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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

Begin applying for the allowance by submitting an initial application for adult education allowance. When processing the initial application, we investigate your average monthly earnings, used to determine the amount of allowance, and the conditions for eligibility for receiving 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

For detailed descriptions of the conditions for eligibility for adult education allowance, see this page.

Submitting the initial application

After you have been accepted as a student in the study program for which you are applying for the allowance and for which your employer has granted you study leave, submit your initial application to us. In the initial application, you can apply for a right to the allowance for a period of up to 15 months. We recommend that you apply for the maximum possible number of months of allowance in your initial application. This way, any future payment decisions are not delayed due to a lack of initial approval.

You can submit your initial application up to four months in advance. You can also apply for an initial approval retroactively for a period of up to six months.

After you have received the initial approval, apply for the allowance to be paid by submitting a payment application for adult education according to your need monthly in arrears. Do this for the entire period covered by the approval of your initial application. 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 the allowance.

For the initial application, we require:

  • A certificate of studies that indicates your right to study in the programme for which you are applying for the allowance
  • Your employer’s email address in order for your employer to provide the necessary information about your employment and period of study leave. Your employer provides the information via an electronic application.
  • We will receive information on your salaries and wages in the past 12 months directly from the Incomes Register. If we require a separate pay slip, we will ask for it from you separately.
  • If your employment history includes periods working abroad, include proof of your employment.

Send attachments needed on our online service. If we require other information for processing the application, we will contact you.

We receive payroll information from the Incomes Register

We use payroll information reported to the Incomes Register when processing applications for adult education allowance. When processing the initial application, we calculate your average monthly earnings for the allowance based on information reported to the Incomes Register. This means that in most cases, you do not need to include your pay slips in the application. If necessary, we will ask you for a separate pay slip.

When filling in the application using our online service, you can see the salaries and wages we use to calculate your amount of allowance as they are reported in the Incomes Register. Your employer has the duty to report your earnings to the Incomes Register within five days of payment of the salary or wages.

We require separate evidence 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.

Determining the amount of allowance

Your amount of adult education allowance is determined by your previous income. To get an estimate of the amount of full adult education allowance, use the calculator. You can also read more on how the earnings-related component of the allowance is determined.

Employees’ adult education allowance consists of a basic component and an earnings-related component. In 2020, the basic component is 27.81 euros per day. The earnings-related component is 42 per cent of the difference between the daily salary and the basic component. If the monthly pay is more than 95 times the basic component, the earnings-related component is 20 per cent of the daily salary above this threshold. The adult education allowance is a maximum of 90 per cent of the daily salary used as the basis for the allowance and the minimum amount is the basic component.

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.

Payment of the allowance

The date of paying the allowance is stated on the decision. You can also check the date in our online service. We pay the allowance retroactively each month. If you have given your consent, we may also use automated decision-making to process applications in order to speed up the payment decision and payment of the allowance.

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.

Decision

All decisions issued by us are listed in our online service. The online service is also used to submit applications. In the online service, you can give your consent to allowing decisions to be sent to you 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.

Automated decision-making

When you submit your initial application, you will be asked whether you consent to automated decision-making. This 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 applications and payment of the allowance.

We may issue an automated decision on your payment application in situations where, for example, you have not earned any additional income during the month or when we receive up-to-date information on your income from the Incomes Register or Kela. Automated decisions are issued only if you have checked the information we receive from the Incomes Register and confirmed that it is accurate. You can check the information when you submit the payment application.

Initial applications are never processed using automated decision-making. Automated decision-making is not used also if you have included attachments in your payment application. You also have the right to appeal an automated decision. The appeal can be submitted via our online customer service.

The target processing times of 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 team leader in charge for the adult education benefit processes. For more information, see section 8 of the Data Protection on Benefit Services.

Page updated: 29/3/2021