KELA will not pay Finnish mother old age benefits in America

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Laajenna näkymää Otsikko: KELA will not pay Finnish mother old age benefits in America

Re: KELA will not pay Finnish mother old age benefits in America

Kirjoittaja Kela | kansainväliset asiat » 28 Syys 2021, 15:49

Hello AnitaK11!

We can unfortunately only provide general information and advice here on the Kysy Kelasta page. We can take a closer look at your mother's situation if she contacts us in person by calling us.

You can read more about pensions in international situations here.

Best regards,
Nelli | Kela International situations

KELA will not pay Finnish mother old age benefits in America

Kirjoittaja AnitaK11 » 25 Syys 2021, 20:16

Hello, my Finnish citizen mother living in USA was denied old age KELA benefits due to the fact that she receives a Divorce Spouse Benefit from her American ex-husband's social security record here in America. This payment that she receives is HALF of what her ex-husband is being paid in America, because it is based off her ex-husband's retirement record and not her own. She has no work record in America. The Social Security Administration of the USA has no problem if my Finnish mother applies for or receives a benefit ON HER OWN RECORD from Finland, in addition to receiving the Divorced Spouse Benefit she receives here in the USA on her ex-husband record. They consider these things separate, because her USA benefit is not based off her own social security record, but her ex-husband. It is also not a full retirement benefit that she is being paid, it is a reduced payment by 50%.

KELA heard all of this through the many appeals and refused to pay my Finnish mother residing abroad in USA her Finnish old age benefit. KELA applied only Finnish law and rules without considering the nature of the social security agreement, and any American laws and rules. USA considers an old age pension from Finland separate from a Divorced Spouse Benefit, and that both can be paid out and does not affect the other. Finland applied only Finnish law and counted her Divorced Spouse benefit as my mother's own full social security benefit. Which it is not.

My Finnish citizen mother thought Finland would be there for her after her divorce from her American ex-husband. My father enjoys a full retirement pension, and my mother gets a 50% reduced benefit payment. She thought that surely Finland and KELA would support their senior citizens living abroad, especially when they are receiving only partial benefits from the USA from an American ex-spouse's retirement record. If Finland would have paid my mother's old age pension, she would be receiving the same amount in retirement as my father enjoys now. Instead, KELA denied everything, in almost a discriminating matter due to the fact that my mother doesn't live in Finland and pay taxes there.

I believe my mother is owed her old age pension from Finland, because she doesn't have her own retirement pension in America. Her ex-husband's social security payment to her, is not her own pension. American law sees it that way, and KELA refused to acknowledge any American law in their decision, for which a social security agreement applies. Is this really how you treat your Finnish citizens living far away from home in the USA, without any support and allowing them to live in poverty in another land? Her experience with KELA was a cruel awakening to how much people in Finland don't care about you anymore, just because you are not living or paying taxes in Finland.