Income check

  1. When the taxation for the year of the income check is confirmed, your taxable income is reported to Kela by the Tax Administration. From this income, Kela deducts the study grant and adds to it the income you may have received from abroad.
  2. After that Kela compares your annual income against the annual income limit, which depends on the number of months for which you have received financial aid.
  3. If your income exceeds your annual income limit, Kela will send you a preliminary decision concerning the recovery of the overpaid amount.
  4. When Kela monitors student incomes, Kela checks the income data in the taxation data and the national incomes register. The starting of the studies, graduation or the ending of the maximum period of financial aid cannot always be taken into account in the decision proposal. If you have earned some or all of the income at some other time than a period of active study, you can contact Kela to request a review.

If you believe that your tax information is incorrect, you can ask the Tax Administration to revise your taxes. If your tax information is revised by the Tax Administration, ask Kela to carry out the income check again.

Requesting a review

If you have received a preliminary decision concerning repayment of financial aid, you may, within 30 days, request that Kela reviews the decision.

It is a good idea to request a review in the following situations:

  • You have begun a course of study in the middle of the academic year and have earned all or part of your income before that.
  • You have graduated in the middle of the academic year and have earned all or part of your income after graduating.
  • You have used up your financial aid entitlement and have earned all or part of your income after the final month for which you received financial aid.

The request for a review must be made in writing, but there are no other formal requirements. You can make the request by sending a message in the OmaKela e-service. Alternatively, you can mail the request and any supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

Do as follows:

  1. File a request for a review in the OmaKela service. Log in using your online bank credentials or a mobile ID.
  2. Go to Viestit (Messages). Select ‘Opiskelijan asiat’ (Student matters) and ‘Opintotuen tulovalvonta’ (Financial aid income check). By selecting the topic accurately, you can help to speed up the processing of your case. You should not, for example, select ‘Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat’ (Overpayment and recovery) or ‘Muu asia’ (Other) as the topic of your message. Also do not select ‘Muutoksenhaku- tai valitusasia’ (Appeal or complaint).
  3. If you have attended a Finnish school and your income details can be found in the national incomes register, your message is usually enough to start the review process. Indicate in your message
    • the decision you are asking to be reviewed
    • when you began your studies, graduated or used up your financial aid entitlement.
    • There are no formal requirements for the message. For example, you can write something like: ”I’m asking you to review the proposed decision I received concerning the financial aid income check. The proposed decision was issued on dd.mm.yyyy. I graduated on dd.mm.yyyy. Please check my income from the incomes register.”
  4. If you have studied abroad or you have had income that does not show up in the incomes register, please send us the relevant documentation. Enclose the following with the request for a review:

You do not have to send documentation about benefits you may receive from Kela or about wages or compensations which show up in the incomes register. Further, you do not have to show proof of graduation if the proposed decision you received from Kela indicates that you have graduated. Degree certificates are not needed for vocational degrees completed in a Finnish educational institution.

You will receive a new decision about the recovery of the overpayment

If you request a review, you do not have to pay the amount being recovered from you by the indicated due date. Repayment details will be set out in a new decision.

Kela will process your request for a review and give you a new decision. The new decision can be appealed to the Student Financial Aid Review Board.

If you do not request a review within the specified period of time, Kela will recover from you financial aid payments in accordance with the preliminary decision.

Recoverable amount: Benefits paid in 2020 or 2021

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 232 euros at the most, you need not pay back any aid at all. If you exceed it by more than 232 euros, you must pay back one month of financial aid for each amount of 1,382 euros (or part thereof) in excess.

Kela increases the recoverable amount by 7.5 % as per the Act on Student Financial Aid. If you are a student in higher education, the number of months for which financial aid was recovered from you will not be made available to you again as months for which you may receive financial aid later on.

You can estimate the recoverable amount with the help of the calculators for students' own income (calculators in Finnish and Swedish only).

Amount exceeding the annual income limit (EUR) Months of financial aid that will be recovered

The number of aid months for which benefits are to be recovered:
benefits paid in 2020 or 2021

232.01 – 1,382.00 1
1,382.01 – 2,764.00 2
2,764.01 – 4,146.00 3
4,146.01 – 5,528.00 4
5,528.01 – 6,910.00 5
6,910.01 – 8,292.00 6
8,292.01 – 9,674.00 7
9,674.01 – 11,056.00 8
11,056.01 – 12,438.00 9
12,438.01 – 13,820.00 10
13,820.01 – 15,202.00 11
15,202.01 – 12

Financial aid is recovered in chronological order starting from the last calendar month for which financial aid was paid. Aid is recovered up to an amount not exceeding the aggregate amount of study grant and housing supplement that you have received during the calendar year.

A practical example of a check of income for 2020 (carried out in 2022)

A student has been paid a study grant of 250 euros per month for 9 months. For students with 9 months of financial aid the limit is 12,498 euros. The student's total annual income is 15,000 euros. If the student returns the study grant (a total amount of 500 euros) for 2 months by 30 April 2021, the annual income limit will be raised to 15,262 euros and the student will not have to pay back any financial aid. If the student does not return financial aid by 30 April 2021, the annual income limit is exceeded by 2,502 euros. In that case Kela requires the student to pay back study grant payments for two months. The amount to be recovered is 500 euros, which is increased by 7.5% for a total of 537.50 euros.

Recoverable amount: Benefits paid in 2018 or 2019

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 222 euros at the most, you need not pay back any aid at all. If you exceed it by more than 222 euros, you must pay back one month of financial aid for each amount of 1,323 euros (or part thereof) in excess.

Kela increases the recoverable amount by 7.5 % as per the Act on Student Financial Aid. If you are a student in higher education, the number of months for which financial aid was recovered from you will not be made available to you again as months for which you may receive financial aid later on.

You can estimate the recoverable amount with the help of the calculators for students' own income (calculators in Finnish and Swedish only).

Amount exceeding the annual income limit (EUR)

Months of financial aid that will be recovered

The number of aid months for which benefits are to be recovered: benefits paid in 2018 or 2019

222.01 – 1,323.00 1
1,323.01 – 2,646.00 2
2,646.01 – 3,969.00 3
3,969.01 – 5,292.00 4
5,292.01 – 6,615.00 5
6,615.01 – 7,938.00 6
7,938.01 – 9,261.00 7
9,261.01 – 10,584.00 8
10,584.01 – 11,907.00 9
11,907.01 – 13,230.00 10
13,230.01 – 14,553.00 11
14,553.01 – 12

Financial aid is recovered in chronological order starting from the last calendar month for which financial aid was paid. Aid is recovered up to an amount not exceeding the aggregate amount of study grant and housing supplement that you have received during the calendar year.

A practical example of a check of income for 2018 (carried out in 2020)

A student has been paid a study grant of 250 euros per month for 9 months. For students with 9 months of financial aid the limit is 11,973 euros. The student's total annual income is 14,000 euros. If the student returns the study study grant (a total amount of 500 euros) for 2 months, the annual income limit will be raised to 14,619 euros and the student will not have to pay back any financial aid. If the student does not return financial aid, the annual income limit is exceeded by 2,027 euros. In that case Kela requires the student to pay back study grant payments for two months. The amount to be recovered is 500 euros, which is increased by 7.5% for a total of 537.50 euros.

Schedule for repaying overpaid financial aid

If a decision has been made to recover student financial aid from you, you can agree on the payment arrangements with Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre. You can suggest payment in instalments or an offset of your debt against a benefit from Kela. Set-off means that the overpaid financial aid is deducted from another benefit that you receive.

Do as follows:

  1. Send a message via the OmaKela e-service asking that the overpayment be deducted from another benefit. Log in to the e-service using your online bank credentials or a mobile ID. Use the message function and select Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat (in Finnish) or Överbetalningar och indrivningsärenden (in Swedish).
  2. Send a message via the OmaKela e-service proposing to pay back the overpayment in instalments. Log in to the e-service using your online bank credentials or a mobile ID. Select 'Hakemukset ja ilmoitukset’ (Applications and notifications) -> Perinnän maksusuunnitelma (Recovery payment plan).
  3. Alternatively you can complete and print out the form Ehdotus takaisinmaksusta (Suggestion for repayment) (Y81) and send it by post to Kela at the address Kelan perintäkeskus, PL 31, 00056 KELA.

If you pay back student grant, Kela will automatically advise the Tax Administration of your repayments for the purpose of tax calculation. Kela will also send you a notification, but you do not need to take any action yourself. You will receive a notification annually. The notification process does not apply to the general housing allowance, nor to the housing supplement for students, because these benefits are not subject to income tax.

 

Read more