Tukikeskus hilma

Frequently asked questions, FAQ

(Question)

I am a disabled immigrant living in Finland. What kind of services and benefits am I entitled to?

(Answer)

Immigrants who live in Finland permanently are usually entitled to Finnish social security benefits and get the national health insurance card (Kela-kortti). One way to prove to Kela (The National Social Insurance Institution) that you live in Finland permanently is to have at least a 2-year work contract in Finland.

In Finland many social and health care services, such as disability services, are also provided by the municipality in which you live. However, to be entitled to municipal services, you must have a right to a so-called ‘municipality of residence’ (kotikunta) in Finland. Usually you’re entitled to a municipality of residence only if you intend to stay in Finland permanently. A valid indication of permanent residence may be for example a long job contract in Finland. The decision on your right to a municipality of residence will be made by your Local Register Office (maistraatti).

A disabled immigrant permanently living in Finland is entitled to a service plan (palvelusuunnitelma). The goal of the service plan is to find out what kind of services and support measures a person with a disability or a long-term illness needs to be able to take care of everyday chores and to participate in society. The responsibility for drawing up the service plan lies with the municipal authorities. The disabled person himself/herself must be included in the drafting process of the service plan.

It should be noted that even two persons with the same disability diagnosis may have very different functional abilities and therefore also a different need for services.

If you require individual guidance and advice, you should book an appointment to Hilma (booking hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, at 12:00-14:00, tel. 044 7577 099).

More information on disability services in general:
Service Guide for Disabled Immigrants (pdf)

More information on the service plan (in Finnish):
Sosiaaliportti

2.

I am a disabled immigrant living in Finland, and I need a new (accessible) apartment. Can Support Centre Hilma help me with this issue?

Unfortunately, Support Centre Hilma has no special ways or means to obtain a new apartment to a client. In other words, you must follow the normal application procedures of different housing agencies (e.g. municipal housing providers, SATO,VVO). However, if you need assistance with filling in applications, Support Centre Hilma can help you with that. In that case, you should book an appointment to Hilma (booking hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, at 12:00-14:00, tel. 044 7577 099).

Please note that the rental housing situation in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is currently very challenging. Especially applicants with a low income must usually wait for a long time to get an apartment as the demand for affordable apartments greatly exceeds the supply. Support Centre Hilma cannot speed up the process.

Remember to renew your application at set intervals.


3.

I am a disabled immigrant living in Finland. My application to Kela/municipal social services has been turned down. What should I do?

When you apply for a specific service or benefit from Kela or your municipality of residence (kotikunta), you receive a written decision on your application. If the decision is negative, it must also explain the grounds for turning down your application and include instructions on the appeal procedure.

If you feel that the grounds for turning down your application are not valid, you should appeal the decision by following the instructions enclosed in the decision. You can ask for further advice from the institution that took the decision (Kela/municipal social services). Support Centre Hilma can also help you to appeal a decision. In that case, you should book an appointment to Hilma (booking hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, at 12:00-14:00, tel. 044 7577 099).

Please note that the appeal procedure will take time and effort and may not be successful.


4.

I am a disabled immigrant living in Finland, and I would like to participate in a Finnish language course. How should I proceed?

There are many different course providers and also many different ways of enrollment. Disabled immigrants who are registered with an employment office (TE-toimisto) should consult the employment authorities about suitable courses. Finnish courses organised in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and in the Tampere region can be found through the online service finnishcourses.fi

You will benefit from a Finnish language course only if you’re able to follow the lessons. So even before registering to a specific course you should contact the organisers of the course to find out if the venue is accessible to you despite your disability and if there are assistive devices or other support measures available (if you need them).


5.

I am a disabled immigrant living in Finland, and I would like to find some free time activity to meet other people. How should I proceed?

Finland has a lively third sector with a multitude of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as (multi)cultural and disability organisations, that provide activities for their members and sometimes also for non-members. There are dozens of organisations that focus on a certain disability and many of these organisations also have local branches that organise events and free-time activities for local residents.

To look for a specific organisation or for organisations focusing on a certain theme, you can use the NGO search website (unfortunately only available in Finnish).

A listing of nation-wide disability organisations can be found here.


6.

I am a disabled person from a non-EU country and I would like to move to Finland. How should I proceed?

In order to be able to stay in Finland for a longer time, non-EU citizens must have an acceptable ground for getting a residence permit. This means that you should be e.g. working or studying in Finland or have a family tie in Finland.

Disability is not a barrier for receiving a residence permit, but it is also not a sufficient ground for applying for a permit. In other words, the criteria for getting a residence permit also apply to a disabled person. More information on residence permits can be found on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service

In order to receive municipal heath care and social services (such as disability services) your Local Register Office in Finland must register a so-called ‘municipality of residence’ (kotikunta) to you. Usually a municipality of residence is registered only if the Local Register Office regards your move to Finland as permanent. A valid indication of permanent residence may be for example a sufficiently long job contract in Finland. For more information, contact the Local Register Offices.

Information on working in Finland can be found on the internet site of the Finnish employment authorities and in the brochure ‘Working in Finland’ (available in Finnish, Swedish, English, Estonian, Russian, French and Polish).

In order to receive benefits from Kela (The National Insurance Institution), you must apply for access to the Finnish social security system. For the application to be successful, Kela must regard your move to Finland as permanent. A valid indication of permanent residence may be for example a sufficiently long job contract in Finland. More information is available from Kela and Infopankki.

The services of Support Centre Hilma are exclusively targeted at disabled immigrants already living in Finland (including asylum-seekers).


7.

I am a disabled person from an EU country and I would like to move to Finland. How should I proceed?

A national of another EU country may stay in Finland for three (3) months without registering. If you wish to extend your stay, you must go to your local police department to register. If you’re not working in Finland, you must be able to prove that you’re able to provide for yourself and your family without social support. Further information is available from the police.

In order to receive municipal heath care and social services (such as disability services) your Local Register Office in Finland must register a so-called ‘municipality of residence’ (kotikunta) to you. Usually a municipality of residence is registered only if the Local Register Office regards your move to Finland as permanent. A valid indication of permanent residence may be for example a sufficiently long job contract in Finland. For more information, contact the Local Register Offices.

Information on working in Finland can be found on the internet site of the Finnish employment authorities and in the brochure ‘Working in Finland’ (available in Finnish, Swedish, English, Estonian, Russian, French and Polish).

In order to receive benefits from Kela (The National Insurance Institution), you must apply for access to the Finnish social security system. For the application to be successful, Kela must regard your move to Finland as permanent. A valid indication of permanent residence may be for example a sufficiently long job contract in Finland. More information is available from Kela and Infopankki.

The services of Support Centre Hilma are exclusively targeted at disabled immigrants already living in Finland (including asylum-seekers).


8.

I am an immigrant living in Finland and I need some help. I don't have any disability. Can Support Centre Hilma help me?

Unfortunately not. The services of Support Centre Hilma are exclusively targeted at disabled immigrants and their families. You should contact the local immigrant services in the municipality you're living in. Immigrants living in Helsinki may also contact Virka Info. Many NGOs also provide advice and support for immigrants.

A lot of useful information in different languages concerning moving to and living in Finland can be found on the Infopankki website.


VAMMAISTEN MAAHANMUUTTAJIEN TUKIKESKUS HILMA
PL 30, 00030 IIRIS
Gsm: 050 300 2501 | email: info[]tukikeskushilma.fi

Päivitetty: 16.4.2014 Webmaster