Benefits for families with children in Finland

In Finland families can receive for instance child benefit, childcare allowances and child maintenance allowance. Parental allowances and maternity grant are also benefits payable to families with children. Benefits are only paid for children for whom the applicant is guardian.

Persons who come from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland receive family benefits from the country of origin until the end of the month of the move. Your eligibility for family benefits from Finland starts from the beginning of the month following your move.

If you apply for a benefit for the first time after moving to Finland and your entitlement to benefits provided by Kela has not yet been determined, you should complete a notification of moving to Finland and submit it with your application through Kela’s online service. You must also always notify the institution that is paying you family benefits in your country of origin that you have moved to Finland or started to work in Finland. You can receive family benefits from both Finland and the child's country of residence. The family benefits from the different countries are coordinated.

If your spouse/partner works in the child's country of residence, the country of residence is primarily responsible for the payment of family benefits. The primary payer country pays its own family benefits to the full amount. The secondary payer country (i.e. Finland) pays the difference if the family benefits from that country are per child larger than the benefits from the primary payer country.

Example: Spouses/partners living in different countries

Mats works in Finland while both his spouse and children live in Sweden. Finland pays child benefit and other family benefits to their full amount. If the total amount of benefits from Sweden is larger than the amount of benefits from Finland, Sweden pays the difference. If Mats's spouse works in Sweden, family benefits are paid to their full amount from Sweden and Finland pays any possible difference.

Different situations where family benefits are coordinated

  • If you come to Finland to work here but your family does not move to Finland with you, you are entitled to family benefits from Finland for your children if they live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. If you are also the only parent in the family who is working, Finland is the primary payer of family benefits. Finland pays the benefits to their full amounts. However, your family may be entitled to the difference in family benefits also from your family's country of residence if the benefits from that country are larger than the benefits from Finland.
  • If you work in Finland and your spouse/partner works in the children's country of residence, your spouse's/partner's country of employment is responsible for the payment of family benefits and pays the benefits in full. Finland only pays the difference in family benefits if the benefits from Finland are larger than the benefits from your spouse's/partner’s country of employment.
  • If you work in Finland and your children also live in Finland, Finland pays family benefits in the normal manner. If your spouse/partner works in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, your family may be entitled to the difference in family benefits from your spouse's/partner's country of employment.
  • If you move to Finland with your children but you do not work here and your spouse/partner works in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, your spouse's/partner's country of employment pays the family benefits in full. Finland pays the difference in family benefits if the total amount of family benefits from Finland is larger than the benefits from your spouse's/partner’s country of employment.

Child benefit

You can be entitled to child benefit for the children who move with you from the beginning of the month following the move, if you move to Finland to live or work here.

Child benefit can also be paid for the children of a person who works in Finland even if the children live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland.

Persons from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland who come to work in Finland for at least six months can receive child benefit from Finland for their children who move with them to Finland, provided that the person has a permit that gives the right to work. The work must also meet the minimum requirements regarding the terms of employment.

Child home care allowance and private day care allowance

Child home care allowance and private day care allowance are usually paid for children who have a place of domicile or place of stay in Finland.

Child home care allowance is also paid for the children of a person who works in Finland even if the children live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. If the child does not live in Finland, you are not entitled to municipal supplement, partial or flexible care allowance or private day care allowance.

Employees from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland are entitled to the care allowance and care supplement in the child home care allowance, if the work is intended to last for at least six months and the person actually works. Granting the benefit presupposes that the child stays with you in Finland. You must also have a permit for at least six months that gives the right to work.

Maternity grant

You can get maternity grant if you are permanently resident in Finland or work here. For instance Finns who are resident abroad on a permanent basis or asylum seekers are not entitled to maternity grant. Only women are entitled to maternity grant.

In certain situations you may be entitled to maternity grant even if you work in another country or have come to Finland as a family member of a person who works. Check your entitlement to the grant if

  • you are a family member of an employee from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and you are permanently resident in Finland
  • you are a seaman and you are permanently resident in Finland but you work on board a vessel flying the flag of another EU or EEA country
  • you work in another EU or EEA country but you are resident in Finland on a permanent basis.

Maternity, paternity and parental allowances

The granting of maternity, paternity and parental allowance presupposes that you have lived and been covered under the national health insurance scheme in Finland for at least 180 days immediately preceding the expected due date. If you come from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland and the child is born shortly after the move to Finland, the required period of 180 days can also include insurance periods in other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland. The amount of the benefit is usually determined on the earnings in Finland. Persons who do not have any earnings in Finland are usually granted the allowance to the minimum amount.

If you after your move to Finland receive parental allowances from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the country of origin usually pays the benefit to the end of the payment period and you cannot be granted parental allowances from Finland for the same period. After the parental allowance period of the other country has ended you are eligible for parental allowances from Finland if the payment period in Finland is longer than the payment period of the country of origin. In such situations, the allowance is usually paid to the minimum amount in Finland.

Child maintenance allowance

You are entitled to child maintenance allowance, if your child is permanently resident in Finland.

Entitlement to child maintenance allowance can also arise if you come to Finland from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland to work here. In such cases, child maintenance allowance can be paid for the period of employment. A further requirement is that the child moves to Finland and lives in the same household.

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