Short-term financial assistance from Kela for asylum seekers and persons having applied for or receiving temporary protection
Due to the exceptional circumstances arising from the war in Ukraine, Kela is authorised to provide short-term emergency basic social assistance to persons who arrived in Finland in the past several weeks even if they are already entitled to reception services.
According to a Finnish Immigration Service press release, there have been delays in getting reception centre services to those in private accommodation. As a result, not all clients have been paid their reception allowance as scheduled. Normally, reception centres meet the essential subsistence requirements of persons arriving in Finland, who are therefore not eligible for basic social assistance payments.
Over the previous weeks, however, there have been situations where persons seeking asylum or applying for or receiving temporary protection in Finland have required emergency financial assistance despite already being within the scope of reception services.
Kela has had several inquiries about the subsistence needs of Ukrainians waiting to be registered by the reception centre or to receive their reception allowance. Given these exceptional circumstances, Kela is authorised to grant emergency, short-term basic social assistance to persons who have not received necessary financial assistance from the reception centre because of the backlogs.
Those affected should pay a personal visit to a Kela customer service point. Essential emergency basic social assistance is granted as time-limited vouchers to purchase food and necessary prescription medicines. The arrangement will continue to be evaluated weekly. Until now, there had been little need for these kind of exceptional arrangements.
Contact Kela's Centre for International Affairs for advice
Under current rules, persons arriving in Finland from Ukraine can stay in Finland for example by applying for or receiving temporary protection, by seeking asylum, or for up to three months as a visa-free traveller. Some persons who left Ukraine are staying with their family or friends.
Kela’s Centre for International Affairs can help persons arriving in Finland with their Kela-related issues. It is also possible to use a power of attorney to conduct business on another person’s behalf.
- Frequently asked questions about how the war in Ukraine affects Kela benefits (kela.fi)
- Press release dated 5 April 2022: Temporary protection does not confer a right to residence-based social security benefits from Kela (kela.fi)
- Basic social assistance in international situations (kela.fi)
- Medical treatment in international situations (kela.fi)
- Social security coverage for employees and self-employed persons (kela.fi)
- Medical care of refugees and asylum-seekers in Finland (EU-healthcare.fi)
- Falling illl when travelling in Finland (EU-healthcare.fi)
- Instructions on arriving in Finland from Ukraine (migri.fi)
- Frequently asked questions about Russia's attack on Ukraine (Migri.fi)