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Child benefit

Kela pays child benefit for each child who is permanently resident in Finland. The payment continues until the end of the month when the child is 17 years old. The entitlement to the child benefit is based on residence. Payment of the child benefit ends if the child moves abroad permanently with his or her legal guardian. The child benefit is tax-free income.

Increases to the child benefit paid for children under three from 1 April 2024 

The child benefit paid for children under three will be increased by EUR 26 per month from 1 April 2024. The increased child benefit is paid until the end of the month in which the child turns 3 years old.

Learn more about the changes to child benefits.

It is paid from the beginning of the month following the birth of the child, until the end of the calendar month

  • in which the child reaches the age of 17 years
  • in which the child moves abroad*, or
  • following which the child begins to get a disability pension under the National Pensions Act.

*The child benefit can in certain situations also be paid abroad. It is often possible to get child benefit during a temporary residence abroad, such as a student exchange.

Eligibility

Child benefit is normally paid to the mother or the father or other adult responsible for the care of the child. You can claim the child benefit at the same time you claim daily allowances for parents. Child benefit can also be paid to another person responsible for the care of the child and, in some cases, to the child him- or herself (if 15 or older).

Child benefit cannot be claimed by a child under the age of 15 years or by the wellbeing services counties, but both can in certain situations demand that a child benefit granted to the child's parent should be paid to them. For example, if a child is placed in institutional care at the wellbeing services counties expense, the wellbeing services counties can request that the child benefit should be paid to the wellbeing services counties.

Example

A mother has three children of 3, 4 and 15. She claims child benefit for her children. The 15-year-old goes to school elsewhere and lives independently. In the case of the two youngest children, the child benefit is paid to the mother, whereas the 15-year-old gets the payments herself under a special arrangement. This means that the mother is paid child benefit for two children.

 

If the parents do not live together, they can come to an agreement about whom the child benefit will be paid to. If they cannot agree, the child benefit is paid to the parent with whom the child lives and who has principal responsibility for the care and upbringing of the child. Information about the child's place of residence is provided to Kela by the local register office.

When the child moves, the parents must file a change of address notice. If the child moves in with the other parent, that parent can claim child benefit. In other situations, changes in bank details can be reported to Kela online or on a paper form (Y121e, PDF). Please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish.

Adoptive parents are entitled to child benefit in the same way as biological parents. Child benefit can be granted once the child has received a personal identity code. Child benefit is paid starting from the date when the child is placed in your care.

Multiple-birth families get child benefit according to how many children there are in the family.

Read about the amount of child benefit that is paid to a family with several children.

Family structure does not affect child benefit.

When you form a stepfamily, you are no longer entitled to the single-parent supplement to child benefit, but the amount of child benefit may increase through the child benefit paid for the other children in the stepfamily. If, for example, the family consists of a mother with two children and a father with one child and all child benefits are paid to the same person, child benefit is paid for three children. The child benefit amounts are shown in the table.

Single parents get an increase in the child benefit rate for each child. You can apply for a single-parent supplement if you are not married or cohabiting, or if you have moved away from your partner because you are separating. The supplement is available also if the parents have joint custody of their children. It is granted from the beginning of the month following the month when you moved out.

Find out how much the single-parent supplement is.

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