Independent study supported by an unemployment benefit
- Nationwide except the Åland Islands
- Public service
As a registered customer of the TE Office, you may be entitled to an unemployment benefit for independent full-time studies. Independent studies mean taking part in education provided by an educational institution. Student selections should also be decided by the educational institution. The TE Office does not procure the training or select the students as in the case of labour market training.
The benefit for the duration of your studies is paid by Kela or an unemployment fund on the basis of a statement provided by the TE Office. If you are considering independent studies, the TE Office will assess your need for education or training, as well as how the studies will improve your chances in the job market. You will only receive an unemployment benefit if the TE Office's assessment indicates that you need education or training, and the studies will significantly improve your chances in the job market, being the best way to secure employment. Moreover, the criteria regarding the studies must be met.
Support amount and payment
If a decision has been made to support your studies, you will receive an unemployment benefit or a labour market subsidy while studying.
As a student receiving support, your will be required to report, for example, on the progress of your studies. If the TE Office and the party paying the support do not receive the information they require, your entitlement to an unemployment benefit may be expire, and you may have to pay back benefits already paid to you. Suspension of support requires a valid reason (such as going to work, illness or taking family leave).
Inform the TE Office as soon as possible, if your studies are temporarily on a break (for example due to a long sick leave, family leave or a longer work contract), because you will be spending your support time until you inform about the break in the studies. The TE Office will consider the validity of the reason. Holiday periods of the educational institution are not considered a valid reason. Remember to inform the TE office also when your studies continue after a temporary break.
Do the following
Before studies begin
If you consider studying while registered as a customer at the TE Office, contact your nearest TE Office in good time by leaving a call back request in the E-services. It is important to be in touch with the TE Office in order to assess your need for training, and to discuss what kind of training would best improve your chances in the job market. You will only receive an unemployment benefit if the TE Office's assessment indicates that you need education or training, and the studies will significantly improve your chances in the job market, being the best way to secure employment.
When you are offered a study place, ask the educational institution to fill in the form The education provider’s statement to the TE Office regarding studies supported by unemployment benefit. Fill in the form Arguments for a need of training, and submit the completed forms to the TE Office. The TE Office will make the decision on supporting the studies upon receiving the forms. Please note that the decision on possible support for the studies should be received, in principle, before the studies commence, and support will not be granted for studies which have already started. However, the application for a study place will not affect your unemployment security. If the studies you have planned are not accepted as studies supported by unemployment benefits, contact the TE Office to check if you can complete part-time studies instead. Part-time studies do not affect your unemployment security, if you are prepared to accept full-time work during your studies.
When you are studying
When you are participating in the service you also have obligations that you must take care of.
- participate in lessons
- progress in your studies: on average 5 credits per study month in higher education studies, in other studies on the basis of a training or study plan (on average, 3 credits / month or 4.5 competence points / month or at least 25 h / week)
- inform the TE Office of the progress of the studies as agreed
- immediately notify the TE Office if the studies do not progress as planned, if the studies are interrupted or completely discontinued or you begin to work full-time lasting more than two weeks
- announce the completion of the studies and, if requested by the TE Office, present a certificate of the completed studies.
To whom and on what terms
In order to receive an unemployment benefit, you have to be registered as a customer of the TE Office, and over 25 years of age. You will also need an assessment by the TE Office indicating that you need education or training, and the studies will significantly improve your chances in the job market, being the best way to secure employment. You will have to agree on the studies in the employment plan drafted with the TE Office before the commencement of your studies. You may only be entitled to support after the studies have started if at least a year has passed from the disruption of your studies, or if your studies started during a period when you received financial benefits paid by the employer, or if you started the studies as vocational labour market training.
You have to be a full-time student. Studies are considered full-time when they aim at completing a degree at a university or another degree the extent of which is on average the minimum of 5 credits or 4.5 ECVET points a month, or 25 hours a week.
In addition to being full-time, the studies must lead to a vocational qualification or a further or specialist vocational qualification, a Bachelor's or a Master's degree at a university or a higher education institution, or the completion of modules of these degrees. The studies may also comprise further and continuing education or open university or open university of applied sciences education in compliance with the Act on vocational education or the Act on vocational adult education. The unemployment benefit to support your studies can only be paid for a maximum of 24 months per qualification or degree. However, basic education can be supported for a maximum period of 48 months.
The service is free of charge.