If you live in Finland, you may be eligible for a maternity grant (äitiysavustus). The maternity grant is according to your choice either of the baby box (äitiyspakkaus) or a fixed sum of money free of taxes. The baby box consists of baby clothes and baby care articles. Most mothers choose the baby box because it is worth more financially.
You are entitled to maternity grant when
- your pregnancy has continued for five months
- you have had a medical examination before the end of your fourth month of pregnancy and
- you are covered by Finnish social security.
Apply for a maternity grant from Kela. You must include with your application a certificate showing how many weeks pregnant you are. You can get it from a maternity clinic or doctor.
When you are expecting a baby, Kela can pay you pregnancy allowance (raskausraha). Under the old law, the corresponding benefit was maternity allowance. The pregnant parent usually starts pregnancy leave 30 working days before the expected date of delivery. In this case, the parent will receive pregnancy allowance. It is paid for 40 working days, i.e. approximately 1½ months.
Pregnancy allowance is available only to the pregnant parent and cannot be shared between the parents.
In order to receive pregnancy allowance, you must stop working. Don’t forget to notify your employer about your pregnancy leave at least two months before it begins.
You can apply for pregnancy allowance once you are 154 days into your pregnancy. You will get a pregnancy certificate from the maternity clinic. You must attach the certificate to your application.
In order to get pregnancy allowance, you must be insured under the Finnish Health Insurance Act.
Kela also pays pregnancy allowance on the same terms to students and unemployed persons.
Applying for maternity grant and pregnancy allowance
Apply for maternity grant from Kela at least two months before the due date. Apply for pregnancy allowance no later than two months after your pregnancy allowance period starts.
You can apply for maternity grant and pregnancy allowance via the Kela website. Log in using your online banking credentials 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 service is available in Finnish and Swedish.
Alternatively, you can apply for maternity grant and pregnancy 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.
After the pregnancy allowance period, you can take parental leave and receive parental allowance. Read more about parental allowance on the InfoFinland page Benefits for a family after a child is born.
Parenthood allowances are taxable benefits for which you need to acquire a tax card. Read more on the InfoFinland page Taxation.
Special pregnancy allowance
If you are exposed to radiation, chemical substances or infectious diseases in your work and other work cannot be arranged for you, you can stop working as soon as your pregnancy is established. In these situations, you will receive special pregnancy allowance (erityisraskausraha).
Apply for special pregnancy allowance no later than two months after your special pregnancy leave starts. If you are paid salary during your special pregnancy leave, Kela will pay the pregnancy allowance to your employer.
You cannot get special pregnancy allowance if you are unemployed. If you are a student, you may only get it in certain cases.
Ask for more information at Kela. You can find out about all the benefits Kela offers for families with children on Kela’s website.