Whether you are just starting your studies, graduating soon or anywhere in between, it may be difficult to keep up with the effects that the coronavirus has had on your subsistence. Read the summary that Tiia Niemi, our specialist in social policy, has made on the most relevant issues below!
Student aid is paid out normally for remote studies. The payment of student aid may also be continued even if you do not complete enough credits due to the coronavirus epidemic. Two months will be deducted from the months of student aid used in the academic year 2019–2020 in the monitoring of study progress. Only the cancellation of all your studies would prevent you from receiving student aid.
If you run out of months of student aid because of the epidemic, you can apply for an extension to your student aid. The coronavirus epidemic is considered an acceptable reason for granting an extension. You can receive an extension of up to nine months to your student aid.
You can get a student loan compensation or tax deduction even if you do not graduate within the target time for your degree. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, starting or completing your degree may have been delayed. In a normal situation, only illness, military or non-military service and looking after a child are acceptable reasons for getting the student loan compensation despite exceeding the target time. However, the parliament has approved an amendment that would make it possible to take the exceptional circumstances into account in relation to the student loan for those starting and finishing their studies. If you have registered for non-attendance for your first academic year because of the epidemic, this period will not be included in the time taken into account for the student loan compensation. Those graduating in autumn 2020 will also be given a concession on the deadline and will remain entitled to the student loan compensation or tax deduction even if they have studied for one academic term more than the target time. This change only applies to those graduating in the autumn, as the Ministry of Education and Culture cannot yet foresee how the situation will develop. The matter, and the need to extend these concessions, will be reviewed again in spring 2021 to ensure that no one will lose the student loan compensation or tax deduction because of the coronavirus epidemic. The new act will come into effect on 1 January 2021.
If you have been temporarily laid off after 16 March, you may, exceptionally, be entitled to unemployment benefits. A full-time student who has been temporarily laid off can apply for unemployment benefits by registering as an unemployed jobseeker at the TE Office, as the office will not assess whether the applicant is studying full time or part time due to the coronavirus situation. After registering at the TE Office, you can apply for the benefits from Kela or your own unemployment fund. The government is proposing the change to be in effect until 31 December 2021. However, please take into account that if you are working part time at your own request, you are not entitled to the adjusted unemployment benefit.
Restaurants offering student lunches may continue to sell takeaway meals. You can buy two meals at a time with one student card. However, you can also buy two meals for a friend at the same time if you have your friend’s student card with you. These instructions are in effect until 31 July 2021 unless the situation reverts to normal before that.
UniCafe’s opening hours and instructions on using their services are available here.
If you still have any questions, please contact our specialist in social policy:
Tiia Niemi, firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 543 9608