Application processing times now posted at www.kela.fi
Kela’s website has a new feature that provides up-to-date information on the expected processing times of submitted applications for benefits.
Application processing times are the most common category of questions that customers ask Kela’s customer service staff. The page for looking up processing times is one of the most popular on Kela’s website, receiving nearly a million visits a year.
According to Samuli Vuorinen, an online communications specialist at Kela, the page has until now shown the target times for processing applications, which are set by Kela’s Board. However, customers have wanted more detailed information than the target times, which only show the number of weeks that the processing of the applications is supposed to take.
The new feature provides the latest updated information on application processing times. The time shown is the average calculated on the basis of the last seven days. The information is updated automatically every day.
Fewer customer inquiries expected
The new feature was developed in partnership with customers and Kela staff members. There was a clear need for the feature. Customers felt that the feature makes it less necessary to contact Kela. For their part, Kela’s staff members see it as a useful tool for providing customer service.
Samuli Vuorinen says that until now, customer service staff have only had the option of referring to the set target times when customers have asked about application processing times. Of course, even the new feature does not allow the staff to tell individual customers exactly when they will get a decision on their application, Vuorinen says.
For many customers, asking about processing times is a way to make sure that their application has arrived and is in order. Customers can check the status of their application by signing in to Kela’s e-service at www.kela.fi/asiointi (Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/etjanst (Swedish). They can confirm that their application has arrived and find out if it has been decided already, check the benefit payment dates, and see what benefits they have received most recently. Customers can also see notifications concerning any supporting documents that might be missing from their application.
Kela will in any case contact a customer whose application is missing information or a supporting document, Vuorinen says.