When applying for social assistance, it is essential to include a bank statement

Kela needs to consult the bank statement when reviewing an application for social assistance. Applicants who do not include a bank statement with their application will be contacted by Kela, usually by phone.

Social assistance, or income support, is a last-resort form of government financial assistance. When an individual or a family applies for social assistance, Kela adds up their available income and assets and allowable expenses based on certain information and documents, including bank statements. Applicants must provide a bank statement for each domestic or foreign bank account held by any family member.

The bank statement shows the account number, the account holder, the current balance, a complete list of transactions, and the period the statement covers. Instead of a full bank statement, applicants may also provide documented evidence of the transactions in the account, but only if it shows the account number and current balance and if the list of transactions is complete. An ATM slip for example is not accepted because it does not show the account number.

Bank statements are increasingly required also for follow-up applications

All new applications for social assistance must be accompanied by a bank statement, but applicants filing a follow-up application may also be asked to provide one. This will be stated in the most recent decision on social assistance they have received from Kela. Applicants should refer to the section of the decision titled “Please do as follows” to see what bank statements or other supporting documentation they must provide with their next application.

Applications accompanied by a bank statement will be reviewed sooner. If an application is missing a bank statement or other necessary documentation, Kela will have to call the applicant to ask for the missing documentation. Applicants may also be sent a message or letter requesting them to provide the documentation. If an applicant does not provide the requested document, their application will be denied. A missing bank statement is one of the most common reasons for turning down an application for social assistance.

Assistance for using the e-service is available from Kela’s customer service points

Bank statements and other documents supporting an application for social assistance can be submitted online at www.kela.fi/asiointi (in Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/etjanst (in Swedish). Public computers are available at most Kela customer service points, and staff can assist clients in their use.

Bank statements can be stored on a computer in PDF format or saved as a screenshot. They can also be scanned or photographed. It is important to include all of the pages in the bank statement. Alternatively, clients can submit the original paper statements.

Additional information for customers