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Reduced basic amount

Everyone has the obligation, according to the best of their ability, to look after themselves and to seek a livelihood. Kela may reduce the basic amount of social assistance by a maximum of 40% or a maximum of 20% if you for example act in a way that makes it impossible to offer you a job or the possibility to participate in public employment service, or if you decline such an offer without good cause, despite the fact that by accepting the offer, you could secure a livelihood for a reasonable length of time.

Kela may reduce the basic amount by up to 20 percent. This can be done if

  • you have caused by your own actions a situation where work or public employment service cannot be offered to you; for example
    • you have not registered with the TE Services as an unemployed jobseeker despite being required to do so
    • you have continued for an extended period of time to operate an unprofitable business that does not provide you with sufficient funds to meet your expenses.
    • you have remained a full-time student despite not having sufficient funds to meet your expenses
  • you have, without good cause, turned down an offer of work or public employment service that would provide you with sufficient funds for a reasonable length of time
  • you are between 18 and 24 and do not have vocational qualifications, and have left or declined a course of education or training, making you ineligible for unemployment benefits
  • you have, without good cause, withdrawn from or declined to participate in rehabilitative work activity
  • you have declined to participate in drawing up an activation plan or multidisciplinary employment plan
  • you have declined, without good cause, to draw up an integration plan or to participate in employment promotion measures agreed in the plan
  • you have caused by your own actions a situation where an integration plan cannot be drawn up

Kela may reduce the basic amount by up to 40 percent if both of the following conditions are met:

  • after the basic amount paid to you is reduced by up to 20 percent, you continue to act in a way that would warrant reducing the basic amount by a further 20 percent and
  • you decline, without good cause, to participate in an evaluation of your need for services by the social services of the wellbeing services county.

If Kela is considering a reduction of the basic amount by up to 40 percent for you, Kela will refer you to social services in the wellbeing services county in order to have your need for services evaluated. Your basic amount will not be reduced by more than 20 percent if you participate in the evaluation of your need for services. 

However, the reduction of the basic amount may not deprive you of essential economic security or cause unreasonable hardship.

The basic amount can be reduced for a maximum of 2 months at a time starting from the refusal or neglect.

If the basic amount is reduced, it concerns only your basic amount. The reduction does not affect the basic amount of your other family members.

Liability to register as a jobseeker with the TE Services

You must take steps to have the TE Services recognise you as an unemployed jobseeker and to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits. You must also maintain your jobseeker status so that you can be offered work, training or other services.

You are required to register with the TE Services as an unemployed jobseeker if you are between 17 and 64 and

  • you are not employed or self-employed
  • you are not a full-time student
  • you are unable to accept work because you are in institutional care or because of a diagnosed illness.

However, you are not required to register as an unemployed jobseeker if

  • you receive a sickness allowance or partial sickness allowance
  • you receive a disability pension
  • you receive a rehabilitation subsidy or a benefit based on full disability for work
  • you are disabled within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act or the National Pensions Act, even if you have not been granted any of the above-mentioned benefits
  • you receive an old-age pension or early old-age pension
  • you are entitled to a pregnancy allowance, you receive special pregnancy allowance, parental allowance or special care allowance, or you have been granted a leave on account of pregnancy and childbirth or child care
  • you receive farm closure benefits
  • you receive a rehabilitation allowance or a compensation for loss of income on account of rehabilitation
  • you receive a years-of-service pension under the legislation on earnings-related pensions
  • you have some other good reason comparable to the above why you cannot accept work.

If we are considering reducing your basic amount, you have the opportunity tell us your own view of the situation and explain why you think the basic amount should not be reduced or why doing so would be unreasonable or why it would compromise your indispensable subsistence. In such a case, tell us also if you have already resolved the issue that could cause a reduction in the basic amount.

Cooperation between Kela and the wellbeing services counties

Kela is authorised to receive information from the social services authorities of the wellbeing services counties to help it consider whether to reduce the basic amount.

If the decision is made to reduce the basic amount, Kela will inform the wellbeing services county social services.

If you need help with your situation, you can request an evaluation of your need for services from the social services of your wellbeing services country.

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Last modified 22/4/2021

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