KELA informs: Changes to student benefits in 2023
The annual income limits for student financial aid will be increased by about 20%
As of the beginning of 2023, the annual income limits for student financial aid will be raised across the board to a level about 20% higher than the 2022 level. This means that a student who gets financial aid for nine months can earn up to 18,720 euros before taxes on top of student financial aid next year. The corresponding limit for students who receive financial aid for 10 months is 16,640 euros.
No per-month income limits apply to student financial aid. Students can earn their income at any time during the calendar year as long as it does not exceed the annual income limit. An annual income limit calculator is available (in Finnish and Swedish) where students can check the annual income limit.
Study grants will be increased by 4.2% as of 1 August 2023
Study grants will be increased by 4.2% in line with the National Pensions Index. The increase will enter into force as of the beginning of the next academic year, on 1 August 2023. For students aged 18 or over who are living independently, the study grant will go up from 268.23 euros to 279.38 euros per month.
The provider supplement to the study grant will be increased by 10 euros per month
The provider supplement to the study grant will be raised by 10 euros per month for the duration of 2023. Study grants can include a provider supplement if the recipient provides for a child under 18. Provider supplements will also be index adjusted upwards on 1 August 2023. The rates of the provider supplement will go up from 107.17 euros to 117.17 euros per month starting 1 January 2023, and further to 122.05 per month starting 1 August 2023.
The target time to qualify for student loan compensation can be extended due to war
Students who complete their degree within a specified target time can get a student loan compensation. As of the beginning of 2023, it will be possible to extend the target time for earning a degree for students attending school in a country at war. The target time can be extended by one academic year.
The target time to earn a degree can also be extended by one academic year for other exceptional circumstances comparable in severity to a state of war. This can include serious mass casualty incidents or natural disasters, large-scale armed attacks, or dangerous communicable diseases that have spread widely.
Meal subsidy increased by 0.25 euros
The meal subsidy for higher education students will be increased by 0.25 euros. The increase will bring the meal subsidy to 2.55 euros per meal. In practice this means that Kela’s share of the cost of the meal will increase, while the student’s out-of-pocket share will decrease. Under the meal subsidy programme, normal-priced unsubsidised meals may cost up to 5.50 euros. After deduction of the meal subsidy, students pay up to 2.95 euros for a normal-priced meal.
Slight increase in the healthcare fee for students in higher education
Students who are completing a degree at a Finnish institution of higher education and who have registered as attending for the term in question must pay a student healthcare fee. In 2023, the fee will increase from 35.80 euros per term to 36.80 euros per term. Students are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it on their own initiative in the OmaKela e-service.
Students do not have to pay the healthcare fee if they have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, from Switzerland or from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Despite not paying the fee, they may use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). Students who wish to use the services of the FSHS must be prepared to show a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) as of 1 January 2023.
Information on most of the changes and on the new benefit rates have been published on the Kela.fi website on 1 January 2023. However, the index adjustment to the study grant will not take effect until the beginning of the new academic year, i.e. on 1 August 2023, and information on the new rates will be updated on the kela.fi website at that time.