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Changes to Kela benefits in 2023

Kieliversiot | 2.1.2023
A number of legislative changes relevant to Kela benefits will go into effect at the beginning of 2023. Due to rising prices, benefit rates will go up more than usual. See below how the benefits for families with children, students, unemployed persons and pensioners will change.
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See whether the changes in Kela benefits are relevant to your own situation

1. Families with children. The minimum rates of parental and child care allowances will go up by 4.2% at the turn of the year. In addition, the full rate of the care supplement to the private day care allowance will be increased by EUR100 starting 1 March 2023.  The single-parent supplement to the child benefit will be raised by EUR 5 per month for the duration of 2023. The amounts of child maintenance allowance and child support will go up by 8.3%. More information about benefits for families with children.

2. Students. The income limits for student financial aid are raised by 20%. Students who get financial aid for nine months can earn up to EUR 18,720. Study grants will be increased by 4.2% on 1 August 2023. The provider supplement to the study grant will be increased by EUR 10 per month for the duration of 2023. The healthcare fee for students in higher education will go up by one euro to EUR 36.80 per term. More information about benefits for students.

3. Unemployed persons. New transition security measures will be introduced for employees aged 55 or over who have been laid off. Studying while receiving unemployment benefits will also become easier. The age limit to qualify for the so-called unemployment path to retirement will be raised and those born in 1965 or later will no longer be eligible for any additional days of unemployment allowance. Basic unemployment allowances and labour market subsidies will be increased by EUR 0.72 per day. The new amount will be EUR 37.21 per day. Child increases supplementing unemployment benefits will be raised by 20% for the duration of 2023. More information about benefits for the unemployed

4. Pensioners. An index adjustment of 4.2% will be applied to national pensions, guarantee pensions and the care allowance for pensioners. Starting 1 January 2023, the full national pension for persons living alone is EUR 732.67 per month and that of the guarantee pension EUR 922.42 per month. Kela will adjust pensions and care allowances automatically without application. The amount of housing costs recognised under the pensioners’ housing allowance scheme will be increased. The maximum recognised housing costs will go up by 7.8%. The amount of heating costs recognised as housing costs will increase by 57%. More information about benefits for pensioners.

5. Sickness benefits. Reimbursements from Kela will no longer be available for most examinations and treatments ordered by doctors practising in the private sector. Starting next year, Kela will pay reimbursement for travel costs to a private healthcare provider only if the treatment provided also qualifies for a Kela reimbursement. The annual maximum limit will be EUR 592.16, the same as in 2022. The minimum amount of sickness allowance, rehabilitation allowance and special care allowance will be increased by EUR 1.28 per day. More flexibility will be introduced in the rules governing partial sickness allowance and rehabilitation allowance. More information about sickness benefits.

6. Social assistance. Social assistance will be raised by 4.2% in line with the National Pensions Index. The basic amount of social assistance for persons living alone will be increased by EUR 22.14 to EUR 555.11 per month. Additionally, the basic amount of social assistance for persons under 18 will be raised by 10% for the duration of 2023. Depending on the age of the child and the number of siblings, the basic amount of social assistance for a child will vary between EUR 327.51 and EUR 421.88 per month. More information about social assistance.

7. General housing allowance and rising electricity prices. The maximum amount of recognised housing costs under the general housing allowance scheme will be increased in accordance with the cost-of-living index. For example, a resident of Helsinki who is living alone can have recognised housing costs of up to EUR 582 per month in 2023 (up from EUR 537 per month in 2022). The amount of separately paid heating costs and upkeep costs for a single-family home is increased by 57%. Further, low-income households with high electricity costs can get assistance with large electricity costs between January and April 2023. More information about housing benefits and the temporary assistance with electricity costs.

8. COVID-related benefits. The temporary changes made to the infectious disease allowance will expire on 31 December 2022. A decision issued by a doctor responsible for infectious disease control will again be required to qualify for infectious disease allowance. Kela will continue to pay reimbursements for the costs of COVID tests performed by private healthcare providers and for the costs of travelling to a COVID testing or vaccination site. The reimbursement will be available until 30 June 2023. Learn more about changes to COVID-related benefits.

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