Temporary financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak for persons on unpaid leave

Kela is introducing a new benefit in response to the situation created by the coronavirus outbreak. The new temporary financial assistance due to an epidemic outbreak is available to parents who have to take unpaid leave from work in order look after their child at home. The assistance is also available to persons who arrive in Finland from abroad and are placed in conditions equivalent to quarantine. Applications for the temporary assistance can now be submitted to Kela. Applications can be retroactive.

Temporary financial assistance due an epidemic outbreak can be paid to the parent or guardian of a child who is being looked after at home, or to the spouse or partner of the parent or guardian who lives in the same household. The child must be in early childhood education, preschool, the 1st to 3rd year of basic education or prior training prior to starting basic education, or have a recognised need of special support or extended compulsory education.

The assistance can be received on the basis of childcare responsibilities at the most until 13 May. After that date, the assistance can no longer be received because, according to the government recommendations and the information from the healthcare authorities, it is no longer necessary for children to be absent from school and early childhood education after 13 May.

The assistance is also be available to persons who return to Finland from abroad and are placed in conditions equivalent to quarantine. Persons who arrive from abroad can receive the assistance for a maximum of 14 days after the arrival in Finland. The assistance can only be paid as long as the exceptional circumstances are in effect.

The amount of the assistance is EUR 28.94 per working day (EUR 723.50 per month). It is not linked to the applicant’s income or the number of children that he or she has. The assistance is available based on child care responsibilities to only one household member at a time.

Persons who are unemployed or laid off temporarily (furloughed) cannot get temporary financial assistance due to an epidemic outbreak. The assistance is also not available to persons on maternity, paternity or parental leave or on child care leave.

The assistance cannot be paid concurrently with certain other social benefits such as unemployment benefits and sickness allowances.

Customers whose previous application for infectious disease allowance has been denied can call Kela to find out if they are eligible for temporary assistance due to an epidemic outbreak. The qualifying criteria for the temporary assistance are detailed at www.kela.fi.

Applications for temporary assistance due to an epidemic outbreak can now be submitted

Applications for temporary financial assistance due to an epidemic outbreak can now be submitted to Kela. The assistance is available retroactively for up to three calendar months and from 16 March 2020 at the earliest.

Applications must be accompanied by a certificate from the applicant's employer detailing the unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak, or some other document containing the equivalent information. Employers can also provide the necessary information via the e-service for employers or on a paper form.

The application form, the employer’s certificate and detailed instructions for applying are available at www.kela.fi.

Kela has set up a dedicated customer service number to offer further information and assistance on how to apply for the temporary assistance.

The Government bill establishing the temporary assistance due to an epidemic outbreak was passed by Parliament on 24 April 2020. The Act of Parliament providing a legal basis for the payment of the assistance will remain in effect until August 2020.

Additional information for customers:

Information on temporary financial assistance due to an epidemic outbreak on Kela’s website.

Additional information for customers is available by calling 020 634 2550, 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Information is also available by phone in Arabic, Somali and Russian on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 am and noon.

Edited 6 May 13.05 PM: The assistance can be received on the basis of childcare responsibilities at the most until 13 May. After that date, the assistance can no longer be received because, according to the government recommendations and the information from the healthcare authorities, it is no longer necessary for children to be absent from school and early childhood education after 13 May. Persons who arrive from abroad can receive the assistance for a maximum of 14 days after the arrival in Finland. The assistance can only be paid as long as the exceptional circumstances are in effect.