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Changes to Kela benefits in 2021

Kieliversiot | 7.1.2021
A number of legislative changes will take effect at the beginning of 2021, which will also affect Kela benefits. Learn more below about the changes to benefits for students, unemployed persons, persons with long-term illness, pensioners and families with children.
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See whether the changes in Kela benefits are relevant to your own situation

  1. New healthcare fee levied from higher education students Higher education students must for the first time pay a healthcare fee to Kela for the spring term 2021. In 2021, the fee will be EUR 35.80 per term. Students are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it unprompted via Kela’s e-service. More information about the healthcare fee
  2. The meal subsidy for higher education students will increase by EUR 0.36, to EUR 2.30 per meal. There will also be some changes to student benefits due to the coronavirus epidemic. For example, the target time to graduate and to qualify for a student loan compensation or tax deduction can be extended by 0.5 academic years if graduation was delayed in autumn 2020 because of the epidemic. The eligibility conditions for the school transport subsidy will also be changed temporarily. More information about benefits for students.
  3. Unemployed persons. Some temporary exceptions to unemployment benefit rules are extended to 31 March 2021. For example, the exempt amount applicable to unemployment benefits is raised to EUR 500, and the eligibility conditions for the commuting and relocation allowance are relaxed.
    Self-employed persons can get labour market subsidy payments until 31 March 2021 if their business has suffered due to the epidemic. The daily amounts of basic unemployment allowances and labour market subsidies are increased by EUR 0.12 to EUR 33.78 per day. More information about benefits for the unemployed.
  4. Persons with long-term illness. The annual cap on out-of-pocket prescription medicine costs is increased by EUR 2.12 to EUR 579.78 per calendar year. The minimum amount of sickness, rehabilitation and special care allowances is increased by EUR 0.11 per day. New types of rehabilitation are available for persons experiencing work-related burnout or suffering from sleep apnea.  A new type of rehabilitation is also available for young persons diagnosed with Asperger’s, ADHD or ADD. More information on benefits available during illness or rehabilitation.
  5. National pensions and guarantee pensions are index adjusted upwards by 0.4%. Starting 1 January 2021, the full national pension for persons living alone is EUR 665.29 per month and that of the guarantee pension EUR 837.59 per month. Kela will adjust pensions automatically without application. More information about benefits for pensioners.
  6. Families with children. Child benefits and the supplemental payments for single parents will remain unchanged. The minimum amounts of maternity, paternity and parental allowances and of the special care allowance will increase slightly to EUR 29.05 per day. More information about benefits for families with children.
  7. Incomes Register expanded to cover information on pensions and social security benefits. Starting from the beginning of 2021, Kela will report benefit and pension payments to the Incomes Register. Individuals who receive income can check the Incomes Register’s e-service for up-to-date information on their salary, pension and benefit income. More information about the Incomes Register.
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