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 with a TE Office at the latest on your first day of lay-off or unemployment. Also state that you are looking for full-time employment. You will be eligible for an unemployment benefit only if your job search is valid and you are looking for full-time employment.
If you apply for basic social assistance from Kela, Kela may require you to register as a jobseeker with the TE Office, and to apply for full-time jobs and unemployment benefits. The unemployment benefit is the primary income support, which means that Kela may ask you to clarify whether you are eligible for unemployment benefit.
The TE Office may contact you or send you a request for clarification to verify that you are eligible for un unemployment benefit. For example, the request for clarification may concern your previous employment relationship, studies or business operations. It is important that you reply to the request for clarification within the set time.
In conjunction with this clarification, the TE Office may request a copy of your certificates of employment or student status. Please note that the TE Office will not send copies of your documents to your unemployment fund or Kela.
You can respond to requests for clarification and follow the progress of your unemployment benefit case using the TE Services' E-services. You will receive and can also reply to the request for clarification by post.
When the clarification has been processed, the TE Office will send you a labour policy statement. The opinion states whether you can apply to your unemployment fund or Kela for unemployment benefit.
If you 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 to Kela for a labour market subsidy. You are also entitled to a labour market subsidy when the earnings-related daily allowance period or Kela's unemployment allowance ends.
You must apply for the unemployment benefit from your unemployment fund or Kela after two weeks of unemployment. Attach the requested documents to your application.
In future, submit your 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.
Unemployment benefits are taxable income for which you should order a new tax card, for example, in the MyTax online service.
If you do not apply for a new tax card, Kela will withhold 20 per cent and your unemployment fund at least 25 per cent of your unemployment benefit.
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.
Please note that 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 duration of the labour market subsidy.