Reader ‘s opinion Could Kela handle the payment of invoices?

For some of the recipients of basic income support, it is almost impossible to pay the bills on their own.

Coil has increasingly taken over the responsibility of citizens for social security, most recently basic income support. After initial rigidity, basic income support is handled without problems for most.

However, for some recipients of basic income support, it is almost impossible for them to pay their bills on their own. There are many who do not yet have online banking IDs, so it is almost impossible for them to get the required bank statements as an attachment to income support. Transactions in banks are also known to be very limited. In addition, some customers are just not able to spend money systematically. They repeatedly have problems with rent and electricity bills, resulting in the threat of eviction.

However, it would be a great relief for these customers, for whom the conditions for lobbying are not met, if they had a service similar to a bank account in Kela, for which at least housing-related expenses would be paid. Also, for many, health care bills would be easiest to manage from such an account.

Today, the municipality’s social services offices have so-called intermediary accounts, to which the customer’s Kela benefits – such as unemployment benefit and pension – are paid. Housing costs can be managed from these brokerage accounts to the extent that they are not covered by the housing allowance, in which case recurring rental debts and evictions can be prevented at least in part. However, such a brokerage account is an additional function. The money coming to the brokerage account is recycled in vain through the municipality, when the payer of the benefit, who is almost always Kela, could pay the invoice directly to the biller.

The current banking system, which operates almost entirely online, is too demanding for those with operational limitations. Moving money from a small pensioner or an unemployed person is simple. Then it is enough that the housing costs are taken care of automatically and the groceries can be purchased smoothly. Credit accounts are not required and the interest rate on the account does not matter.

Susanna Malmivaara

social worker

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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