Only working days count as processing time for applications for basic social assistance

Kela is currently receiving many questions about the processing time for applications for basic social assistance. The processing of an application will not begin until all the necessary supporting documents have been submitted to Kela.

After submitting an application for basic social assistance to Kela, you will receive a decision within seven working days. However, this requires that the application is complete and includes all necessary supporting documents. If your application is incomplete, Kela will ask you to supply the necessary additional documents. In such a case, your application will be decided within 7 working days of the day on which the supporting documents arrived at Kela.
– Only working days from Monday to Friday count as processing time explains Tomi Ståhl, Head of the Centre of Expertise in Income Security Benefits.

The fact that there is a guaranteed processing time does not mean that the money will be in the customer's bank account within 7 working days.
– The payments will as a rule be in your bank account within 2 banking days of the day of the decision. If you send the application by post, you should also take into account the time needed for the application to be delivered to Kela. If the application arrives at Kela on Monday, it must be decided on Wednesday the following week. The money will be in your account within 2 banking days of the day of the decision, Tomi Ståhl says.

Visiting the Kela office or calling Kela's telephone service is not a shortcut to quicker processing of your application. The applications are processed in order of arrival.   

Urgent applications are processed faster

If Kela considers your application to be urgent, it will be processed on the day on which the application arrived or on the following working day. The payment will be in your bank account within 2 banking days of the day of the decision. In urgent situations, you can also be given a voucher to pay for medicines or groceries.

In urgent situations, you must either telephone or visit a Kela office and state the reasons for the urgency. Your application may, for example, be urgent if your circumstances change unexpectedly in a way that was not possible to foresee.

Check the status of your application in the online customer service

In Kela's online customer service (, only in Finnish and Swedish) you can check the status of your application and apply for almost all Kela benefits. To log in to Kela's online customer service, use your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate.

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