Those included in the study population will be paid a monthly basic income of €560 for a period of two years. The first basic incomes will be paid to the persons included in the study population on 9 January.
Unlike other Kela benefits, the basic income cannot be applied for.
- Usually when a person applies for a benefit from Kela, the person also knows that he or she will receive a decision about it. The study population for the basic income experiment was selected by random sampling, which means that being included in the study population will come as a surprise for everyone included. Kela is prepared to answer questions about the selection, however. For instance, a separate customer service number for those included in the study population has been opened in both Finnish and Swedish, says Marjukka Turunen, Head of the Legal Unit.
Those included in the study population will receive the basic income automatically, so they do not necessarily need to contact Kela.
- However, those included in the study population should remember to report, for instance, benefits or restrictions that hinder payment of the basic income. Payment of the basic income will be interrupted, for example, if the person starts military service, starts receiving a pension or moves abroad, explains Turunen. More detailed information about these kinds of situations is included in an information letter sent in connection with the decision.
Participants from different parts of Finland were selected
The target group for the random sampling numbered approximately 175,000 persons, and 2,000 persons were included in the study population. The sample was drawn, with some exceptions, from among persons between 25 and 58 whom Kela paid labour market subsidy or basic unemployment allowance in November 2016 for some other reason than a temporary layoff.
At the local level, Kela’s operations are divided into five insurance districts. Of those included in the study population, 12% are from the Northern Insurance District, 15% from the Central Insurance District, 16% from the Western Insurance District, 17% from the Eastern Insurance District and 40% from the Southern Insurance District.
Of those selected, 48% are women and 52% men. Thirty percent are between 25 and 34 years of age, 29% between 35 and 44, and 41% between 45 and 58. Of those included in the study population, 87% had received labour market subsidy and 13% basic unemployment allowance in November 2016.
- The study population corresponds on a population level to the distribution of persons receiving an unemployment benefit in Finland, so the study population is quite representative, says Turunen.
In order to obtain scientifically reliable information from the experiment, it is not possible to give any more detailed information about the study population.
How those included in the study population find employment is monitored through register data
How those included in the study population find employment is monitored over the experiment period. The monitoring is primarily based on register data.
– Surveys and interviews during the experiment may affect the behaviour of the participants or their expectations for the experiment. Thus, those included in the study population will be left alone during the experiment. Kela will not call the participants regularly to ask about their employment situation. Instead the employment situation is monitored through register data, explains Turunen.