Wednesday May 22, 2024

Students asked to repay overpaid Kela benefit in April to avoid fine

Published : 06 Apr 2024, 02:51

  DF Report
DF File Photo.

The national social insurance institution-Kela asked the students to voluntarily repay the overpaid student financial aid for 2023 by the end of April to avoid fine, said Kela in a press release on Friday.

If a student does not repay the overpaid financial aid by this timel, Kela will recover 7.5% higher amount than the overpaid money.

Students whose income in 2023 exceeded the annual income limit for student financial aid can voluntarily repay overpaid financial aid.

The overpaid financial aid, study grant and housing supplement, must be repaid at the latest by 30 April 2024.

The annual income limit and the voluntary repayment provision, however, do not apply to the general housing allowance.

“Last year, 26,020 students returned a total of 21.1 million euros voluntarily. We estimate that the amount of repayments will be less this year because the income limits for student financial aid were increased significantly in 2022 and again in 2023,” said Ilpo Lahtinen, Senior Coordinator of Kela's Student Financial Aid Section.

Students whose income exceeds the annual limit and who do not return excess aid will be required to pay back the aid to Kela. In that case, the amount to be repaid is 7.5% higher than when the student repays financial aid voluntarily.

Students who are unsure what their annual income limit for 2023 was can check the limit in the OmaKela e-service (in Finnish or Swedish) or by calling Kela’s customer service. Information on the income limits for 2023 is also available on Kela’s website.

Kela receives information from the Finnish Tax Administration on the incomes in the pre-completed tax returns.

On the basis of this preliminary information, Kela generates a summary in the OmaKela e-service for students who receive student financial aid.

If the preliminary tax information indicates that the student has exceeded the annual income limit, Kela started to notify the student of this via text message or email from the beginning of April.

Kela sends notifications to all students who have given Kela permission to send messages. Permission to send messages can be given in OmaKela.