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Applying for the allowance for new studies after 1 August 2020

The law governing adult education allowance has been amended as of 1 August 2020. The purpose of the reform is to facilitate the coordination of studies and work and bring adult education allowance available to a larger number of employees.

The reform applies to you if:

  • You apply for adult education allowance for the first time after 1 August 2020
  • You apply for adult education allowance for studies for which you have not been previously granted the allowance

If you have already received adult education allowance before 1 August 2020 and are applying for the allowance for the same studies, the change does not apply to you and you must apply for the allowance according to the rules of the previous law.

Start with an initial application

Start applying for the allowance by submitting an initial application for adult education allowance. The purpose of the initial application is for us to assess whether you are entitled to adult education allowance for the period stated in your application.

When processing your initial application, we will assess your average monthly earnings on which your allowance is based and determine whether you fulfil the following eligibility criteria for the allowance:

  • you have an employment history of at least 8 years
  • your current full-time employment relationship has lasted at least one year
  • you have been granted study leave
  • you are covered by Finnish social security
  • your studies are eligible for the allowance

Please read the eligibility criteria for adult education allowance before applying.

Submitting the initial application 

Submit your initial application to us after you have been accepted as a student in the study programme for which you are applying for the allowance and for which your employer has granted you study leave. In the initial application, you can apply for a right to the allowance for a period of up to 15 months. You can apply for the right to receive allowance for the period for which you have been granted study leave.

You can submit your initial application up to four months in advance before the period for which you are applying for the allowance starts. In the initial application, you can also apply for the right to receive the allowance retroactively for the six months preceding the date when your application becomes pending.

Fill in your initial application in our online service. Online service is only available in Finnish and Swedish.  The initial application has five sections to complete: 

  1. Basic information (Perustiedot)
  2. Education (Koulutustiedot)
  3. Employment history (Työhistoria)
  4. Income (Tulotiedot)
  5. Employer information and attachments (Työnantajan tiedot ja liitteet)

You will receive a confirmation email after you have successfully submitted your application. The required attachments must be submitted to us within 5 days from completing your application. You can add attachments to your application in our online service.

Proof of right to study

To be eligible for the allowance, you must have a valid study right for the studies for which you are applying for the allowance during the allowance period stated in your application. Attach to your initial application a certificate stating the studies you have completed, the name of the educational institution you are attending, the number of study credits and the duration of your right to study.  

If your studies lead to a degree and you have just been admitted as a student, you can attach the letter of admission to your application.

We also accept a screenshot from the institution’s online system as proof if it shows the above information.

Employer’s contribution

When filling in the initial application, we ask you to give the email address of your employer’s representative. We will send your employer a link by email to give the information about your employment relationship needed for your application.

Your employer needs to give us basic information about your employment relationship and the duration of your study leave or part-time study leave. You must agree on taking a part-time study leave or unpaid study leave with your employer before you send us your initial application. If we cannot use the income data we receive from the Incomes Register, we will ask your employer to provide your salary information for 12 months, along with any periods of absence that may affect it.

Before filling in your application, find out who in your workplace is responsible for giving this information to support your application. You will be notified by email once your employer has sent us the requested information.

We receive payroll information from the Incomes Register

We use the information available in the Incomes Register to calculate your average monthly earnings for the allowance. This means that in most cases, you do not need to include your pay slips in the application. Your employer has the duty to report your earnings to the Incomes Register within five days of payment of the salary or wages.

When you fill in your initial application in our online service, you can see the information your employer has reported to the Incomes Register in the past 12 months. If your employer has only reported the minimum information required regarding your earnings to the Incomes Register or if you notify us that the data in the Incomes Register is incomplete, we will ask your employer for more detailed information when sending them the link via email.

Go to section Amount of allowance for more detailed information about how your salary information affects the amount of allowance you will receive.

We require separate proof of employment history in Europe 

Work that you have done in countries in the EU and EEA and in Switzerland can be included in your employment history as of 1995 (the year when Finland joined the European Union), and no earlier than the date when the country where you worked joined the European Union. If you have worked in countries other than Finland, you must attach reliable evidence of your work, such as a certificate of employment or a pay slip, to your application. If the certificates are in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English, send translations of the texts along with copies of the certificates.

Periods comparable to working time in your employment history

If you have not accumulated the required 8 years worth of employment history in a pension-insured job or entrepreneurial activities, you can state any periods that can be considered equivalent to working time in your application, along with necessary explanations.

If you

  • have been on child care leave during an employment or public service relationship, we need proof of the duration of your leave from you employer; 
  • have been on maternity, paternity or parental leave, we need a copy of Kela’s allowance decision. If Kela’s decision is no longer available, we need a picture of the child’s Kela card or passport; 
  • have received special maternity allowance or special care allowance, we need a copy of Kela’s care allowance decision; 
  • have been in military or civilian service, we need a picture of your military passport or civilian service certificate showing the duration of your service; 
  • have been on disability pension, workers’ compensation pension or rehabilitation allowance, we need a copy of the pension or allowance decision for the period in question.

The maximum total length of the periods considered equivalent to working time that we can include in your employment history is two years. Read more about how we calculate employment history here (in Finnish).

Applying for adult education allowance starting from 1 August 2020.

Processing your initial application

We process applications in the order we receive them. If we need further information to make our decision, we will contact you during the application process. 

You can see the average application processing times on our website and track the status of your application in our online service under My applications. You can also use our online service to view the data your employer has submitted regarding your application. Once your application has been processed, you will be notified of our decision by email.

After you have received the initial approval, you can submit a payment application for adult education allowance according to your need monthly in arrears. You do not need to apply for the allowance for each month covered by the initial approval. Instead, you can choose the months for which you wish to receive adult education allowance.

EXAMPLE: You have been given an initial approval for the entire calendar year. You notice that you will earn so much in February that you will not need the allowance that month. In this case, you can decide not to submit a payment application for February, and instead apply for the allowance for the months in which you need the allowance. 

Amount of allowance

Adult education allowance is an earnings-related benefit. The amount of allowance you will be paid depends on how much you have earned in salary or wages in the 12 months preceding your initial application. The calculation takes into account your established salary, in other words your taxable earned income minus any holiday pay and holiday compensation. 

If you have been fully or partially absent from work during the 12 months prior to your initial application due to family leave, sick leave or studies, for example, we will extend the review period by the length of the absences with no pay or only partial pay in order to allow the calculation to be based on the last 12 months for which you have received a salary.  When extending your review period, wages or salaries paid during any part-time employment periods will not be included in the salary that forms the basis of the allowance. 

The calculation takes into account earned income from your main occupation and all secondary occupations. We do not include earnings from business activities or acting as a CEO in the salary that is used as the basis of the earnings-related component. 

You can calculate the estimated maximum amount of adult education allowance you will receive using a calculator on our website. You can also read more on how the earnings-related component of the allowance is determined.

Submitting a further application

Once you have received a decision on your initial application, you can apply to extend your allowance period for the same studies by submitting a further application. The application cannot be approved if you have already been granted an allowance for the maximum period of 15 months. 

The further application is partly based on the information in the initial decision. For this reason, you do not need to include all information in the further application. The amount of allowance calculated based on your average monthly earnings stays the same as in the initial application and is not recalculated for the further application because you are applying for a right to an allowance for the same studies. 

You can submit a further application to your initial application if:

  • you have applied for adult education allowance for the first time after 1 August 2020 and have received a decision on your application
  • you are applying for allowance for the same studies for which you have been applied for or granted a right to the allowance with a previous initial application
  • your right to study is valid for the period for which you are applying for an allowance
  • there have been no changes in your employment relationship 
  • you have agreed with your employer on study leave or part-time work due to your studies 

You can submit the further application in our online service (in Finnish). Click on Hae palkansaajan aikuiskoulutustukea to open the menu and select Täytä jatkohakemus opintoihin joihin olet jo aiemmin saanut päätöksen. You will then be able to select the initial application used to pre-complete the further application. Fill in the further application carefully and submit it to us for processing. 

Other things to note

Send the documents necessary for processing the application directly in our online service as an attachment to your application. We will contact you if we need other information before deciding on the allowance. 

You can submit a further application no earlier than four months before the start of the allowance period you are applying for and retroactively up to 6 months afterwards. If you are submitting a further application for the right to allowance retroactively, include your payment application for the same period. 

Employer’s share

The further application following an initial application also includes an employer form, in which your employer must confirm the start and end date of your study leave or part-time work. When filling in the application, you will be asked to give your employer’s representative’s email address to which we can send the form. Before sending the email, confirm the representative you want the form to be sent with your employer. 

We must ask your employer about your study leave in all cases when processing further applications. If the information about your study leave was already reported on the initial application, we will use that information. 

Payment application

After you have received an initial approval for the period of your choice, you can apply for payment of the application for the month you want. Payment applications are submitted after the month and always for the full calendar month. In the payment application, you must report your earnings and benefits for the month for which you are applying for the allowance. Payment applications cannot be submitted in advance; for example, the payment application for September can be submitted to the Fund on October 1 at the earliest.

Payment applications cannot be submitted while the month is still ongoing or for a month for which you do not have a valid initial approval. If there are changes to the information you provided in your initial application, you must send us a new initial application before submitting another payment application.

You can use payment applications to apply for the allowance for any months covered by the initial approval. If you do not want to apply for the allowance in a specific month, you do not need to notify the Employment Fund. Months for which you do not apply for the allowance are not counted towards your total allowance period.

When processing payment applications, we assess:

  • Income paid to you during the month of allowance
  • Number of days of allowance spent
  • Any other benefits you have received that prevent payment of the allowance (such as sick pay)

In the event of changes in your employment relationship or studies, for example, please be sure to let us know. You can report changes in our online service.

Amount of allowance and income during the month of allowance

The amount of allowance you are entitled to in each month depends on both your average monthly earnings calculated based on your initial application as well as your income during the month of allowance. Income that affects the allowance includes salaries and benefits and income from business activities. Your income during the allowance period is taken into account depending on their month of payment. We receive information on salaries, wages and benefits paid to you directly from the Incomes Register and Kela.

You can use the calculator to calculate the amount of adult education allowance you can receive.

We use benefit and payroll information received from the Incomes Register when processing applications for adult education allowance.

When you use a payment application in our online service your benefit and payroll information is retrieved from the Incomes Register and automatically added to your application. Income is recognised according to the payment date.

When filling in a payment application, it is worth noting that employers must report payroll information to the Incomes Register within five working days from the last day of the calendar month. For example, if you submit your payment application on the first day of the month, your employer may not yet have reported your information to the Incomes Register.

If you have received earned income or benefits during the month for which you are applying for the allowance and the Incomes Register does not provide your information, answer the question "is your information retrieved from the Incomes Register correct?" with "no". In such case, we will retrieve the information in connection with the processing of your application. It is important to answer the question because it prevents potential payment of excess allowance which would need to be recovered later.

Study credits during the allowance period and accumulation of days of allowance

Salaries, benefits and other earned income you receive during a month of allowance influence the number of study credits you must earn during the month. If your monthly income is more than half of your salary on which the allowance is based, you need to complete at least 2 credits. If your monthly income is less than half of your salary on which the allowance is based, or zero, you need to complete at least 4 credits.

Your income during the month of allowance and the required number of study credits also affect how your days of allowance are accumulated. If you are required to complete two study credits during the month, in other words you receive more than half of your normal salary, your total allowance period is reduced by only half (10.75 days).

Example 1. Your monthly salary on which the allowance is based is 3,000 euros and you receive 1,800 euros in earnings during a month of allowance. Your salary during the month of allowance is more than half of your monthly salary. As a result, you will need to complete two study credits and your total allowance period is reduced by half of a month.

Example 2. Your monthly salary on which the allowance is based is 3000 euros and you receive 700 euros in earnings during a month of allowance. Your salary during the month of allowance is less than half of your monthly salary. As a result, you will need to complete four study credits and your total allowance period is reduced by a full month.

Processing of payment application  

Automated decision-making speeds up the processing of your application  

We process all payment applications for employee’s adult education allowances either automatically or manually. Automated decision-making means that in certain cases, we may decide on your payment application without an employee of the Fund processing the application. Automated decision-making speeds up the processing of your application and the payment of the allowance to your bank account.  

When a payment application for adult education allowance is processed automatically, we are usually able to issue a decision already on the same day that you submit your application to our online service, or on the next working day. You will be asked whether you consent to automated decision-making when you submit your initial application. You can also withdraw/give your consent at any time in our online service.  

We may process your application automatically if:   

  • you have given your consent to automatic processing    
  • you have filled-in all the information needed in your application 
  • there have been no changes in your employment relationship  
  • you have no income from business activities  
  • the information on your application derived from the Incomes Register and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland Kela is correct, and you have confirmed on your application that the information is correct  
  • your application does not include any attachments  
  • a decision has been issued on your initial application  
  • your initial application is not pending.  

Your application may be processed automatically if all the conditions listed above are met.   

At the moment, we are able to use automated decision-making to process approximately 40–60 per cent of the payment applications submitted to us. Our aim is to increase the share of decisions issued automatically so that the applications can be processed more effectively and you, as our customer, will receive the adult education allowance in your bank account as quickly as possible.   

For the time being, we do not process initial applications automatically.   

Manual processing  

Manual processing means that our service specialist processes the application and issues a decision on it. All applications that we cannot process automatically will be processed manually. If additional information is needed to process your application, the service specialist will send you a request for further clarification in our online service. Once we have received the information needed to process your application, the service specialist will issue a decision on your application.   

We continuously monitor the quality of both automated decision-making and the manual decision-making process.  

 

Processing of payment application.  If you select yes, can the application be processed automatically? Your application can be processed automatically if you have given your consent to automated decision-making, your initial application has been approved, there is no outstanding appeal process concerning your initial application, there have been no changes in your employment, you have no business income, the information obtained from the Incomes Register and Kela is accurate, you have provided all the necessary information in your application. Please note that all the above conditions must be met. If you select yes, your application will be processed automatically. The decision will be made on the same day or on the next day following the submission of the application. Your allowance will be paid on the next working day following approval. You will receive the money in your account within three working days from the decision. If you select no, your application will be processed manually. Your application will be placed in the queue for processing. Applications will be processed in order of submission. Our service specialist will process your application and request additional information if necessary. You can check the most up-to-date processing times on our website and can track the status of your application in our online service. You will receive a decision. Your allowance will be paid on the next working day following approval. You will receive the money in your account within three working days from the decision.

Target processing times for applications

Our target processing times for applications are:

  • Initial applications, 25 days
  • Payment applications, 15 days

The times are average target times for processing each type of allowance. The processing time may differ in individual cases and during peak seasons.

The Content Manager of the Employment Fund's adult education benefits service is responsible for the correctness of the decisions made automatically. Decisions on groups of applications to be processed automatically fall under the responsibility of the Service Manager in charge for the adult education benefit processes. For more information, see section 8 of the Data Protection on Benefit Services.

Decision 

Our system generates letters of decision on the decisions issued during that day at 6 p.m. When your payment decision can be viewed in the online service, we will send you an automatic notification by email. The online service is the fastest and most secure way to view your decision.

In the online service, you can give your consent to allowing decisions to be sent to you only electronically in the online service. If you choose this option, we will not send them to you by mail. You will get an email notification from the online service when you receive a new decision. After receiving the decision, you can view it by logging in to our online service.

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can submit an appeal. Read more about appealing a decision

Decision on the initial application

The decision on your initial application states whether you meet the conditions for eligibility for adult education allowance. The decision on the initial application specifies the amount of your monthly earnings that we used to calculate the allowance. On the decision, you will also see the amount of full adult education allowance that you can receive if you have no other income during a month of allowance.

Decision on a payment application

In the decision on your payment application, you can see the amount of allowance for the month, remaining number of days of allowance, date of payment and the number of study credits you need to complete during the month.

Payment and taxation of the allowance

You can check the payment date from your adult education allowance decision in our online service. The adult education allowance is paid monthly in arrears on the basis of a payment application. We will process your adult education allowance payment immediately on the working day following the positive payment decision. The adult education allowance payment will be in your bank account at the latest on the third working day after the date of decision. 

Please note that the speed of bank transfers varies. Depending on the bank, the allowance may be in your bank account already the day before the payment date indicated in the decision. 

Taxation of adult education allowance

The standard withholding tax rate of adult education allowance is 20%.

If you wish to reduce or increase the withholding tax rate, you must submit your updated tax card issued for purpose of receiving the allowance. Please note that the tax card used for your salary or wages cannot be used when paying adult education allowance. You can order a new tax card on the Tax Administration’s website. In the list of payers, select muu suomalainen maksaja (other payer in Finland) and enter Työllisyysrahasto (Employment Fund) as the name of the payer.

When applying for the updated tax card, you will need to provide information on your income and taxes for the current year and an estimate of the amount of allowance granted to you. You must give your own estimate of the amount of adult education allowance as the precise amount is determined only after you submit a payment application. Your amount of allowance may also vary if you earn additional income during the month of allowance.

The initial approval decision you receive specifies your average earnings which are used to calculate the amount of allowance. The initial approval decision also states the amount of full adult education allowance you can receive each month if you have no other income. The Employment Fund’s website has a calculator that you can use to estimate the amount of allowance.

If you have an updated tax card issued for the allowance, you can add it to your profile in our online service. You should deliver the tax card to us before submitting your first payment application in order for us to apply the tax rate when paying your allowance.

Page updated: 25/10/2021