How basic social assistance is reviewed by Kela

Kela reviews the basic social assistance if there are changes in your own or your family's circumstances which are relevant to the amount of the assistance.

Report changes via the e-service (in Finnish and in Swedish) or on basic social assistance application form TO1e.

The review may result in the amount of basic social assistance being reduced or increased.

If it is reduced (for example because your other income has increased), any overpayment of social assistance overpaid may be taken into account when estimating the amount of social assistance for future months. In other words, you will not be required to pay it back but future payments of social assistance may be smaller than would otherwise be the case. Kela will contact you as needed before reviewing the assistance. If you have earnings that were not yet known when the decision on social assistance was made, such earnings can be taken into account afterwards, should an application for social assistance be made within the next two calendar months.


Marja lives in Tampere. Her salary is EUR 900 per month after taxes. An earnings deduction of EUR 150 per month is made from her salary. Marja pays EUR 600 in rent each month. She receives a housing allowance payment of EUR 312 per month. EUR 174 per month in public transport costs needed to commute to work is counted as an expense when calculating Marja’s social assistance. The amount of basic social assistance per month is EUR 203.21.

It is granted up to the end of April. Marja applies for social assistance for the month of May, and says that her salary for April included a EUR 120 bonus. Because it was not taken into account when calculating the social assistance for April, it is recognised as income for May. She therefore gets only EUR 83.21 in social assistance for May.

The amounts shown in the example are current as of 2018.

If the amount of assistance increases as a result of the review, the payment will be deposited to your account within two business days of the date of decision.

If the amount of social assistance is reviewed because of a change in family circumstances, the review is made starting from the date when the change occurred.

Kela may be advised of changes in your circumstances or need for assistance through some other channels, such as when you move house.

Read more