If you have moved to Finland on a more permanent basis, e.g. you have a job contract or have moved for family reasons, you can apply for entitlement to the Finnish health and social security by application. With a Kela health card you can apply for Kela benefits.
If you are waiting for asylum or residence permit, you do not yet live in Finland permanently and cannot get the Kela benefits.
If you have come to Finland as a student, you are living in Finland on a temporary basis. However, if you are working, you might be eligible for Kela security. More information for international students on Kelas page.
Use a form to apply for the Kela benefits. In different situations, a different form is filled out. You can find the Kela forms here.
You can also book an appointment at a Kela office or customer telephone support. In the office, they will clarify your situation and fill in forms. If necessary, ask for interpretation. You will find the Kela contacts at the bottom of the page.
Once you get online banking credentials, you can handle Kela’s affairs online.
If you get a job, report it to Kela. You may no longer need the Kela benefits.
More information about Finnish social security can be found on InfoFinland pages.
Kela can pay a housing allowance if you are on a low income. The housing allowance is intended for housing expenses.
Kela grants a housing allowance to the household, that is, to people living in the same home. A household is therefore not necessarily the same thing as family. If your acquaintance moves into the same flat with you, he belongs to your household. That is when you get less housing allowance.
Kela usually grants the housing allowance ahead one year. If your situation changes over the course of the year, please report it immediately to Kela.
Kela can pay the housing allowance to your account or directly to your flat owner’s account. The owners of flats often prefer that the housing allowance will go into their account. That is when the money goes directly towards the rent payment.
BENEFITS FOR A FAMILY WITH CHILDREN
If you have young children, you can be eligible for family leave. So you get reimbursement from Kela when you care for your children at home.
If you are expecting a baby in your family, contact Kela. You should find out before the birth of a child, what kind of benefits your family will receive from Kela.