Kela is developing new ways to provide service to customers with specific language needs

Kela has offered customer service by phone to customers speaking Arabic, Somali or Russian. This service as it currently exists will be discontinued on 19 February 2021. Customer service for customers with specific language needs will mainly be provided in the form of a callback service and as interpreter-mediated service over the phone.

For the past nearly 12 months, Kela has on a trial basis provided customer service by phone to Arabic, Somali and Russian speaking customers on three weekday mornings. The goal has been to make it easier for customers with little or no Finnish skills to interact with Kela.

During the trial, it was discovered that the service was not entirely successful in reaching customers with the greatest need of support. The decision was therefore made to discontinue the service on 19 February 2021.

Customer service for customers speaking Arabic, Somali or Russian will be provided as a callback service and as interpreter-mediated service. This will ensure that the service can better find customers with the greatest need for language support.

Kela can arrange an interpreter for customers who cannot conduct their business with Kela in Finnish, Swedish or English. Also partner organisations can schedule a phone appointment for customers who wish to contact Kela.

As customers with an immigration background gain more language proficiency, they are steered towards Kela’s Finnish and Swedish language services.  Kela also supports immigrant customers’ access to information by offering web pages written in plain Finnish and plain Swedish.

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