Applying for parenthood allowance
You can apply for parenthood allowance if you are covered by Finnish social security and you have been continuously covered by health insurance in Finland, another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 180 days before your due date.
You can apply for parenthood allowance via the Kela website. Log in using your bank identifiers or a mobile certificate. The service provides advice on how to fill in the application form. At the same address you can also see how the processing of your application is proceeding. After your application has been processed, you can see at the same address the amount of benefit you will be paid and the payment date. The online service is available in Finnish and Swedish.
Alternatively, you can apply for parenthood allowance by filling in a paper form and posting it, along with its appendices to any Kela office. You can get help in filling in the application at a maternity clinic.
The amount of parenthood allowance depends on the applicant’s income. Daily allowance is always less than wages, usually approximately 70% of the income. If you do not have any income, you will receive the minimum amount of parenthood allowance. Unemployed parents are also entitled to parenthood allowance.
If your employer pays you salary during your parenthood allowance period, Kela will pay the allowance to your employer. Notify your employer about your parental leave 2 months before it begins. If you take no more than 12 weekdays of leave, notify your employer one month beforehand. Read more on the InfoFinland page Family leave.
Parenthood allowances are taxable benefits for which you need to acquire a tax card (verokortti). Read more on the InfoFinland page Taxation.
Maternity allowance after the child is born
The maternity allowance period continues for about three months. It usually begins 30 weekdays before the expected date of delivery. Further information is available on the InfoFinland page Support for pregnant women.
After the maternity allowance period has ended, either guardian can take a parental leave. This means that either of the parents stays at home to look after the child and is paid parental allowance. It must be applied for from Kela at least a month before the end of the maternity allowance period and the beginning of the parental allowance period. The parental allowance period lasts approximately six months. If a family has twins, the parental allowance period will be 60 weekdays longer.
A mother must have a medical examination 5–12 weeks from childbirth and deliver the medical certificate to Kela. Otherwise parenthood allowance will not be paid.
Either guardian can take parental leave. They can also take the leave in turns. The parents can also work part time and each look after the child part time. For this period, Kela pays partial parental allowance to both.
If one of the parents wants to stay at home to take care of the child after the parental allowance period, he or she may receive child home care allowance. Read more on the InfoFinland page Benefits for looking after a child at home.
Paternity allowance (Isyysraha) is intended for a father taking care of a child. Kela pays paternity allowance for the duration of paternity leave. You can also apply for paternity allowance if you are an entrepreneur, unemployed or a student. The paternity allowance period is 54 weekdays, i.e. approximately nine weeks. These days cannot be transferred to the mother.
You can decide for yourself if you will use all the paternity allowance days or only some of them. You can get paternity allowance even if you do not live with the mother of the child.
You can be on paternity leave at the same time the mother of your child is on maternity or parental leave. In that case, you can take up to 18 paternity allowance days. You can also take all 54 paternity allowance days separately, for example, after the parental leave.
You can divide the 1–18 weekdays taken at the same time as the mother into up to four periods. The paternity leave after the parental leave period can be divided into up to two periods.
You can only use your paternity allowance days to take care of a child who is under 2 years of age. When your child turns 2, you can no longer use your paternity allowance days, even if you have some left.