How applications for basic social assistance are processed | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

How applications for basic social assistance are processed

Kela will usually review your application within seven working days (Monday to Friday) of receiving it along with all the necessary supporting documents.

If your application is incomplete, you will be asked to supply the necessary supporting documents. In that case, your application will be decided within seven working days (Monday to Friday) of the day on which the documents arrived at Kela.


You will receive the decision in the OmaKela e-service or by post to your home address. If you wish, decisions on basic social assistance, notifications of bill payments and letters can be sent to you in the OmaKela e-service only. Log in to the OmaKela e-service (please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish) and make the selection on the Päivitä omia tietojasi page, under Omat tiedot. You will be notified by text message or email whenever Kela sends you a document that is available only in the OmaKela e-service. Please check that your contact details in the OmaKela e-service are up to date. Decisions that contain a voucher that must be sent by post will in any case still be mailed to you.

How urgent applications are processed

If you need basic social assistance urgently because of your situation, call Kela's customer service at 020 634 2550 or visit a Kela service point. Urgent situations include for example if you are threatened with eviction or if you have been released from hospital and need medicine urgently.

If possible, make an application for social assistance in OmaKela and submit the relevant supporting documents before contacting Kela’s customer service. If you have submitted your application and the supporting documents before calling, it will speed up the processing of the matter. 

Kela evaluates if your need for assistance is urgent. If your application is considered urgent, it will be decided on the day it arrived or the following working day.

In urgent situations, you can also be given a voucher to pay for medicines or groceries. Medication vouchers are transmitted from Kela electronically to the pharmacy. Read more about medication vouchers. Food vouchers can be picked up at the nearest Kela customer service point or, if so agreed, for example at the wellbeing secive county's social services office.

Check the status of your application in the e-service

Visit Kela's e-service to see whether your application has been decided and when the benefit you have applied for will be paid. Log in to the e-service (available in Finnish and Swedish only) using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID.

Last modified 16/2/2024

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