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A total of 67,000 applications arrived at the fund in 2020. Most of
these were submitted via the online Openetti system, but applications are also
still received by post. The system directs applications to job queues according
to various criteria. Some applications go directly to automatic payment. These
applications paid directly by machine account for approximately 20%. The rest
of the applications are still processed “manually”. These applications
are always processed by a benefit handler, including review, request for
further clarification and transfer to payment. Although automation speeds up
the processing of applications, a large part of the work still needs the
expertise of a benefit handler.  In
addition benefit handlers, applications are pre-processed and paid by a robot.

 The robot was commissioned in
2020. The most important tasks for the robot are to pre-process applications
and automatically make payments for “easy applications”. Pre-processing
speeds up the processing of an application when the robot has already requested
further clarifications and ordered the necessary information related to the
application. For example, the robot checks whether the applicant has received a
labour policy statement and sends a letter to the applicant if the statement is

How are applications directed to job queues?

The first application is always the application that takes the most time
to process. Also, if the benefit has not been paid for 6 months, it is a first
application. This is because the fund must check that the employment condition
has been met.

Some of the follow-up applications will be paid directly if there have
been no changes in the applicant’s information. If wages have been paid during
the application period, the application will continue to go through a benefit
handler. Applicants wonder why the application is not paid immediately if the
income in a follow-up application is less than the standard entitlement. This
is where the benefit handler will check the income for the application period.
If the income is less than the standard entitlement, we are often able to
process the application quickly in a few days. This requires that the
application does not have anything else to clarify. When the application is
processed in the fund, it takes two business days for the money to be in the
applicant’s account. Applications are otherwise processed in the order in which
they are received.

Filling in the application

The application is always filled in for one month or 4 weeks. An
exception to this is the first application, which can be completed for the
first 2 weeks. The largest number of applications arrives at the fund at the
turn of the month. We have been working to move application cycles out of the
rhythm of the calendar month so that we can reduce the application backlog at
the turn of the month. This allows the applicant to receive the benefit faster
into their account. The large number of applications at the turn of the month is
also visible to the outside. When we process days when the number of
applications is multiple, the processing date on the fund’s website does not
seem to change. The reason for this is precisely this large number of
applications for one day. One of the biggest days in the fund’s number of
applications is in the summer, two weeks after schools finish.

Prepare for summertime

Summer is the busiest time in the fund. 40.5% of all applications for
the year arrive between June and August. When schools finish, many teachers
face a summer of unemployment. The fund prepares for this through working time
arrangements and by increasing human resources. However, you should prepare for
a slightly longer processing time in the summer.  Despite the preparations, it is difficult to
predict the actual number of applications in advance.

The stages of your application can be followed in the Openetti online
service.  From there, you can see if your
application has arrived, waits for further clarification, or when your benefit
will be paid. We always try to obtain additional information for applications
primarily from other actors. The fund receives information needed for
applications from Kela, the tax authorities and the pension institution.
Because we receive information from other actors, it may be that you do not
need to attach any attachments to your application.

In some situations, however, we have to ask the applicant for more
information. The request for further clarification will appear in Openetti the
next day after we send it from the fund. You should pay attention to
attachments already when filling in the application. A correctly completed
application and attachments ensure that we can process the application more
quickly. Instructions for filling in the application can be found on the fund’s
website under Instructions and Support and necessary attachments can be found
on the fund’s website under Applying for earnings-related allowance.

Once the application is resolved, you will see the decision the next
morning in Openetti. Some decisions are sent by post, such as letters of
recovery. You can see the payment information in Openetti during the same day
that we have processed your application.