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Quick guide for conscripts

Those performing their conscript or alternative non-military service as well as women performing voluntary military service, along with their family members, may be entitled to a conscript's allowance from Kela. The following checklist presents in chronological order the key points relating to the assistance available from Kela.

Before entering service

Conscript’s allowance

Under the conscript's allowance scheme, Kela can provide housing assistance to those who are in active service as well as pay the interest due on their student loans.

Family members may qualify for four types of financial assistance from Kela (basic, housing, special and maintenance assistance).

Further, Kela can pay conscript's allowance to those who are in the basic training stage of alternative non-military service.

Applying for conscript's allowance

Applications for conscript’s allowance cannot be made retroactively. You can submit an application for conscript’s allowance one month before entering military service.

The intended recipient of the allowance must apply for it personally. A family member of a person who is about to enter service cannot apply on that person's behalf, or vice versa.

If a conscript has a family member entitled to conscript’s allowance, the conscript cannot receive housing assistance for conscripts. 

Your income affects the amount of the conscript’s allowance

The conscript’s allowance is affected by the net income, i.e. the income after tax, of the conscript and his or her family members. There is, however, an exempt amount of €300 on wage and salary income and income from self-employment. The exempt amount refers to the net amount, i.e. after tax, that a conscript can earn per month, without it affecting the amount of conscript’s allowance.

Housing assistance for those in active service

If you enter service and apply for housing assistance you will have to have lived independently for at least three months before entering service in order to qualify for the assistance.

Payment of financial aid is stopped

Payment of the study grant and the housing supplement are stopped when you enter service. Kela does not automatically stop payment of student financial aid. You must yourself request that your student financial aid is stopped by notifying Kela of this using the form ‘Notification of changes’.

The amount of general housing allowance is reviewed

If a person entering service is being paid general housing allowance, Kela will review its amount. Kela does not carry out the review automatically but you must apply for a review of the housing allowance.

If your income changes, ask that the general housing allowance is reviewed

Payment of the general housing allowance continues during the service. However, you must tell Kela if there is a change in the amount of income you receive.

During service

Basic assistance

The family members (e.g., married spouse or child) of a person in active service can get basic assistance for daily expenses that they cannot meet otherwise.

Housing assistance

Persons in active service, along with their family members (e.g., married spouse or child), may be able to get housing assistance for such expenses as rent, maintenance fee or water charges.

Apply for assistance with housing costs

If you have applied for housing assistance for rent or maintenance fees, you can also apply for housing assistance for other housing costs such as electricity bills that become due while you are performing your service.  Applications for housing assistance for other housing costs must be made at the latest during the last month of military service.

Please note that it is not possible to receive conscript’s allowance for home insurance or security deposits, but that you can, if necessary, apply for social assistance for these expenses.

Special assistance

The spouse and children of a person performing their service may be able to get special assistance for expenses related to health care or child care (such as buying an infant car seat) if they cannot afford them otherwise.

Apply for special assistance right away when you need it

Apply for special assistance during the same month in which you bought a product or paid a bill that qualifies you for assistance.

Interest payments on student loans

During the period of active service, Kela can pay the interest due on a student loan taken out by the person performing their service or their family member (e.g. married spouse).

Apply for assistance with student loan interest payments if you have not received financial aid for students

The interest due on student loans is added to the loan principal if you have been granted for financial aid for the current or previous academic term. If this is not the case, you can apply for conscript's allowance to help you pay the interest.

Maintenance assistance

If a person in active service is liable to pay maintenance for a minor child but cannot afford to do so, Kela will pay the child maintenance assistance for the duration of the service.

Child maintenance allowance takes precedence

Children for whom Kela pays child maintenance allowance cannot get maintenance assistance under the conscript's allowance scheme.

Interruption of service

If service is interrupted, your right to conscript's allowance ends. Tell Kela of the interruption. You may be eligible for some other benefit payments from Kela.

After service

Payment of conscript's allowance ends when you complete your service

Kela pays conscript's allowance up to the end of the month in which the period of service ends.

Back to civilian life

Do you have a job lined up or will you go back to school? Any social security benefits you may have received before the service (such as financial aid for students) are not resumed automatically. Remember to claim any benefits due to you. If you do not have a job or a place in education, contact the Employment and Economic Development (TE) Office.

Last modified 22/4/2021

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