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Assets affecting basic social assistance

Because basic social assistance is a benefit of last resort, it is affected not only by income but also the assets available to you and your family.

This includes any assets which you or your family may have abroad, so you must provide details of such assets in your application.

As a general rule, assets must be liquidated (converted into cash). Deposits, shares in an investment fund, savings insurance policies and securities are examples of assets that can be readily converted into cash. They are therefore considered as liquid assets when calculating the basic social assistance.

For other assets, a certain amount of leeway is given as to when to liquidate it.

The decision to grant basic social assistance may specify that all or some of the assistance that has been granted will be recovered from the assets that you or your family have. The final decision whether to collect the payments is made by the Administrative Court.

Assets essential to your livelihood

One of the purposes of social assistance is to help individuals and families manage on their own. Therefore, Kela does not require you to sell assets which are essential to your or your family's livelihood.

The following assets do not affect your eligibility for basic social assistance:

  • a permanent dwelling of the applicant or the applicant's family and the essential household items
  • tools and equipment needed for work or study
  • the assets of children under age 18 to the extent that they exceed their basic amount and other basic expenses
  • other assets essential to sustain to livelihood,
    • for example a car if it is necessary for commuting and making a living.

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