Kela issues new guidelines in several languages on authorisation by power of attorney

Customers who are unable to handle their Kela-related affairs without assistance can authorise someone else to act on their behalf. Kela has issued new guidelines on what authorising someone means and how to accomplish it. The guidelines are available in several languages.

Customers do not have to manage their Kela-related affairs personally. Instead, they can authorise someone to do it for them, such as their spouse, parent, child or friend. Understanding the details of the authorisation process can be challenging, for example because of language barriers or because a person may not be familiar with the process itself. Available in 14 languages, Kela’s new guidelines clarify what authorising someone means and whom customers can authorise.

By publishing the guidelines, Kela hopes to ensure that customers who have newly arrived in Finland are aware their rights.

According to Päivi Nyberg of Kela’s Customer Relations Unit, there have been situations that have raised concerns over individual customers’ legal protection and their understanding of the principle of equal standing of all society’s members. The new guidelines are designed to help customers understand what it means to authorise someone to act on their behalf. The guidelines also outline clearly whom customers can authorise and identify the kind of matters that the authorised person can handle.

Kela urges customers to put their authorisations in writing

Authorisations can be made verbally, but verbal authorisations are good for one time only. Written authorisations are valid indefinitely. Kela recommends customers to issue their authorisation in writing, because a written authorisation that has been entered into the customer’s record will simplify the customer service process not only for the customer and the person they have authorised but also for Kela’s staff members.

Kela has a standard form (VAL 3) that customers can use to issue an authorisation by power of attorney:

Power of attorney - Handling matters related to Kela benefits VAL 3e (pdf)

Customers can decide what actions the power of attorney will cover. They can be empower someone to manage all of their benefit-related matters or only a certain benefit or specific issue. A separate power of attorney is always required to change bank account details. A power of attorney may state that the holder has access to essential confidential information.

The power of attorney can also be formulated freely, but it must contain all information needed and be signed by the person issuing it. The person being authorised must be 18 years of age or older. The power of attorney can be submitted to Kela via the OmaKela e-service (in Finnish or in Swedish) or by post, or it can be handed in at a customer service point.

It is not not yet possible to complete or submit an application on someone else’s behalf. Employers and partner organisations use mandates in their interactions with Kela.

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Instructions in different languages for completing the Kela power of attorney form

The Kela power of attorney form is available in the following languages: