Reduced basic amount

Everyone has the obligation, according to the best of their ability, to look after themselves and to seek a livelihood. Kela may reduce the basic amount of social assistance by a maximum of 20 percent or a maximum of 40 percent if you for example act in a way that causes a situation where work or public employment service cannot be offered to you, or if you decline such an offer without good cause, despite the fact that by accepting the offer, you could secure a livelihood for a reasonable length of time.

Kela may initially reduce the basic amount by up to 20 percent. This can be done if

  • you have by your own actions caused a situation where work or public employment service cannot be offered to you; for example
    • you have not registered with the TE Services as an unemployed jobseeker despite being required to do so, or
    • you have continued for an extended period of time to operate an unprofitable business that does not provide you with sufficient funds to meet your expenses, or
    • you have remained a full-time student despite not having sufficient funds to meet your expenses
  • you have, without good cause, turned down an offer of work or public employment service that would provide you with sufficient funds for a reasonable length of time
  • you are between 18 and 24 and do not have vocational qualifications, and have left or declined a course of education or training, making you ineligible for unemployment benefits
  • you have, without good cause, withdrawn from or declined to participate in rehabilitative work activity
  • you have declined to participate in drawing up an activation plan or a multidisciplinary employment plan
  • you have declined, without good cause, to draw up an integration plan or to participate in employment promotion measures agreed in the plan
  • you have by your own actions caused a situation where an integration plan cannot be drawn up.

Kela may reduce the basic amount by up to 40 percent if

  • it on the basis of your repeated refusals or failures to act that have resulted in a reduction of the basic amount by a maximum of 20 percent can be considered that you are not prepared to accept a job offer or participate in measures referred to in the Act on Public Employment and Business Service, the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration or the Act on Rehabilitative Work Activity
  • you after the reduction of the basic amount have declined to participate in labour policy measures without good cause and, in addition, also declined, without good cause, to participate in activities to promote functional capacity in accordance with a plan drawn up due to the reduction
  • you after the reduction of the basic amount have acted in a way which causes a situation where participation in a labour policy measure cannot be offered to you and, in addition, you have declined, without good cause, to participate in activities to promote functional capacity in accordance with a plan drawn up due to the reduction.

However, the reduction of the basic amount may not deprive you of essential economic security or cause unreasonable hardship.

The basic amount can be reduced for a maximum of 2 months at a time starting from the refusal or failure to act.

The reduction only concerns your basic amount. It does not affect the basic amount of your other family members.

How to avoid a reduction in the basic amount

You must take steps to have the TE Services recognise you as an unemployed jobseeker and to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits. You must also maintain your jobseeker status so that you can be offered work, training or other services.

You are required to register with the TE Services as an unemployed jobseeker if you are between 17 and 64 and

  • you are not employed or self-employed
  • you are not a full-time student
  • you are unable to accept work because you are in institutional care or because of a diagnosed illness.

However, you are not required to register as an unemployed jobseeker if

  • you receive a sickness allowance or partial sickness allowance
  • you receive a disability pension
  • you receive a rehabilitation subsidy or a benefit based on full disability for work
  • you are disabled within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act or the National Pensions Act, even if you have not been granted any of the above mentioned benefits
  • you receive an old-age pension or early old-age pension
  • you receive an unemployment pension
  • you are entitled to a maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance, you have been granted a leave on account of pregnancy or childbirth or child care responsibilities, or you receive a special care allowance on account of child care responsibilities
  • you receive farm closure benefits
  • you receive a rehabilitation allowance or a compensation for loss of income on account of rehabilitation
  • you receive a years-of-service pension under the legislation on earnings-related pensions
  • you have some other good reason comparable to the above why you cannot accept work.

Before we reduce the basic amount of your social assistance, you may tell us your own view of the situation and explain why you think the basic amount should not be reduced or that doing so would be unreasonable. Also tell us if you have resolved the issue that could cause a reduction in the basic amount.

Cooperation between Kela and the municipal authorities

Kela is authorised to receive information from the municipality to help it consider whether to reduce the basic amount.

If the decision is made to reduce the basic amount, Kela will inform the municipal social services office and refer you to contact that office. They will draw up a plan outlining how you can increase your autonomy and independence and what could be done to support you in that effort.

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