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The application processing times and customer service contacts regarding adult education benefits have peaked due to high demand. We are doing our best to handle the applications as efficiently as possible. Please take a look whether you'll find an answer to your question here. 

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Informing us of changes

You must contact us at the Employment Fund by phone or email to inform us of all changes related to your allowance well in advance of the allowance payment date. The decision letter you received includes a list of the things you must inform us of without delay. You must also inform us of changes to your contact details.

If you use email, we recommend using an encrypted email connection. Send your email to this address and clearly state the matter you wish to inform us of, along with the application number and your date of birth. We will respond within 1–3 working days.

You can also call our customer service team on +358 75 757 0505 on weekdays between 9 am and midday.

Cancellation of allowance

You can cancel allowance months by informing our customer service of the matter by telephone or e-mail. As a rule, the allowance is always cancelled for an entire allowance month.

If you inform us of the cancellation of allowance by e-mail using encrypted e-mail connection, in the message, please indicate clearly the month/months for which you cancel the allowance, why you cancel the allowance and give, for example, your application number or personal identity code. The cancelled allowance months are released back to you to be used towards the accumulation of maximum allowance period. You can apply for having them used for another period later by filing a further application for full adult education allowance or a further application for adjusted allowance.

  • For example, if you have been granted full adult education allowance for the period 1 January − 31 December 2020, but you are working from 1 June to 31 August 2020 and taking a break from your studies, you can inform us of the cancellation by sending us an e-mail:
    “I want to cancel my adult education allowance for the period 1 June − 31 August 2020 because I am working and I will not do any studies in the summer. My application number is 12345-02”
  • Please note that the allowance months cannot be ‘transferred’ to a later period, i.e., if you cancel any allowance months, we will not be able to transfer the cancelled allowance month to a later period, but you will need to apply for the allowance by filing a further application.

Exceeding the additional income limit

The additional income limit for receiving a full adult education allowance is EUR 250 gross per month. The additional income limit is applied on a monthly basis and unconditionally. If your additional income exceeds EUR 250 gross during an allowance month, you should cancel the allowance for that month well in advance before the allowance payment date in order to avoid a payment recovery process. In this case, you can be apply for adjusted allowance retrospectively.

As a rule, additional income is recognised according to the date of payment. You can cancel the allowance by informing our customer service of the matter by telephone or e-mail. If you inform us of the cancellation by e-mail, in the message, please indicate clearly for which month/s you wish to cancel the allowance/s and why you are cancelling the allowance/s. 

Additional income and benefits affecting the allowance include:

  • earned income from principal or secondary occupation
  • taxable fringe benefits (e.g. mobile phone benefit)
  • additional holiday pay, holiday bonus, pay received during holiday and holiday compensation
  • profit-based pay (e.g. bonus and commission)
  • pay received from internship
  • remuneration for acting in a position of trust in one’s own work (e.g. shop steward or occupational health and safety representative)
  • royalties
  • income from business activities
  • monetary compensation withdrawn from a working time bank (e.g. balance-based compensation)
  • home care allowance (excluding municipal supplement) and partial care allowance
  • partial disability pension and rehabilitation allowance of the same amount

If you notice that you have exceeded your additional income limit only after your allowance has already been paid, you should inform us immediately of the matter by telephone or e-mail. Any adult education allowance paid groundlessly will be recovered.

Termination of allowance payments

If you wish to cancel the entire allowance granted to you, we will issue a decision on the termination of allowance payments. For example, if you have resigned from your work, graduate earlier than expected, interrupt your study leave, take parental leave or wish to apply for adjusted allowance only, you can inform our customer service of your circumstances by telephone or e-mail.

If you inform us of cancelling the allowance in its entirety using encrypted e-mail connection, in your message, please indicate clearly the date as from which the payment of the allowance should end and why you are cancelling the allowance.

  • For example, you graduate from your studies on 31 March 2020 and, until that date, you have been studying full time. The payment of the allowance will be terminated as from 1 April 2020, making 31 March 2020 the last allowance day. You can send us a notification about the matter by e-mail:
    “I want to terminate the payment of my adult education allowance as from 1 April 2020, because I graduate from my studies on 31 March 2020. My application number is 12345-02”
  • For example, you have resigned from your job, from which you have taken study leave, on 31 March 2020 and your notice period is one month, your employment relationship ending on 30 April 2020. You receive your final salary on 15 April 2020, and it exceeds the additional income limit of EUR 250 gross. The payment of the allowance shall be terminated as from 1 April 2020, making 31 March 2020 the last allowance day. You can apply for adjusted allowance for the month of April retrospectively. You can send us a notification about the matter by e-mail:
    “I have resigned from my job and my employment will end on 30 April 2020, but I will receive my final salary in April 2020. The payment of the adult education allowance may be terminated as from 1 April 2020. I am applying for adjusted allowance for April. My application number is 12345-02”

Further application instructions

Adult education allowance is always applied using an official application channel. In other words, allowance cannot be granted through our customer service by telephone or by sending an e-mail notification. You can easily submit your allowance application electronically via our online service.

A further application for adult education allowance is submitted when you are applying for allowance for the same studies for which you have previously been granted adult education allowance. The further application is sent via the online service in the same manner as the first allowance application. If necessary, the application can also be submitted by post.

Transferring the allowance

The adult education allowance cannot be transferred. The allowance is always applied using an official application channel. Therefore, if you cancel any allowance months, the cancelled allowance days will not be automatically transferred to a later period. For example, if you cancel your allowance for the period from 1 February to 31 March, two allowance months will be released for you to be used towards the accumulation of maximum allowance period. You can apply for them to be used for a later period by submitting a further application for adult education allowance.

Taxation

The adult education allowance is taxable income subject to a standard withholding tax rate of 20 %.

If you would like to increase or decrease the withholding tax, you can send a new tax card to the Employment Fund for the purpose of benefits, and tax will be withheld at the rate indicated on the tax card. You can order a new tax card on the Tax Administration’s website. When you apply for a new tax card, you will need to know your earnings, taxes and benefits granted to you for the current year. Refer to your adult education allowance decision for information about benefits. The Employment Fund’s name cannot be found in the list of selectable payers, so please choose ‘other Finnish payer’ and enter the name of The Employment Fund as the payer manually.

You can send the tax card to the Employment Fund by encrypted email.

Payment recovery

In order to avoid a payment recovery process, make sure you fill in your application carefully and answer every question. Remember to inform us of changes without delay well in advance before the next allowance payment date. If you do not inform us of changes, you may be required to return adult education allowance payments to us if they were paid without justification. In principle, any overpaid allowances will be recovered in full. The following may result in payments being recovered:

  • Your studies or study leave are discontinued or suspended
  • You graduate before the end of the allowance period
  • You do not make full-time progress on your studies
  • The educational institution or education changes
  • You surpass the threshold for additional income while the allowance is being paid
  • Your employment or service relationship ends
  • You receive a new type of social security benefit while the allowance is being paid, such as maternity, paternity or parental allowance, home care allowance, pension, rehabilitation benefit or similar
  • You move away from Finland for a long period
  • You complete compulsory military service or civilian service

If your employment is terminated after the allowance period begins for reasons that are not attributable to you (such as production and financial reasons), you will not necessarily lose your right to the adult education allowance granted to you. You may retain your right to the adult education allowance until the end of the allowance period stated on the decision. However, you cannot receive any extra adult education allowance, even if some of the allowance period is still outstanding.

Situations involving the cessation of employment are always examined individually.

According to the Act on Adult Education Allowances, if allowances are paid without justification or the amount of the allowance is too high, the excess sums must be recovered. In principle, any overpaid allowances will be recovered in full. Recovery of overpayments can be abandoned in whole or in part if it is considered reasonable to do so and the undue payment was not the result of fraudulent action by the recipient. If you have given incorrect information to the Fund or neglected your duty to provide the Fund with information, it is not possible to abandon recovery.

An evaluation will be made to determine how reasonable it is to recover excess payments based on the account that we receive of your financial and social position. For the purpose of this evaluation, we need you to provide a reliable account of your overall position. The account must include the income available to you and your expenses every month, your assets and debts, the number of dependent children you have, and any limitations that may apply to your ability to make payments and earn an income.

If we discover that an overpayment has occurred, we will always give you the opportunity to be heard and issue a response on the case before we make a payment recovery decision. The purpose of this hearing is to provide you with an opportunity to clarify any matters that influenced the overpayment. When you submit your response, you will also be able to present your own viewpoint on the grounds for the overpayment and the amount to be recovered, as well as delivering the account of your financial and social position. If, on the basis of your response, we can determine that no overpayment has occurred, there will be no need to enter into a payment recovery procedure. As such, the hearing does not always lead to payment recovery.

You must provide your response and any clarifications in writing, either by email or post. In our letter explaining the hearing, we will set out the points that we request you to address in your response. Answer all of the questions as clearly as possible.

Payment recovery decisions can always be appealed. The decision can be issued after the period reserved for the hearing, even if you do not provide a response.

Refunding the overpayment

The payment recovery decision will be sent by post and it will include instructions for refunding overpayments. The decision will state the amount to be refunded, the due date for the refund payment and the bank account for the payment.

If you would like to find out whether you can pay in accordance with a payment schedule or if you have any questions about the refund of the overpayment, please contact the Employment Fund’s recovery team. The recovery team’s contact details are in the decision letter.

For all other questions related to payment recovery, please contact the customer service team.

Revoking the allowance decision

In some cases, your consent may be required to rectify an incorrect allowance decision or it may be necessary to apply to the Social Security Appeals Board for the decision to be revoked before a payment recovery decision can be issued. If necessary, we will request your consent to rectify the decision in the hearing letter. If you do not consent to this, we will apply to the Social Security Appeals Board to have the incorrect allowance decision revoked. The Board can revoke a decision that we have issued if it is based on an incorrect or incomplete account or if it is clearly unlawful.  If an application is made to revoke the decision, the Fund will issue an appealable decision on your right to receive an allowance and on the recovery of overpayment after the Social Security Appeals Board has processed the revocation.

Page updated: 21/4/2020