Social assistance is a statutory right but also a form of financial assistance that is granted as a last resort. Its purpose is to ensure income in situations where a person’s salary, unemployment security, pension security, health insurance, or other income does not cover his or her essential daily needs.
All those in need of support and unable to make a living through paid work, self-employment or other benefits securing a living, or from other income or assets, by being cared for by persons liable to provide them with maintenance, or in some other way, are entitled to social assistance (Section 2 of the Finnish Act on Social Assistance).
The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) grants basic social assistance.
The Joint Municipal Authority for the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia grants supplementary and preventive social assistance. In order to qualify for supplementary assistance, a decision on basic social assistance is required from Kela (does not apply to funeral grant applications).
Supplementary Social Assistance
Special expenses caused by a person’s or family’s exceptional circumstances may be covered with supplementary social assistance (for more details, see the Implementing Directive in the link below).
Preventive Social Assistance
The purpose of preventive social assistance is to further a person’s or family’s social security and independent living as well as to prevent social exclusions and long-term dependence on social assistance.
Contact your municipality’s Social Welfare Services and book an appointment. When you have received a decision on basic social assistance, you can apply for supplementary and preventive social assistance. You can receive help in filling out the application forms if you’re unable to do it by yourself. Moreover, you can receive guidance and support in matters concerning both life management skills and income.