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Basic social assistance may be available to individuals and families whose income and assets do not cover their essential daily expenses. This quick guide tells you how to apply for social assistance.
Last-resort financial assistance
- First apply for any other assistance to which you may be entitled
- Before applying for basic social assistance, you must find out if there are some other benefits or sources of income available to you.
- Calculation of income and expenses
- Entitlement to basic social assistance is determined on the basis of the Social Assistance Act and by reference to a calculation of income and expenses.
- Application processing times
- Kela will give a decision on your application within seven working days. Remember to provide all relevant information in your application.
Help with daily expenses
- Housing, food and clothing
- Basic social assistance is intended to cover the essential costs of daily living such as food, clothing and housing.
- You may be able to get basic social assistance for user fees in public healthcare and for the cost of medically necessary transportation.
- Buying medication with a voucher
- If you are granted basic social assistance and you need medication, you get a voucher that you can present at the pharmacy.
- Bills and other documents
- When you apply to Kela for basic social assistance, the application that you complete tells you what additional documents you must submit.