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Kela benefits for those who have fled the war in Ukraine

This page is also available in Ukrainian and Russian.

Kela provides social security coverage in Finland and grants benefits to persons in different situations. These benefits are defined in Finnish law

Most Kela benefits are available only if you work in Finland or have lived in Finland for at least 12 months. You can apply for Kela benefits even if you plan to return to Ukraine.

How do you apply for benefits from Kela?

You can apply for benefits by completing an application form. The following Kela forms have been translated into Ukrainian:

Watch a Ukrainian-language video about support provided by Kela for Ukrainians, length 4 min 17 sec, subtitles in Ukrainian and Finnish (Youtube).

Frequently asked questions

This page contains answers to some frequently asked questions about the Kela benefits available to those who have been granted temporary protection.

You have a right to most Kela benefits if you have lived in Finland for a year. The kind of benefits you can get depends on your circumstances.

You can apply for Kela benefits even if you plan to return to Ukraine. You do not have to visit a Kela customer service point. Instead, you can simply send an application form to Kela.

Watch the video: Як заповнити форму UA1 – How to fill out form UA1 (Youtube). Length 6 min 19 s, spoken in Ukrainian and subtitled in Finnish and Ukrainian.

Kela card and child benefit

Once you have lived in Finland for a year, you can apply for a Kela card and for child benefits on the UA 1ukr form (PDF, in Ukrainian and in Finnish). Child benefit is paid for children under 17 years of age who live in Finland. You can apply for a Kela card and child benefits even if you have not applied for registration as a resident of a Finnish municipality (“home municipality”).

Using a Kela card to get reimbursements for prescription medicines

If a doctor prescribes medicines for you, you can get them cheaper by showing your Kela card at the pharmacy. The pharmacy will deduct a reimbursement from the price of the medicine. The amount of the reimbursement depends on the medicine you are buying and any reimbursement entitlements you may have been granted.

If the medicine you are buying has a special rate of reimbursement, or if there are restrictions to its reimbursement status, you need a reimbursement entitlement from Kela to get the reimbursement. To apply for a reimbursement entitlement, you must send Kela a medical statement B that a doctor has issued for you. You can either send the statement to Kela yourself or ask your doctor to do so. No other application is needed. If you wish to send the form yourself, send it to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

Housing allowance

If you have been assigned a home municipality and you pay for your own housing, you can apply to Kela for assistance with your housing costs. You can also apply to Kela for assistance with your housing costs if you have lived in Finland for a year and pay for your own housing.

Use the form General housing allowance AT 1ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian) to apply for general housing allowance. You must enclose a rental agreement with your application.

The amount of housing allowance you can get depends on your income, how much rent you pay and the location of your home. Your home must be of a reasonable size. Accepted housing costs are defined in law.

If you move, you can also apply for social assistance towards removal costs and rental security deposits.

Social assistance

You can apply for basic social assistance if you have been assigned a home municipality and your income, assets and any other financial assistance you may receive are not enough to cover your essential daily expenses.

Such expenses can include rent, food, health care and clothing.

Use the Social assistance TO 1ukr form (PDF, in Ukrainian) to apply for social assistance. If you wish to apply for help with a rental security deposit, also complete the form Social assistance - Rental security deposit TO 2ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian).

Applications for a home municipality are made to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency

If you meet the below requirements, you can apply to have a home municipality (i.e., to be registered as a resident of a Finnish municipality) on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV):

  • You have lived in Finland for at least a year.
  • You have received a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, and the permit is valid for at least a year.
  • You have a Finnish personal identity code.

For more information about what having a home municipality involves and how to apply for one, see the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (dvv.fi).

The general rule is that Kela benefits are not available until you have lived in Finland for a year or unless you are working in Finland. In order to qualify for most Kela benefits, you must be working or living permanently in Finland. Typically, Kela will consider a residence of at least one year to be permanent.

If you are applying for or have already been granted temporary protection status, you have the right to live in a reception centre and to access the services arranged by the centre.

Example: Fleeing the war, Anastasia arrived in Finland in September 2022. She receives temporary protection and is not employed. She has no prior connection to Finland. Anastasia cannot get Kela benefits until she has lived for at least a year in Finland or until she is employed in Finland. She can receive the services available from the reception centre.

You are eligible for at least the health insurance benefits available from Kela if you earn at least EUR 800.02 per month (as from 1 January 2023). Health insurance benefits include reimbursements for medicine expenses, parental benefits and the sickness allowance.

If you have children, you can apply for child benefit. If you are pregnant, you can apply for parental allowances and child benefit.

Example: Maria fled the war for Finland in April 2022. She starts work and will earn EUR 1,900 per month.

She has a right to at least health insurance benefits based on her employment. Maria can apply for a Kela card which she can use to prove her eligibility for health insurance benefits. For instance, she can get reimbursements from Kela for any medicines that a doctor may prescribe for her.

The general rule is that Kela benefits are not available until you have lived in Finland for a year or unless you are working in Finland. If you are applying for or have already been granted temporary protection status, you have the right to live in a reception centre and to access the services arranged by the centre. For example, you can get access to healthcare and to essential social services and are paid a reception allowance which guarantees your basic subsistence. You also have the option to arrange for accommodation independently. You have the right to work and to study. Any earnings your receive will reduce the reception allowance.

If you have applied for asylum, the reception centre will provide economic security and other services while your application for a residence permit is being reviewed. Asylum seekers are usually not eligible for Kela benefits.

If you are not currently or will shortly no longer be covered by reception services, you may apply to Kela for basic social assistance if you need it.

Permanent residence or employment in Finland is a requirement for most Kela benefits

You may have a right to most Kela benefits if Kela considers you to be a permanent resident of Finland. This is based on an overall assessment of your circumstances.

Kela will consider you a permanent resident if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You have lived in Finland for at least 12 months.
  • A family member of yours (spouse/partner or under-age child) is already living in Finland.
  • You have lived in Finland previously.
  • You intend to work or study in Finland for at least two years.

If you work in Finland, you may have a right to health insurance benefits even if Kela does not consider you a permanent resident. Your pay must be at least EUR 800.02 per month in order to qualify for health insurance benefits. Health insurance benefits include reimbursements for medicine expenses, parental benefits and the sickness allowance.

Read more: Instructions on arriving in Finland from Ukraine (migri.fi)

Darya fled the war, arriving in Finland in March 2022. She is accompanied by Ivan, who is three, and Maria, who is eight. Darya is a single parent and not married.

This example describes the benefits that Darya and her children can get from Kela once they have lived in Finland for at least a year and have been assigned a home municipality. Please note that the sums shown here are examples and assume that the family has no other income or assets.

There are online calculators you can use to estimate whether you can get Kela benefits and how much they would be. The calculators can only provide an estimate based on the information you put in. The calculators are available in Finnish and Swedish.

Child benefit

The amount of child benefit is higher the more children there are in the family that are under age 17. For the first child, it is EUR 94.88 per month, and for the second, EUR 104.84 per month. The child benefit is tax-free income. Assets and income do not affect the amount of the child benefit.

If you are a single parent, you get a single-parent supplement of EUR 68.30 per month for each child. You qualify for the single-parent supplement if you are not married or cohabiting or legally separated from your spouse. This means that someone whose married spouse is alive and has stayed back to fight in the war cannot get the single-parent supplement.

The total child benefit that Darya can get is EUR 336.32 per month (94.88 + 104.84 + 68.30 + 68.30).

The child benefit is paid on the 26th day of each month. If the payment date falls on a weekend, a holiday or the first day following a weekend or holiday (for instance Monday), it is paid on the immediately preceding business day.

Child benefit can be claimed on form UA 1 (pdf).

General housing allowance

Darya and her children rent a flat in Vantaa for which they pay EUR 950 per month. There is also a per-person water charge of EUR 20 per month. Darya can get EUR 808.00 per month in general housing allowance. This calculation is based on the assumption that Darya has no other sources of income besides the child benefit and social assistance she gets from Kela.

The maximum housing costs used to calculate the allowance vary from one municipality to another. See this page for information about the maximum housing costs in Finnish municipalities. The maximum housing costs are specified by law. For example, if Darya and her children lived in Salo, they could get only EUR 587.20 per month in housing allowance.

Kela pays the housing allowance into your account on the first business day of the month. If it is too late to make the payment on the regular payment date, the allowance is paid when your application is decided, in which case the payment will be in your account in two working days. You can also ask Kela to pay the housing allowance into your landlord’s account.

Use the AT 1 ukr (PDF) form to apply for general housing allowance.

Social assistance

Before applying for social assistance, Darya must find out whether she could secure other income or qualify for other social benefits. Basic social assistance is intended for persons who are unable to make a living from work or self-employment, by receiving social security benefits, or by relying on their other income or assets.

If Darya’s income and assets, including any other income or benefits she could get, are not enough to cover essential expenses such as food and housing, she can get basic social assistance. The calculation assumes that Darya’s family has no significant healthcare expenses or any other expenses relevant to the basic social assistance.

Darya can get EUR 1,236.81 per month in social assistance if her income and expenses do not change. The amount of basic social assistance is based on a monthly calculation. The child benefit of EUR 336.32 and the general housing allowance of EUR 808 count as income for purposes of the calculation. The following are recognised as expenses: the basic amount for single parents (EUR 632.83), the basic amounts determined on the basis of the children’s ages (EUR 383.03 and EUR 355.27), rent (EUR 950) and water charges for three persons (EUR 60 in total).

In addition, Kela can grant Darya basic social assistance to pay the security deposit for a reasonably priced rented flat if she does not have specific reasons for needing a more expensive one. Kela has set municipality-specific limits for reasonable housing costs. More information is available in the PDF table titled Recognised housing costs by municipality, 2023. The money towards the security deposit is usually provided in the form of a voucher. Also, you can get basic social assistance for moving costs.

Basic social assistance is paid regularly on the first business day of the month. If it is too late to make the payment on the regular payment date, the allowance is paid when your application is decided, in which case the payment will be in your account in two working days.

Use the TO 1 ukr (PDF) form to apply for social assistance, and the TO 2 ukr (PDF) form to apply for money towards a security deposit.

Total amount of benefits

The total amount of benefits that Darya can get is about EUR 2,380 per month. Child benefit, housing allowance and social assistance are not taxed.

If you do not have a job, register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Services (in Finnish and Ukrainian).

You can get an unemployment benefit, basic unemployment allowance, if you have worked for at least 6 months in Finland or in another EU or EEA country before becoming unemployed and you meet the work requirement. The work requirement means that you must have worked at least 18 hours a week and your pay has been consistent with the terms of the relevant collective agreement.

Another unemployment benefit that Kela pays is labour market subsidy. However, you cannot get labour market subsidy if you have a temporary residence permit (B). A residence permit B is granted on the grounds of temporary protection.

You cannot get financial aid if you have a temporary residence permit (B) based on a temporary protection status. Financial aid can be granted to persons with a continuous (A) or permanent (P) residence permit or an EU residence permit for third-country nationals. 

In order to qualify for school transport subsidy, you must be a full-time student of an upper-secondary educational institution and be a registered resident of a Finnish municipality. You can apply for school transport subsidy once you are registered as a resident of a Finnish municipality and a full-time student in upper secondary education. 

When you move into private accommodation, you can get general housing allowance if you live permanently in Finland and you meet the requirements for the allowance. Typically, Kela will consider you to be living in Finland permanently if you have been in Finland for at least a year.  

You can use the AT1 ukr form (PDF, in Ukrainian) to apply for general housing allowance. Your application must be accompanied by at least the rental agreement. Apply for housing allowance after you have signed the rental agreement.

The amount of the housing allowance depends on the number of adults and children sharing a home on a non-temporary basis, their income, the rent and the location of the home. Accepted housing costs are defined in law. 

Rental security deposit

When you move into a rental apartment, you are usually required to post a security deposit for a few months or to pay rent in advance. 

Once you have been assigned a home municipality, you have found an affordable apartment and you are moving from a reception centre or other accommodation to your own apartment in Finland, you can also receive basic social assistance for the rental security deposit and moving costs if your own income and assets are not enough to pay for them.

You can use the form TO 1ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian) to apply for social assistance If you want to apply for help with a rental security deposit, also complete the form TO2 ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian)

More information about security deposits: Can social assistance be paid for moving costs?

You have the right to urgent medical treatment in the public healthcare system regardless of your nationality or country of origin. However, you must pay for the services you use.

If you have applied for asylum or have received a resident permit on grounds of temporary protection, the reception centre will provide you access to health services.

Usually, the right to use public health services is linked to one's residence in a specific municipality (“municipality of residence”). If you are registered as a resident of a Finnish municipality, you receive all of the services available from the public healthcare system at the same cost as all other residents of the municipality. Your nationality or country of origin is not relevant. You are also able to use public health services if you work in Finland.

Read more about healthcare services for people who have come to Finland from Ukraine (EU-healthcare.fi).

A short visit outside Finland usually has no effect on eligibility for Kela benefits.

If you cannot get a bank account, Kela benefits can be put on a prepaid card.

If you receive a pension from Ukraine, the pension may affect the benefits you receive from Kela. When you apply for a benefit from Kela, you have to enclose reliable documentation on the pensions from Ukraine with your application. If you do not have official documentation, you can submit other available documentation or provide your own written or verbal statement in the matter. Kela will consider whether the documents and explanation you provide are sufficiently informative and will contact you if needed.

As a rule, Kela pays national or guarantee pension to persons who have lived in Finland for at least three years since reaching age 16.
 

You may be entitled to some benefits from Kela, if Kela considers that you are permanently resident in Finland and the other entitlement criteria for the benefits are met.

Read more in our press release: Minors who come from Ukraine to Finland without their families can get benefits from Kela.
 

If you move from Finland to another country, you need to report the move abroad to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). If you receive any benefits from Kela, you also need to notify Kela of your move. Complete the form Y38e (pdf, in English) and submit it to Kela. You can also notify Kela of the move by phone or by visiting a customer service point.

It is important to report the move abroad so that Kela does not pay you any unnecessary benefits.

Basic social assistance for those fleeing from the war in Ukraine

Kela can pay you basic social assistance if all your income and assets are not enough to cover your essential expenses, such as food and housing. Kela’s basic social assistance is intended for persons who are unable to make a living on their wage income, by receiving social security benefits, or by relying on their other income or assets.

If you are applying for or have already been granted temporary protection status, and you are within the scope of immigrant reception services, you cannot get basic social assistance. In such a case, you can use the services available from the reception centre.

If you live in a reception centre, you should apply for basic social assistance once you and all your family members have a home municipality in Finland and you have found a place to live in the municipality. If you live in an apartment rented by a reception centre from the municipality and the rental agreement for this apartment is transferred to you, apply for social assistance when you or your family have been granted a home municipality and the rental agreement has been transferred.

If you do not live in a reception centre, you should apply for basic social assistance as soon as you have been assigned a home municipality. You can usually be assigned a home municipality when you have lived in Finland for a year. However, if you have family members who have arrived in Finland after you, they usually do not have to wait a whole year. You can all be assigned a home municipality at the same time.

Learn more about home municipalities on the Digital and Population Data Services Agency website (dvv.fi).

Before you apply for basic social assistance you should check if you can get some other Kela benefits, for instance housing allowance or child benefits. Basic social assistance is intended for persons who are unable to make a living on their wage income, by receiving some other social security benefits, or by relying on their other income or assets.

Learn more about other Kela benefits and how to apply for them.

Basic social assistance is not available for all types of expenses. It can only be granted for essential expenses, such as reasonable housing costs, food and prescription medicines.

The expenses relevant to basic social assistance are divided between expenses covered by the basic amount and other basic expenses.

Basic amount

The basic amount already includes normal everyday expenses, such as food and clothing. When you apply for assistance, you do not have to show receipts or invoices for these expenses.

Each family member is entitled to their own basic amount.

The following expenses are included in the basic amount:

  • food
  • clothing
  • minor health care expenses (such as non-prescription medications)
  • personal hygiene and keeping your home clean
  • public transport
  • newspaper subscription
  • telephone and internet access
  • hobbies and recreation
  • other comparable expenses.

Other basic expenses

You can also apply for basic social assistance for other basic expenses. If you are applying for social assistance for such expenses, please provide copies of invoices (e.g. electricity bill) or receipts (e.g. prescription or patient instructions for medicines) as supporting documents. Please remember to submit all the pages of the bill.

Kela usually recognises these expenses at their actual value, as long as they are reasonable, when deciding on your right to basic social assistance.

Other basic expenses can include:

  • reasonable housing costs (e.g. rent, maintenance charge, electric bill, water, and home insurance)
  • necessary moving costs
  • healthcare costs that are not included in the basic amount (e.g. health centre user fees and prescription medicines)
  • costs of municipal early childhood education (e.g. daycare centre bill)
  • costs of children’s before-school and after-school programmes
  • certain costs related to meeting children in cases where the parents have separated
  • the costs of obtaining a necessary identity, residence or travel document.

In order to determine which housing costs count as reasonable, Kela has defined acceptable housing costs. These are determined by the municipality in which the apartment is located and the size of the family or number of persons living in the apartment. See housing costs that are considered reasonable in the municipality in which the apartment is located (PDF). If the water charge is included in the rent, the housing costs that are considered reasonable are increased by 24 euros per person.

Generally only reasonable housing costs are accepted by Kela, but sometimes families can be granted social assistance for slightly higher costs if there is a specific reason for them (for example, if you use assistive devices for moving).

If you have expenses for which you cannot get basic social assistance, you can apply to the social services office of your wellbeing services county for supplementary or preventive social assistance in order to cover them. You can write these expenses in your application for basic social assistance and ask Kela to submit this part of your application to the wellbeing services county for consideration.

You can get basic social assistance if you have more expenses that can be recognised for the purposes of basic social assistance than you do income and assets.

Kela does a calculation of your income, assets and expenses. The basic amount is included in the expenses. The amount of social assistance paid is calculated by deducting expenses from income.

If Kela pays you a benefit retroactively, that will reduce the amount of social assistance you will get.

Example: You have two children. You apply for child benefit for a retroactive period of four months. Kela pays you a total 798.88 euros in retroactive child benefits. This sum is included in your income when the amount you will get as social assistance is calculated.

No tax is deducted from the basic social assistance.

Once you have been assigned a home municipality, you have found an affordable apartment and you are moving from a reception centre or other accommodation to your own apartment in Finland, you can also receive basic social assistance for the rental security deposit and, when necessary, moving costs if your own income and assets are not enough to pay for them.

When you are looking for an apartment, you should take into account the housing costs that are considered reasonable as determined by Kela. They are determined on the basis of the municipality where the apartment is located as well as the family size or the number of persons who live in the apartment. See housing costs that are considered reasonable in the municipality in which the apartment is located (pdf, in Finnish). If the water charge is included in the rent, the housing costs that are considered reasonable are increased by 24 euros per person.

Kela usually recognises the housing costs at their actual value, as long as they are reasonable, when deciding on your right to basic social assistance. As a rule, Kela only pays assistance when you move to an affordable apartment. Sometimes slightly higher housing costs can also be taken into account as expenses if there is a specific reason for them (for instance if you use assistive devices for moving) or if there are no affordable apartments in the locality. 
 

If you need basic social assistance to pay the security deposit, submit a rental security deposit application to Kela before signing the rent agreement. If you live in an apartment that a reception centre has rented from the municipality, you can apply for assistance with the rental security deposit when the rental agreement is transferred to you. Usually, Kela provides the money for the security deposit in the form of a voucher.

If you live in an apartment that a reception centre has rented from the municipality, you can apply for assistance with the rental security deposit when the rental agreement is transferred to you.

You can apply for social assistance for the rental security deposit using an apartment offer or a rental agreement. If all the housing costs (for instance water charges) do not show in the apartment offer, you must submit a specification of them. If you apply for the deposit using an apartment offer, submit a copy of the rental agreement to Kela once it has been signed.

If you have furniture that needs moving, you can apply for basic social assistance for moving costs. Mention this in your basic social assistance application. In cases where you arrange your move yourself and there are costs associated with the move,  these moving costs can be accepted as expenses relevant to the payment of social assistance.

You can apply for basic social assistance for an extended period of time, for example for 3–6 months. Based on your circumstances, Kela will evaluate for how long a period you can get assistance. Please make sure to complete the application carefully. Apply for social assistance using the form Social assistance TO 1ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian).

If you have a family and your spouse or your child’s other parent is in Ukraine, tell us about it in your application. If you receive child support from your spouse or your child’s other parent, indicate its amount in your application.

State the information on your housing situation and the housing costs clearly in the application. State for instance your share of the housing costs, if you live together with someone else than your spouse/partner or children.

If you do not yet have a Finnish bank account, state the account number connected to the prepaid card from the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) to which the assistance can be paid. 

Make sure to complete the application carefully and in full, and enclose all necessary documentation with the application. By doing so you can get a decision on your application quicker. If documents are missing or the application has been completed carelessly, we may have to request further information, and this delays the processing of the application. At the very least, necessary documents include:

  • the latest decision on your reception allowance, and possibly a decision on the termination of your reception allowance
  • bank statements for the family’s all Finnish bank accounts for the last 2 months (the bank statement must show the account holder, the account number, the initial and final balance, a list of the transactions and information on which period the statement covers)
    • if the bank account has been in use for less than a month and you cannot yet provide a bank statement for it, you must still state the account number and the date on which the account was opened
  • bank statements for the family’s all foreign bank accounts (for instance Ukrainian) for the last 2 months (the bank statement must show the account holder, the account number, the initial and final balance, a list of the transactions and information on which period the statement covers)
  • documents detailing your assets, if it is possible to obtain such documents (if you cannot get the documents, write it in your application under Additional information)
  • information on all incomes from abroad, if possible to provide, for instance decision on or payment notice for pension from Ukraine (also state in the application if the incomes are available to you) 
  • bills and receipts of the expenses for which you are seeking basic social assistance (bills will be handled on the basis of their original due dates)
  • when applying for social assistance for the rental security deposit, the form Rental security deposit TO 2ukr (PDF, in Ukrainian) with supporting documents and the apartment offer or rental agreement (As a rule, assistance can only be paid when you move to an affordable apartment. Read more on how to apply for rental security deposit and assistance for moving costs here.)
  • signed rental agreement (including sublease agreement) if an agreement has been made

Once your application includes all necessary information and supporting documents, Kela will give you a decision on your application within seven working days.

As soon as Kela has reviewed your application, a written decision will be sent to the address you have provided. You will receive a decision even if you are not granted social assistance. Please read the decision carefully. The front page of the decision shows who will be paid assistance, how much will be paid, and what is the payment date of the assistance. The grounds on which the assistance has been granted are also specified in the decision.

Kela pays the basic social assistance into your bank account on the first business day of the month. If you are granted social assistance but it is too late to pay it to you on the regular payment date, the payment is made immediately after the decision to grant you social assistance. In that case the assistance is deposited into your account within two business days.

If you do not yet have a Finnish bank account, you can open one by booking an appointment at a bank. You can open a bank account if you have a document proving your identity and a Finnish personal identity code.

Check with the bank which documents the bank accepts for proving your identity. In addition to an international passport, many banks accept identity documents that are in use internally in Ukraine (passport of the citizen of Ukraine) if they also contain the information in Latin letters and in English and you can be identified from the document. If the document you have does not contain the information in Latin letters and in English, banks will accept it if you also have a document issued by the Ukrainian Embassy proving they have verified your identity.

Before you have opened a bank account, social assistance can also be paid to the prepaid card provided by the Finnish Immigration Service, i.e. Migri, if you have one. You can get more detailed instructions about this from Migri. Please note that the prepaid card is only valid for a limited time after you stop being covered by reception services.

If you want, Kela can pay your rent directly from your basic social assistance to your landlord. State this in your application. If you want, electric bills and home insurance payments can also be paid directly.

When you have received a decision on basic social assistance, you can also send invoices that you receive after the decision to Kela, provided that the due date for payment falls in the period for which the decision is valid. The due date means the due date of the original invoice, not the due date of the reminder. The decision also contains further instructions on which invoices you can send to Kela.

After the decision on your social assistance expires, it is possible to renew your application and receive additional social assistance. See the previous decision on social assistance for details on which supporting documents are needed for the renewal application.

Notify Kela immediately if there are changes in your own or your family’s income, expenses or relationships (e.g. your rent amount changes or you have a divorce and move to live separately from your spouse). If you do not report changes, you may be paid assistance at the wrong rate. Any overpaid assistance may reduce future payments of basic social assistance.

Basic social assistance can also be granted in the form of a voucher

A voucher is a document in which Kela promises to pay all or part of the cost of a product or service for you. Vouchers may be granted for rental security deposits, prescription medicines or identity cards, for example.

Vouchers issued for the purchase of medication are transmitted electronically to the pharmacy. You can visit any pharmacy you wish. Present your Kela card or other reliable ID so that the pharmacy can look up your voucher.

Medication or other products prescribed to you for the treatment of an illness can be supplied on a voucher. You can get up to three months' worth of medication at one time. You cannot get a refill until you have used up nearly all of the previous batch in accordance with the prescription. The pharmacy will substitute a less expensive generic product for the brand named in the prescription except if your doctor has ruled out such a substitution.

How the economic sanctions imposed on Russia affect benefits

Everyone in Finland has the right to at least a basic level of subsistence if they are unable to secure a living otherwise. This security is provided in the form of basic social assistance. In practice, this means that Kela provides vouchers for food and essential prescription medicines, which are valid for a short period of time. The amount of social assistance provided depends on the income and assets available to the client. The decision to grant basic social assistance may contain a provision to recover all or part of the assistance granted at a later time. This could be the case if a client has income or assets which they for some reason cannot access at the time the assistance is granted.

The pensions and the housing allowance for pensioners provided by Kela will continue to be paid normally regardless of any problems that may currently exist when it comes to accessing Russian pension payments.

Provide to Kela either other relevant documents which may be available to you or a verbal explanation of the issue. Kela will consider whether the documents and explanation you provide are sufficiently informative and will contact you if needed.

Everyone in Finland has the right to at least a basic level of subsistence if they are unable to secure a living in some other way. This security is provided in the form of basic social assistance. In practice, this means that Kela provides vouchers for food and essential prescription medicines, which are valid for a short period of time.

The amount of social assistance provided depends on the income and assets available to the client. The decision to grant basic social assistance may contain a provision to recover all or part of the assistance granted at a later time. This could be the case if a client has income or assets which they for some reason cannot access at the time the assistance is granted.

National pensions, guarantee pensions, child increases and survivors’ pensions (with the exception of the additional amount of the surviving spouse’s pension) will continue to be paid normally despite the current situation. They will not be adjusted based on exchange rate fluctuations alone. However, the housing allowance for pensioners can be reviewed following a change in the ruble’s exchange rate if the income of the person receiving the allowance changes substantially. This applies also to the additional amount of the surviving spouse’s pension.

Russian nationals can be paid benefits just like the nationals of any other country. When someone applies for benefits Kela determines whether they are considered to be permanently living in Finland or if they could be entitled to Kela benefits on the basis of employment. Further, Russian nationals must have a valid residence permit, which is granted by the Finnish Immigration Service.

Kela can pay financial aid to students who are studying in Russia. In addition, some other benefits, including those for families with children, may be payable during brief holiday trips.

Last modified 22/2/2024

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