Amount and payment of child maintenance allowance

Child maintenance allowance is paid either in full or at a reduced rate. The full amount of the child maintenance allowance is €158.74 per month.

Kela will pay the child maintenance allowance at a reduced rate if the amount of child support has been confirmed to be lower than the full amount of maintenance allowance due to the financial situation of the parent liable for maintenance. In such a case, an explicit mention of the inability to contribute to the child's maintenance on behalf of the liable parent must be included in the child support agreement or the court decision. When Kela pays child maintenance allowance at a reduced rate, you receive the difference between the maintenance allowance and the child support and, in addition to this, also child support from the liable parent. The total sum that you receive will thus equal the full amount of child maintenance allowance.

If, for some reason, the amount of child support is lower, Kela will not pay the difference. The minimum amount payable is €5.

If the amount of confirmed child support is higher than the maintenance allowance from Kela and the parent liable for maintenance does not pay it, Kela will pay the full amount of child maintenance allowance and then collect the unpaid child support from the liable parent. If collection is successful, Kela will pay the difference between the child support and the child maintenance allowance to the parent with the care of the child after the amount has been collected.

Child maintenance allowance is tax-free income. Child support and child maintenance allowance are index-adjusted annually.

How other benefits affect child maintenance allowance

The child maintenance allowance is not affected by other Kela benefits with the exception of conscript's allowance, which is deducted from the amount of child maintenance allowance.

Payment

Child maintenance allowance is paid on the 10th of each month. Child support payments recovered from the parent liable for maintenance are paid on the 25th. If the scheduled payment date falls on a holiday or a Saturday, the child maintenance allowance will be paid on the nearest preceding banking day.

Child maintenance allowance is paid to a parent or to another person in whose care the child is. The allowance can also be granted and paid to the child him/herself, if the child has reached the age of 15.

Child maintenance allowance is payable up to the time when the child reaches the age of 18, but payment may end earlier if maintenance liability ends or if other liability criteria are no longer met.

Kela may review the allowance if the family's situation changes in a way that affects the allowance.

Example

One of the parents has been ordered to make child support payments of €50 per month for his/her child. Because the parent liable for maintenance has financial difficulties, child support is set at an amount lower than the child maintenance allowance, which means that Kela will pay the difference between the two (€108.74 per month). If the liable parent fails to pay child support, Kela will pay the full child maintenance allowance of €158.74 per month and will collect €50 per month from the liable parent.