Claiming Kela's unemployment benefits and social assistance made easier
Customers no longer have to enclose pay slips with the application for an unemployment benefit or social assistance. Kela will obtain wage details from the national incomes register
Kela no longer requires customers to enclose verifications of wages and salaries with an application for labour market subsidy, basic unemployment allowance or social assistance. Information stating that Kela retrieves wage details from the national incomes register has been added to the application forms.
As informed on a press release, Kela expects that the national incomes register will considerably reduce the amount of documentation needed for the processing of applications.
Last year, the Finnish Social Security institution processed 1.9 million applications for basic social assistance. Approximately 10% of those applications included wage details. The number of applications for an unemployment benefit processed was 1.3 million. In about 32% of the cases there were wages or salaries to take into account when determining the benefit.
The customer must still indicate in the application if he or she has worked. Kela will check the amount of pay from the national incomes register. In case that the incomes register does not contain sufficient information on the wage or salary paid, Kela will contact the customer to request for instance documentation on the payments or details on the deductions made.
The exempt amount
Kela remarks that for instance in the unemployment status report the applicant must inform about the days when he or she has worked. The period of employment must always be reported even when the pay does not exceed the exempt amount on the unemployment benefits (300 euros per month).
The employer must report the data to the incomes register within 5 calendar days of the payment of a wage or salary. It might happen that not all employers have reported the data yet. This may mean that at least initially Kela will have to request also pay details that should be available from the national incomes register.
The customer can also check if the employer has reported the pay details to the national incomes register at the website www.tulorekisteri.fi
A bank user ID and passwords are needed to log into the incomes register.
Income that is not reported
According to the information published by Kela, applicants must bear in mind that the benefit determination may also be affected by incomes that are not reported to the national incomes register. Such incomes include for instance income from capital (rental income, interest income, dividend income), entrepreneurial income and income from abroad. Customers must also henceforth provide documentation on such incomes.
Kela starts using the data in the national incomes register in stages when processing claims and applications. In the first stage, verification of wages and salaries is no longer requested when processing applications for social assistance and unemployment benefits as well as, for instance, child care allowances and housing allowance for pensioners.
The next changes to the application procedure will be introduced on 1 April. From that date, verification of wages and salaries will no longer be requested when processing applications for general housing allowance. The change will be implemented at the same time both in the electronic service and on the application forms.