Deputy-Ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja proposes that the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) make redress for the delays that, in violation of the law, occurred in the processing of social assistance.
He believes that Kela should compensate those customers who have been subjected to financial losses, inconvenience and unnecessary effort because of Kela's illegal action.
Kela should provide information actively and with initiative
Serious shortcomings have come to light in the processing of social assistance applications, decision-making concerning the applications and the arrangements for paying social assistance.
As these errors were clearly caused by a reason for which Kela is responsible, Kela should actively and on its own initiative inform the customers of what they can do to obtain redress.
Kela's conduct is particularly reprehensible as social assistance is intended for situations in which a person's or a family's income and funds are insufficient to cover necessary everyday costs.
Kela should thus provide sufficiently comprehensive and detailed information to its customers on how they can secure the implementation of their rights. Kela should also clearly define the grounds on which compensation can be paid.
Report on action in early May
The Deputy-Ombudsman requested the Social Insurance Institution to report on the action it will take due to the conclusions and proposals concerning redress by 11 May 2017.
The website also contains examples of compensation paid and redress made by Kela in cases of delays (in Finnish)
Further information is available from Principal Legal Adviser Tapio Räty, tel. +358 (0)9 432 3379.