Parliament has approved a bill on paying child benefit at double the normal rate for December 2022. For families who also receive social assistance, the extra child benefit does not count against their social assistance.
Temporary amendments will be made to the Child Benefit Act and the Act on Social Assistance. The goal of the amendments is to strengthen the purchasing power of families with children at a time of rising prices.
The amendment is among the measures agreed in the Government’s budget deliberations for 2023 that are aimed at strengthening the population’s purchasing power.
Kela will pay double the normal child benefit in December. Kela pays child benefit for all children under 17 years who live permanently in Finland. The amount of the child benefit increases with the number of children. Recipients need not contact Kela or send an application in order to receive the doubled child benefit. See Kela’s website for the amounts of the child benefit and the single-parent supplement.
As an example, the total amount of child benefit payable for two children is 199.72 euros per month. In two-parent families, doubling the child benefit means an extra income of 199.72 euros, while in one-parent families, the additional income amounts to 326.32 euros. Two-parent families with two children will thus receive child benefit to a total of 399.44 euros in December, while the total sum to one-parent families with two children comes to 652.64 euros.
The child benefit is tax-free income. The amount of child benefit is not affected by the recipient’s income or assets. The amount of the child benefit is not tied to the national pensions index.
The child benefit normally counts as income for purposes of social assistance. In November 2021, for example, about 15% of social assistance recipients were also paid child benefit. The extra child benefit paid in December does not count against the social assistance. This means that if a family receives social assistance, the additional child benefit payment does not have any effect on their social assistance, and they do not need to take any additional measures concerning their social assistance.
The double child benefit will be paid out on the usual monthly payment date, which this year falls on Friday, 23 December.