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How to claim child maintenance allowance
Child maintenance allowance can be claimed by the child’s parent or another person in whose care the child is. If the child has reached the age of 15 and is living on his/her own, the child can claim the allowance him/herself.
Claiming child maintenance allowance online is quick and easy
You can easily send the claim and supporting documentation through Kela's online customer service system. Documents photographed with a mobile phone are accepted if the pictures are clear and legible.Send a claim
- Apply for child maintenance allowance online. To log in to Kela's online customer service, use your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate.
- If the parent liable for maintenance has not paid child support, please state in your claim the full period for which child support is unpaid.
- Enclose the original child support agreement or a court decision
- if you are claiming child maintenance allowance because the liable parent has not paid child support, enclose the original child support agreement or a court decision regarding the payment of child support. The original agreement or the court decision can be sent by post to Kela or handed in at the nearest Kela's customer service points. See the contact information for the customer service point nearest to you.
- if you are claiming child maintenance allowance because the amount of child support has been confirmed as lower than the child maintenance allowance, a copy of the agreement or court decision will be sufficient. You can send the copy through the online customer service by taking a picture of the document or by scanning it.
- if you have adopted a child as a single parent or if the paternity of a child born out of wedlock has not been confirmed, you do not need to hand in a child support agreement or court decision.
- Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the Internet.
- The online customer service shows whether your claim has been decided on, the benefit amount and the payment dates. You can also see any possible reminders concerning, for instance, documents missing from your claim.
When to claim
You can claim the allowance for a maximum of 3 months retrospectively. For the period before that, Kela will grant the allowance only for special reasons. Kela will grant the child maintenance allowance until further notice or for a fixed term, if, for example, the child support agreement has been drawn up for a fixed period.
On the front page of Kela's online customer service, you can check if your claim has arrived or been decided, when the benefit will be paid and what benefits you have most recently received. In the online customer service, you can also see any reminders concerning, for instance, missing enclosures. For information about how long the handling of a claim takes on average, see 'Claim processing times and enquiries'.
If Kela grants child maintenance allowance, Kela can collect all unpaid child support payments from the parent liable for maintenance.