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The Finnish Government proposes a new benefit in response to the coronavirus outbreak
The Government has proposed the creation of a new social benefit. It would be payable to parents who have to take unpaid leave in order to provide care for their child at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The benefit would also be available to persons who return to Finland from another country and are placed in conditions equivalent to quarantine. Final details on the new law are not yet available.
The law establishing the new benefit is being drafted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and may still undergo changes. The new benefit would be paid by Kela. Kela is monitoring the process and looking at ways to implement the new provisions. If the draft law is passed by Parliament, Kela will provide advice and details on the new benefit.
The benefit would be equal to the minimum allowance for parents, or EUR 28.94 for each working day (EUR 723.50 per month). It would be available starting from 16 March 2020 for as long as the restrictions imposed by the Government remain in effect.
Applications are not accepted yet
The Government’s proposal has not yet been submitted to Parliament, and the law has not yet been passed. It is therefore not yet possible to apply for the new benefit. Kela is drawing up the application form that will be used with the new benefit. Customers should therefore not send informal applications to Kela. Once Kela begins to accept applications for the new benefit, customers should use the designated application form to ensure that their application is reviewed as quickly as possible.
Applications will be accepted as soon as Parliament has passed the bill establishing the new benefit and Kela has taken the necessary administrative measures. Kela will at that point inform the public about the new benefit as well as make the application form available on its website at www.kela.fi. Under the Government’s proposal, applications for the new benefit could be made retroactively for three calendar months from 16 March 2020.
Kela is currently not able to provide assistance to customers over the phone about the new benefit.
Customers whose application for infectious disease allowance has been denied can ask Kela to review their eligibility for the new benefit as soon as the Government’s proposal to establish the new benefit has been approved by Parliament.
Details of the new benefit proposed by the Government
- The new benefit would be available to
- parents of children in early childhood education who have to take unpaid leave from work in order to provide care for their child at home
- parents of children in the first to third year of primary school who have to take unpaid leave from work in order to provide care for their child at home
- persons who have returned to Finland from another country, have been placed in conditions equivalent to quarantine and have to take unpaid leave from work.
- The enabling Act of Parliament would be in force for a specified period of time.