Longer processing times for applications for basic social assistance

Applications for basic social assistance are processed within 9 days on average. Kela works very hard to get the applications processed without delay.

After submitting an application for basic social assistance to Kela, you will receive a decision within seven working days. However, this requires that Kela has received all the supporting documents that are needed for your application. The processing times have become longer in February due to the large number of applications.
- Kela has received a total of approximately 171,000 new applications, says Anne Neimala, Director of Benefits.

The number of persons processing the applications has already been increased. The hiring of new personnel will continue promptly.

In January, 97% of the applications had been processed within seven working days.
- In urgent situations it has been possible to receive the decision on social assistance even the same day, Neimala explains.

Queues at the local offices and in the telephone service

The queues in Kela's customer service also continue. Kela's offices and customer service telephone numbers are exceptionally busy due to new social assistance clients.

It is not yet possible to say at what level the number of customers will stabilise. Kela works very hard to shorten the waiting times.
- Kela regrets the unreasonable inconvenience caused by the delays. The situation is difficult for the customers. We take the situation seriously and we work very hard to solve the situation, says Elise Kivimäki, Director of Customer Relations.

Applying online is quick and easy

Kela provides various ways for the customers of transacting business with Kela: service is provided at the local offices, by phone and on the Internet. In Kela's online customer service (www.kela.fi/asiointi) you can check the status of your application and apply for almost all Kela benefits. To log in to Kela's online customer service, use your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate.

Online services have many advantages for the customer. If you use the online customer service to apply for benefits and send supporting documents, your application will be processed quicker and you will receive payments sooner. Part of the information in the application is precompleted, so not all details have to be filled in. The service will also take you through the process of filling out the application.

Currently Kela receives a lot of questions about the status of the applications. You can check the status of your application in the online customer service. Visiting the Kela office or calling Kela's telephone service is not a shortcut to quicker processing of your application. The applications are processed in order of arrival.

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