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How Kela benefits will change in 2024

Kieliversiot | 28.12.2023
This year, legislative amendments will bring more changes than usual to the amounts and terms of Kela’s benefits. General housing allowance and unemployment benefits are being cut, and the amount of many benefits has been frozen, so to speak, at last year’s level. There will be a normal index increase for pensions, disability allowances and basic social assistance. Check here to see how your benefits will be changing.
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Pensioners. There will be an index increase of 5.9% for the national pension, guarantee pension and the care allowance for pensioners. This year, the full national pension for a person living alone will be EUR 775.70 per month and the guarantee pension will be EUR 976.59 per month. We will check the amounts of our clients’ pensions and care allowances without a separate application. There will be no increase in the housing costs taken into account in the housing allowance for pensioners, but they will remain the same as last year due to the freezing of the index.

Sickness-related allowances. The annual deductible or maximum limit on out-of-pocket costs for medicines will increase to EUR 626.94. Kela reimbursements for the costs of appointments with private doctors, treatment provided by a psychiatrist and oral examinations performed by dentists will increase. The minimum amount of sickness allowance will remain the same as last year, i.e. EUR 31.99 per day.

Families with children. At the beginning of the year, the single-parent supplement to the child benefit will increase by EUR 5 and child benefits will be increased for families with four or more children. In addition, the provider supplement to the study grant will increase by EUR 20. In April, the child benefit for children under the age of 3 will be increased by EUR 26. There will be an index increase of 5.9% on the disability allowance for children under the age of 16. There will be no increase in the minimum amounts of parental allowances and childcare allowances due to the freezing of the index. Child maintenance allowance and child support will be increased by 4.84%. The income threshold for exemption from payment of child support debt will also increase. The child increases paid to unemployment benefits will decrease at the beginning of the year and will end completely in April. After that, the child support debt accrued by Kela cannot be repaid with child increases to unemployment benefits.

Students. There will be no increase in the amount of study grant due to the freezing of the index. The amounts of the state guarantee for student loans will increase as of 1 August, and the loan can be withdrawn more often. The due dates for the health care fee for higher education students will be postponed. The new spring due date will be 15 March and the new autumn due date will be 15 November. The amount of the health care fee will remain the same as last year, i.e. EUR 36.80 per semester.

Unemployment. The amount of labour market subsidy and basic unemployment allowance will be the same as last year, i.e. EUR 37.21 per day. At the start of unemployment, the waiting period will be extended from five days to seven days. End-of-service holiday compensation to be paid for full-time work of more than two weeks in duration will postpone the start of entitlement to unemployment benefits. The EUR 300 monthly exempt amount will no longer be applied after April. As of 2 September, the work requirement for employees will be extended to 12 months. In addition, the wages earned during a calendar month will begin to count towards the work requirement. The Government is also preparing other amendments to unemployment benefits, which will be submitted to Parliament this coming spring and which are due to enter into force in September.

General housing allowance. There will be several changes to the terms and conditions of the allowance in April, which will reduce the amount of the allowance. The basic deductible for the general housing allowance will go up from 42 per cent to 50 per cent, and the compensation percentage of the allowance will be reduced from the current 80 per cent to 70 per cent. The changes will affect the household’s housing allowance when the allowance is next reviewed, or if the household does not yet receive housing allowance, when the allowance is applied for from April onwards. General housing allowance will no longer be paid for owner-occupied homes starting 1 January 2025.

Social assistance. The basic amount will increase by 5.9%. However, basic amounts for children will be reduced because the 10% increase made to them last year will no longer be valid. The legislative amendment, which will enter into force in April, will make the grounds for approving housing costs exceeding the municipality-specific maximum for recipients of social assistance stricter.

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