What is Kela?

The Finnish Kela among the most comprehensive and advanced welfare systems in the world.
The Finnish Kela among the most comprehensive and advanced welfare systems in the world.

Kela is a Finnish institution in charge of settling benefits. The institution operates under the National Social Security Program. Kela started in 1937 with an aim of handling retirement benefits. The role of Kela extended to other fields. Besides handling retirement benefits, the institution handles sickness benefits, student financial aid, unemployment benefits, and child benefits among others. Kela operates with funds from taxation and funded schemes. Kela rates among the most comprehensive and advanced welfare systems in the world. It provides better living standards to the Finnish people.

Accessing Kela Information

Kela maintains a detailed website outlining all the aspects of local social security. The Kela website is available in three languages: English, Finnish, and Swedish. There is also a video version of the website in sign language. The site is also available in languages such as French, German, Russian, Estonian, and Sami. This makes the website accessible by both Finnish residents and people intending to visit Finland.

Kela Benefits Entitlement

Kela accords social security benefits to permanent residents. Asylum seekers, refugees, or return migrants may become permanent residents upon meeting some conditions. They should have a residence permit and after duration of one year, they become Finnish residents. Kela also considers people with a job contract, either long term or short term, with Finnish government. Persons with family living in Finland as permanent residents may also benefit from Kela.

Application for Social Security Cover

A person that moves to Finland and intends to be entitled to social security cover is required to register at the population office. One has to fill a Kela form Y 77e obtained at Kela website for social security benefits. The applicant receives a written decision to notify him or her of confirmation or disqualification. Disqualified persons can still appeal the decision following the instructions provided at the website. A qualifying person receives a photo less Kela card automatically without any charge. The Kela card serves as personal health insurance card.

Additional Kela Benefits

Kela offers additional benefits such as disability allowance. This provides daily support to individuals with various physical challenges. Disability allowance covers individuals of all ages beginning from below sixteen years. This allowance enhances self-sustainability among disabled people. Kela provides disability allowance triggered by the fact that the society shuns most disabled people terming them as an extra burden. Furthermore, disability allowance reduces the number of beggars in most urban centres as it enables them to be self-reliant. Pensioners with disability or chronic illnesses benefit from care allowance offered by Kela.

Reimbursement for medical expenses is also an additional benefit offered by Kela. Beneficiaries receive compensation for all medicines and clinical supplements prescribed for treatment of chronic illnesses. They also receive reimbursement for all travel expenses incurred while seeking medical attention under the healthcare benefit package. Kela offers rehabilitation allowance for beneficiaries who are on the road to recovery from a chronic illness. The individuals receive the benefits until they resume work. Rehabilitation allowance is also available to young people. Young people may access rehabilitation allowance during studies or while undergoing a medical treatment.


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