Applying for unemployment benefits
Do the following:
- Register as an unemployed jobseeker at a TE Office at the latest on your first day of unemployment.
- Find out whether you are eligible for benefits paid by an unemployment fund or those paid by Kela.
- Apply for the unemployment benefit from your unemployment fund or Kela once you have been unemployed for two weeks.
Register as an unemployed jobseeker at a TE Office at the latest on your first day of unemployment. Your job search must be valid in order for you to receive the unemployment benefit.
After the registration, the TE Office will determine whether you may receive the unemployment benefit. The Office may contact you to ask you about your previous employment relationships, studies or business operations. It is important that you reply to the TE Office within the set time.
Subsequently, the TE Office will send you and your unemployment fund or Kela a labour policy statement. This document indicates whether you are entitled to an unemployment benefit.
You can respond to requests for further information and follow the progress of your unemployment benefit case using the My e-Services of the TE services. The opinion is also included in the service.
Apply for an unemployment benefit from your unemployment fund or Kela after two weeks of unemployment, even if you have not yet received the labour policy opinion.
If are a member of an unemployment fund, first determine whether the fund will pay your benefits. You can get an earnings-related daily allowance from an unemployment fund if you have a sufficiently long work history and have been a member of the fund for enough days before your unemployment or temporary dismissal. Your unemployment fund will provide you with instructions on how to apply.
If you are not eligible for the earnings-related daily allowance, you may apply for Kela’s unemployment benefits. Having a sufficiently long work history is also a condition for receiving Kela’s unemployment allowance.
If you do not fulfil this condition, you may apply for a labour market subsidy at Kela. You are eligible for the labour market subsidy from Kela also in the case that the period for which an unemployment fund pays you an earnings-related allowance has come to an end.
If you are under the age of 25 and you have a vocational qualification, you can receive unemployment benefits in the normal manner.
If you do not have a vocational qualification and wish to receive unemployment benefits,
- you must apply for two study places and inform the TE Office about this
- if you do not get a student place, you must cooperate with the TE Office.
If you refuse the services, training or work suggested to you, you will lose your eligibility for the unemployment benefit until further notice. You may also not receive the unemployment benefit if you do not start your studies or cancel them without a valid reason.
If you are applying for Kela’s labour market subsidy, you may get it after a waiting period. The waiting period may last at most 21 weeks.
You must apply for the unemployment benefit at your unemployment fund or Kela after two weeks of unemployment.
Attach to your application the requested documents, such as copies of your previous employment contract, employment certificate, notice of termination of employment or lay-off, salary slips and a possible severance settlement. The TE Office does not send the documents it has received to unemployment funds or Kela.
Submit your future applications and notifications once every four weeks or once a month. You should submit an application for an extension immediately when the previous payment term comes to an end.
You may apply for benefits, submit notifications and send attachments to Kela using the available e-services. You can also apply for benefits with a paper form which you will send or personally take to Kela.
Applications can also be submitted to most unemployment funds online.
The earnings-related daily allowance from an unemployment fund and Kela’s unemployment allowance can be paid for you
- for a maximum period of 300 days, if you have less than three years of work history
- for a maximum period of 400 days, if you have more than three years of work history
- for a maximum period of 500 days, if you are aged 58 or over and have at least five years of work history from the previous 20 years.
Unemployment benefits are paid for five days a week.
If you are still unemployed at the end of your daily earnings-related allowance or unemployment allowance period, you may be eligible for a labour market subsidy from Kela. There is no limit for the labour market subsidy.
You should grab hold of all employment opportunities and accept even temporary or random work. Your unemployment fund and Kela take your income into account and can pay you an adjusted unemployment benefit. In addition, any days when you receive income from employment or your company will postpone the end of the period for receiving earnings-related or basic unemployment allowance.
Notify how many hours you have worked and how much income you have received when applying for the earnings-related allowance from your unemployment fund or inform Kela about your unemployment period. If the employment relationship lasts for over two weeks, you must notify the TE Office that you have found work. You may file the notification using the My e-Services.
Also notify your unemployment fund or Kela of the social benefits you have received.
Inform your unemployment fund or Kela and TE Office immediately of the following changes:
- finding employment as an employee or an entrepreneur
- taking a parental leave
- working on a grant
- moving abroad
- taking a long-term sick leave
- or another reason why you are not available to the labour market.
The unemployment fund and Kela will pay unemployment benefits until your final day of unemployment when you keep your job search valid at the TE Office until your final day of unemployment.
All unemployment benefits are taxable: 20-25% of each benefit will be withheld as tax.
You can apply for an adjustment to your tax card for unemployment subsidies: in this case, your tax rate may fall below 20-25%. At your request, the Finnish Tax Administration can send your next tax card directly to your benefit provider. At the end of each year, benefit providers will receive tax-related data directly from the Finnish Tax Administration.
Your income may vary while you are unemployed, if you accept project-based or part-time work. You can adjust your tax rate throughout the year by notifying the tax authority of the earned income and unemployment benefits you have received thus far, as well as how much tax has been withheld from these.
Apply for unemployment benefits from Kela or, if you are a member, from your unemployment fund.