Temporary protection does not confer a right to residence-based social security benefits from Kela

Being granted temporary protection does not automatically make one eligible for residence-based benefits from Kela. However, someone under temporary protection may be eligible for benefits if Kela considers their residence in Finland to be of a permanent nature. Persons who have been granted temporary protection can avail themselves of the services available from the reception centre.

As a general rule, persons under temporary protection who arrived in Finland after the start of the war in Ukraine and who do not have existing connections to Finland cannot get residence-based social security benefits from Kela. This includes such benefits as general housing allowances, child benefits and health insurance benefits. Social assistance and student financial aid benefits are also not available on the basis of temporary protection.

However, persons under temporary protection may be eligible for residence-based benefits if Kela considers their residence in Finland to be of a permanent nature. This is based on an overall assessment of each person’s circumstances.

Kela can consider someone to be living permanently resident in in Finland if

  • a family member (for example, a spouse/partner or an under-age child) is already living permanently in Finland
  • they have lived permanently in Finland before
  • they will have a job or place to study in Finland for at least two years.

Also persons who work in Finland and are paid at least EUR 741.75 per month may be entitled to Kela benefits.

Applications for Kela benefits and the Kela Card can be made in the OmaKela e-service and on application forms. A notification of moving to Finland is required as well. It can be made either in OmaKela or on the Y 77e form (pdf).

Reception centres provide access to services and secure the residents’ livelihood

Persons under temporary protection have a right to stay at the reception centre and to receive the services that are available through the centre. For example, they get access to healthcare and to essential social services and can be paid a reception allowance which guarantees their basic subsistence. They also have the option to arrange their accommodation independently. Persons under temporary protection are permitted to work.  

The planning, oversight and coordination of the reception system are the responsibility of the Finnish Immigration Service.

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