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How to claim child maintenance allowance

Child maintenance allowance can be applied for by the child’s parent or another person in whose care the child is. If the child has reached the age of 15 and is living on his/her own, the child can claim the allowance him/herself.

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Claim the child maintenance allowance online

Send the application and supporting documents online.

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  1. Apply for child maintenance allowance in the OmaKela e-service. Please note that the e-service is available in Finnish and Swedish only.
    • If the parent liable for maintenance has not paid child support, please state in your application the full period for which child support is unpaid. Before deciding the application, Kela will offer the parent liable for maintenance an opportunity to be heard.
  2. Enclose the original child support agreement confirmed by the child welfare officer of the wellbeing services county or a court order on child support.
    • If you are applying for child maintenance allowance because the person liable for maintenance has not paid child support, Kela needs the original document for the recovery of the child support debt.
      • Send the original maintenance agreement or court order in paper form to the address Kela, PL 10, 00056 Kela. A maintenance agreement or court order in paper form cannot, as a rule, be submitted as an attachment to an online application.

      • However, if the maintenance agreement or court order has been signed electronically, you can submit it as an attachment to the application as a PDF file through OmaKela. In this case, a picture or screenshot of the court order is not sufficient.

    • If you are applying for child maintenance allowance because the child support has been confirmed to a smaller amount than the full amount of the child maintenance allowance, a copy of the document is sufficient. Scan or take a photo of the document and send it in the OmaKela e-service.
    • If you have adopted a child as a single parent or if another parent liable for maintenance of a child born out of wedlock (born to parents who were not married at the time of birth or to a single parent) has not been established, you do not need to hand in a maintenance agreement or court order.
  3. Visit the OmaKela e-service to see if your application has been decided, how much you will get and when your benefits will be paid. 

Alternatively, you can complete and print out the claim form for child maintenance allowance (LU 1e, pdf). Send the application and any supporting documents by mail. The address is Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

When to claim

You can apply for the allowance retroactively for a maximum of 3 months from the date of the application. For periods earlier than that, Kela will grant the allowance only for special reasons. Kela grants child maintenance allowance until further notice or for a fixed period. If, for example, the maintenance agreement has been made for a fixed period of time, the allowance is granted for a fixed period.

If Kela grants child maintenance allowance, the right to collect all unpaid child support payments for which the period of limitation has not expired from the parent liable for maintenance is transferred to Kela. As a rule, child support debt expires in 5 years. If you have been granted child maintenance allowance and the recovery of the child support debt has been transferred to Kela, you can no longer yourself apply for recovery of the unpaid amounts of child support through enforcement action.

Report changes

Remember to report any changes in your circumstances to Kela so that the benefit can be paid correctly. You can report changes via our e-service OmaKela, by phone or at any of our customer service points.

Please notify Kela of the following changes:

  • The child moves in with the parent liable for maintenance. The right to child maintenance allowance then ends.
  • There is a change in the amount of child support. If the amount of child support has changed due to a new maintenance agreement or due to a court order, submit the new document to Kela for a review of the child maintenance allowance.
  • The child moves abroad.
  • The child has an income of its own with which the child is able to support him/herself. See the income limits on the web page for the benefit.

What changes need not be reported?

You do not have to report that you are moving in with your partner, if he/she is not the parent liable to pay maintenance. Moving in with a new partner does not affect the payment of child maintenance allowance.

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Last modified 5/3/2024