Update on the coronavirus situation


This page contains concise information on how the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) affects Kela’s benefits and services. During the epidemic, there may be delays in the processing of applications. The page will be updated as the situation evolves.

Reimbursement for the costs for face masks

According to the recommendation on the use of face masks, everyone should obtain the face masks themselves. If a recommendation on the use of face masks is in force in the municipality, the municipal authorities must make sure that those in the most vulnerable position get face masks free of charge.

Kela does not pay any separate reimbursement to cover the costs for face masks. The costs for face masks are included in the basic amount of the social assistance.

The benefits you can get in different situations  

Temporary compensation due to an epidemic outbreak for basic social assistance clients 

The purpose of the temporary compensation is to support the most vulnerable persons and families who have incurred extra costs as a result of the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus epidemic. 

Kela grants compensation due to an epidemic outbreak automatically to all clients who are entitled to it. It is thus not necessary to apply for the compensation separately.

The compensation will be paid for four months (September to December 2020). The temporary compensation can be granted to persons who have received basic social assistance for part of the time or for the whole time that the restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic have been in force, 1 March - 31 July 2020.

Read more about the temporary compensation due to an epidemic outbreak 

Application and supporting documentation

If possible, send your applications and supporting documents online.

  • Documents photographed with a phone are accepted if the picture is clear and legible.
  • Online you can also see if any supporting documents are missing or if the application must be supplemented in some other way.
  • If information is missing from your application or if you are expected to do something, we will contact you. Remember to state a phone number where you can be reached. 

You can also send applications to Kela by mail to the address

PL 10
00056 KELA

The application forms can be printed from Kela’s website.

If you do not have a device or Internet connection of your own, you can call Kela’s telephone service.

When are decisions due?

Online you can check up to date information about average application processing times per benefit.

For information about the processing of your application, sign in to Kela’s online service (available in Finnish or Swedish).

Kela’s customer service can help you with filling in or completing your application. The customer service does not have more exact information about when you will get a decision to your application.

Recovery of overpayments

Kela and the customer can agree that the recovery of overpaid benefits or guaranteed student loan debt is suspended. The recovery can be suspended by 6 months if you experience economic hardship because of the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak. However, the recovery of child support debt cannot be suspended.

If you would like the recovery process to be suspended temporarily, you must ask for it by 31 December 2020. After the temporary suspension is over, you will continue to pay back the debt as agreed with Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre.

Customer service

In Kela's online service you can send messages and ask questions. The service is available in Finnish and Swedish.

By telephone you can handle most Kela-matters.

  • The services in Finnish and Swedish are open weekdays 9 am–4 pm.
  • The service in English weekdays 9 am–3 pm.
  • The services in Arabic, Somali and Russian are open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9 am to 12 noon. The phone numbers are the following:
    • Arabic 020 6344 902
    • Somali 020 6344 905
    • Russian 020 6344 901.

Book a phone appointment, if you have several issues to discuss.

Most customer service points are open, but some of them are only open by appointment.

  • Please check in advance in the customer service locator whether the customer service point in question is open. 
  • When necessary, we can book an appointment for you.
  • If it is absolutely necessary to visit a customer service point, please maintain good hand hygiene and keep a safe distance to others.
  • Please do not visit a customer service point if you have flu symptoms, you are in quarantine, you have travelled abroad in the last two weeks or you have been exposed to the corona virus.
  • The customer service points apply effectivised cleaning and hygiene.

Please note: the customer service staff cannot speed up the processing of applications and they do not know when you will get a decision. 

Read more