Unemployment benefit – who is it for and under what conditions?

On this page you can find information on the requirements for receiving unemployment benefits

Requirements for entitlement to unemployment benefit

To qualify for unemployment benefits you must:  

  • have registered as an unemployed jobseeker  
  • have a valid job search  
  • be looking for a full-time job.

If you are on partial disability pension, you are entitled to unemployment benefits even if you are not looking for full-time work.

Receiving unemployment benefit implies certain obligations. This means that you are required to:

  • accept work, education or training offered to you
  • participate in services that promote employment.

You will have reasonable time to organise childcare and commuting.

Make sure you retain your right to unemployment benefits:

  • Your job search is valid.
  • Keep your contact details up to date.
  • Follow the instructions in the E-Services or instructions from TE Office employees.
  • Participate in jobseeker interviews and help prepare and review your employment plan.
  • Follow your employment plan as agreed.
  • Respond to the TE Office when they contact you.

You cannot receive unemployment benefits if you are in military or non-military service or in the hospital. The party paying the unemployment benefit decides on the payment of the unemployment benefit.

While travelling abroad, you can receive unemployment benefits if:

  • you can be contacted by the TE Office
  • you participate in the services as agreed
  • you accept the work offered without delay.

To receive unemployment benefits, you may need to live in Finland. This matter is investigated and determined by the party paying the unemployment benefit.

Prepare to prove your right to unemployment benefits

Based on the information you provide when registering as an unemployed jobseeker, we issue a labour policy statement on your right to unemployment benefits. 

The information you provide when you register may be sufficient to prepare the labour policy statement that we send to your unemployment fund or Kela.

If we need further clarification for the statement, we will contact you.  

  • You do not need to submit e.g. degree certificates to the TE Office unless this is specifically requested.  
  • You can review the receipt of acknowledgement you receive from E-Services to see whether a labour policy statement has been issued or if the TE Office will contact you for further clarification.

For labour policy statements, the TE Office may request, for example:

  • references from your latest employer or employment contract if you are still employed
  • a lay-off notice or a lay-off certificate if you are laid-off
  • diploma and degree certificates
  • a certificate of resignation or suspension if you have resigned from an educational institution or discontinued your studies
  • proof of the start date of the studies and the extent of the studies if you are still studying
  • possible results of applying for education if you are under 25 years of age
  • proof that you have completed military or non-military service
  • passport or take-over certificate as well as work and residence permits if you are an immigrant.

Are you dissatisfied with the labour policy statement?

The TE Office issues a labour policy statement to the unemployment fund or Kela regarding your right to unemployment benefit. This statement cannot be separately appealed.

  • If you want to know the grounds for the statement, your local TE Office or the telephone service for personal customers can help you.

The party paying the unemployment benefit cannot change the  statement given by the TE Office.  

  • If you wish to appeal, you can appeal the paying party's decision. You can appeal the decision of the paying party by appealing to the Social Security Appeal Board. The party paying the unemployment benefit will attach the appeal  instructions to the decision.  
  • You can appeal against the decision of the Social Security Appeal Board to the Insurance Court.

Please notify us of any changes

When you register as an unemployed jobseeker, your will be asked about factors that may influence your right to an unemployment benefit. As an unemployment benefit recipient your will be obligated to notify the TE Office of any changes to your status.

Please notify the TE Office on the following:

  • Start of employment, termination of employment and any changes to your working hours.
  • Entrepreneurial activities lasting more than 2 weeks. Work in a family-owned enterprise can also be considered entrepreneurial activity.
  • Other type of employment than that of a salary earner or entrepreneur, such as working as a caregiver to a family member,
  • Start of studies.
  • Change of citizenship or changes to your residence permit.
  • If you choose to discontinue participating in a service that promotes employment. Please only notify your own unemployment fund or Kela of singular absences in your daily allowance and labour market subsidy application.

The list above includes the most typical changes that the TE Office must be notified of. If you are not sure about how a change might affect your right to unemployment benefits, please contact your local TE Office or the telephone service for personal customers.

The TE Office will provide more information on how to submit information on the start and conclusion of employment for those people who e.g. take on temporary work on a regular basis.  

Contact details

Instructions for customers in local government pilots on employment 

If you are a customer of a local government pilot on employment, notify your municipality of residence  and if necessary, the TE Office, of any changes. Your municipality of residence submits the labour policy statements that are part of its duties under the Act on local government pilot on employment. Your municipality of residence can tell you the grounds of the labour policy statements issued by the municipality. 

Jobseekers’ services during the local government pilots

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