The Finnish Social Security institution (Kela) reminded today its customers that "regularly checks the income of those receiving unemployment benefits". To have a source of income does not necessarily eliminate the right to get benefits, but it may reduce the amount payable.
In the last control of unemployment benefit carried on, Kela investigated the earnings and other income of the beneficiaries for the tax year 2016, according to the latest information published in its website.
Based on the information collected during this supervision, Kela reviewed the income data of 1,167 persons who received unemployment benefits. Of them, at least least 812 (or 70%) had been paid for wrongly, said Kela in a release.
In most of the cases, those overpayments were due to wage incomes that the beneficiaries did not report. Thus, some benefit recipients had unreported earnings on business or, for example, royalty payments.
Kela collects back those overpaid benefits. And if there is a reason to suspect that an overpayment involves an abuse, further investigates the case.
4.95 million euros in overpayments
According to the studies completed by Kela so far, the average unemployment benefit was over 6,963 euros. In total, there have been at least 4.95 million euros in overpayments. The settlement of overpayments is partly incomplete, so all 2016 figures are not yet available.
In total, Kela paid unemployment benefits to 388,000 people in 2016, for a total of approximately 2.17 billion euros.
Post-tax-based supervision ends in 2017–2018 with regard to wage income. Since 2019, Kela receives data on the unemployment insurance clients from the income register almost in real time.