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General housing allowance and income that varies over time

The housing allowance is calculated on the basis of the recipient’s monthly income. If your income varies over time, Kela will calculate an average income for you, which will be used as the basis for calculating your housing allowance.

Income is considered to vary over time if the amount of income changes within a period of three months starting from when the allowance was granted or reviewed.

The average income is a hypothetical monthly amount of income based on the assumption that income will vary over time for example because of temp work, education or periods of unemployment. Kela estimates the income for one year into the future, because the housing allowance is usually granted for the time being and reviewed yearly.

Do as follows

  1. In your application, state the income of all members of your household. Based on the information you provide, Kela will estimate an average income. State the amount of income before deduction for taxes.
  2. If your income will change over the following three months, provide more detail about the change in the application. For example, if you will start a new job, state exactly the start date and the salary you will be paid.

You can also use an online calculator (in Finnish) to estimate how your income will affect the housing allowance paid to you. Please note that the calculator can only provide an estimate.

Learn more about how the housing allowance is calculated.

How Kela calculates your average income

When calculating your average income, the first step is to add up all of the income you are estimated to receive over the next 12 months. This sum is then divided by 12. The result is a monthly income used as the basis for calculating your housing allowance.

Learn more about the calculation of income either as continuous income or an average income.

Average income: Calculation examples

Ilmari is a student who is submitting his first application for housing allowance for the period beginning 1 August 2022. His sole source of income are the financial aid payments of EUR 268.23 per month he will get starting from 1 September 2022. Ilmari will not have any income at all in August.

Because Ilmari’s income will not remain the same for a period of at least three months from when he was granted the housing allowance (1 August), an average income is calculated for him in the following way:

Financial aid 1 September 2022–31 May 2023: 9 months x EUR 268.23 per month = EUR 2,414.07

No income for the periods 1 August 2022–31 August 2022 and 1 June 2023–31 July 2023

Total income 1 August 2022–31 July 2023: EUR 2,414.07 

Ilmari’s average income starting 1 August 2022: EUR 2,414.07 ÷ 12 months = EUR 201.17 per month.

Anni is a student and receives general housing allowance. Her income previously consisted of student financial aid payments. With the summer approaching, Anni is about to start a summer job. She will work from 1 June 2022 to 31 August 2022 and will earn EUR 2,000 per month.

Anni's housing allowance will be reviewed starting from 1 July 2022. Because Anni’s income will not remain the same for a period of at least three months from when she was granted the housing allowance, an average income is calculated for her in the following way:

Salary 1 July 2022 – 31 August 2022: 2 months x EUR 2,000 per month = EUR 4000

Her salary for June 2023 (1 June–30 June) is estimated based on her income in the summer of 2022: 1 month x EUR 2,000 per month = EUR 2000

Total salary income: EUR 4,000 + EUR 2,000 = EUR 6,000. An earnings deduction is made on the salary: 3 x EUR 300 = EUR 600.

Anni’s salary income is counted as EUR 6,000 – EUR 900 = EUR 5,100

Financial aid 1 September 2022–31 May 2023: 9 months x EUR 268.23 per month = EUR 2,414.07

Total income 1 July 2022–30 June 2023: EUR 5,100 + EUR 2,414.07  = EUR 7,514.07

Anni’s average income starting 1 July 2022: EUR 7,514.07 ÷ 12 months = EUR 626.17 per month.

Learn more about the housing allowance review process.

Last modified 21/12/2023

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