Backlog of first-time applications at the start of the year

At the start of the year, you may have had to wait more than 20 days for a daily allowance, especially if it was paid on the basis of a first-time application. We are sorry about the delay.

As you know, YTK Unemployment Fund is the largest unemployment fund in Finland, and we have a lot of unemployed members. We may pay daily allowances to approximately 40,000 people every month. Most of these payments are based on follow-up applications where the information has already been filled in and the applications do not change. Such applications are largely processed automatically, leading to swift decisions and payments.  

However, some applications are first-time applications, and additional information is often needed to process them. When we receive a surprisingly large number of these applications, some delays may occur as we process them. This happened at the start of this year when we received more first-time applications than we had forecast. Overall, unemployment was lower at the start of the year than, for example, in the same period last year, but for us, this has translated into a decrease in the number of follow-up applications. Longer-term unemployed people have found work, which is a good thing. However, reducing the number of applications processed automatically does not increase the number of processors available to us when more first-time applications are submitted at the same time. 

Daily allowance applications do not arrive at a steady rate – the number of applications varies significantly with time. The number of applications usually peaks at the turn of the month.

“Applications come in waves, which makes it challenging to organise processing. To some extent, it is always necessary to reach a compromise between short processing times and overall efficiency. We do our best to forecast the situation by closely monitoring unemployment trends, for example,” says Anna Mäkelä-Mäki, Service Director at YTK. 

Facts about processing:

  • Last year, we processed 585,592 applications. Manual processing is still required for 65–70% of applications. 
  • When we receive an application, we examine the legal impediments and requirements for paying a daily allowance, determine the amount of daily allowance to pay, issue a decision, and transfer the money to the relevant account. 
  • Last year, we paid 643,310,471 euros into our members’ accounts. 
  • The time taken to process an application varies according to the type of application. Some applications can be processed in just a few minutes, while others may take several hours. 
  • Our customer service experts answer phone calls and messages submitted by chat, social media and OmaYTK. We are contacted about 380,000 times every year.