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Backlog in processing of demands for rectification by Kela

An investigation by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) shows that the average processing time for demands for rectification relating to social assistance was almost four months in January 2018. A backlog has developed in the processing of such claims, which will take the whole spring to eliminate.

The Deputy-Ombudsman, Pasi Pölönen, has stated that, when assessing the established municipal procedures, three months has been regarded as a reasonable time for processing demands for rectification in decisions made on social assistance. The granting of social assistance and processing of demands for rectification relate to the arrangement of assistance as a last resort. At least in some cases, long processing times may jeopardise a person's right to receive indispensable subsistence and care. 

Processing times are of particular importance in the case of the elderly, persons with severe disabilities or mental health problems, and social welfare customers who live solely on social assistance, all of whom are in a vulnerable position.

The Deputy-Ombudsman drew attention to the importance of processing demands for rectification in an appropriate manner and without delay. He also requested that Kela notify him, by 1 June 2018, of what measures it has taken or will be taking in the matter. 

Deputy-Ombudsman Pasi Pölönen’s decision EOAK/6048/2017 is available in full (in Finnish) on the Ombudsman’s website: www.oikeusasiamies.fi/en

For more information, please contact Principal Legal Adviser Tapio Räty, tel. + 358 9 432 3379.