Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Estonia - Moving abroad

In what situation can I claim?

Social insurance and the regulations of the European Union

The regulations do not affect the social insurance status of a person who resides and works solely in Estonia. However, when moving to live and/or work in another Member State, the coordination rules of the social insurance systems apply. Rules are based on four principles.

1) Equal treatment. Discrimination on any grounds is prohibited. The fact that a person claiming benefits in a Member State is not a citizen or permanent resident of that state is not sufficient grounds for disqualifying him or her from receiving benefits.

2) One Member State's legal acts apply at a time. Usually, workers are socially insured in the state where they work.

3) Export of pensions, benefits and allowances. E.g. the pension earned in Estonia will continue to be paid out if the pensioner moves to another EU Member State to live.

4) Accumulation of insurance periods. The insurance periods accumulated in all EU Member States are added together when evaluating someone's right to claim a social insurance benefit.

You can claim the benefits below in the following manner if you have accumulated an employment and insurance period in another EU Member State, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland. This also applies to the EEA states.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Parental benefit

European Council Regulation No 883/2004 applies to applicants who worked in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation during the calendar year preceding the time at which the right to the benefit arose. In accordance with the principles of the regulation concerning the application of the social insurance systems for workers and their families moving within the EU, the time worked in other countries must be considered as being the same as if the person had worked in Estonia, i.e. the accumulation periods are added together. Claiming Estonian parental benefit as such does not require a minimum working period nor payment of contributions for a minimum period. However, the income earned in the previous calendar year is taken into account when calculating the amount of the benefit which is 100% of the average income of the previous calendar year. In case of no income the person has a right to a minimum benefit. Income actually earned in another country is not taken into account in Estonia or when calculating the amount of the parental benefit. For the purposes of calculating the parental benefit for parents who worked in another EEA country or the Swiss Confederation and Estonia during the previous calendar year or who worked in Estonia before taking pregnancy and maternity leave, the social tax paid in Estonia during the previous calendar year is also considered as paid for time spent working in other EEA countries or the Swiss Confederation. This means that the period spent working in another country in the previous calendar year will be added to the period spent working in Estonia during the previous calendar year, and the benefit amount will be calculated on the basis of the number of months spent working and the individually registered social tax in Estonia. The average monthly income calculated on the basis of the social tax will be considered as paid for every month spent working during the previous calendar year. As the time between the previous calendar year and the child's birth may be up to a year, the social tax paid in Estonia between the calendar year and pregnancy and maternity leave may, exceptionally, be taken into consideration if no social tax was paid during the previous calendar year in Estonia.

More information: http://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/et/sotsiaalkindlustus-euroopa-liidus

Unemployment insurance benefit

When assigning unemployment insurance benefits, the unemployment insurance periods accumulated in all Member States (as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) are taken into consideration. To claim unemployment insurance benefits in Estonia, the person must have been employed and paid unemployment insurance premiums for at least 12 months within the 36 months preceding registration as unemployed. If the person also paid unemployment insurance premiums while working in another Member State, the insurance periods will be added together. That way, the person has the right to claim the Estonian unemployment insurance benefits even where the required 12 months of unemployment insurance premium payments have been accumulated through working in several countries.

State pension

A person who has accumulated a pension qualification period of at least 1 year in an EU Member State, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, must present a pension application with the documents proving the accumulated period to a competent authority of the country of residence or the Social Insurance Board.

The State pension will continue to be paid out if the pensioner moves to another EU Member State. The same applies to other benefits and allowances unless they are mentioned in Annex X of the European Council Regulation No 883/2004.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

To claim unemployment insurance benefit in Estonia, you must have paid unemployment insurance premiums for at least 12 months within the 36 months preceding registration as unemployed. If you have also paid unemployment insurance premiums while working in other Member States (e.g. Finland and Sweden), the insurance periods will be added together. That way, you have the right to claim Estonian unemployment insurance benefits even where the required 12 months of unemployment insurance premium payments have been accumulated through working in several countries.

The length of the unemployment insurance period also determines how long you may claim the benefit for. If prior to becoming unemployed you worked for 12 months in Finland, 24 months in Ireland and 24 months in Estonia, your unemployment insurance period is calculated as 12 + 24 + 24 = 60 months, and in accordance with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Act you have the right to claim 270 days' worth of benefits.

The calculation of parental benefits in 2018 is based on the following figures:

1. Minimum parental benefit rate, EUR 470 per month. The benefit base rate for a person paid parental benefit who received no income that was subject to social tax during the previous calendar year (e.g. unemployed students).

2. Minimum wage rate, EUR 500 per month. The parental benefit at minimum wage rate is paid to a person whose average monthly income for the previous calendar year was equal to or less than the minimum wage.

3. The maximum monthly benefit rate is triple the average income liable for social tax for the previous calendar year with a ceiling of EUR 3,089.55 per month.

You have the right to claim social insurance benefit if you meet the conditions. To claim, please contact the Estonian National Social Insurance Board or submit an application through the State portal.

More information on rights can be found here:

Jargon busters

  • EEA - European Economic Area
  • EU - European Union

Forms you may need to fill in

The Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers created under the European Commission has implemented the A1 certificate (a certificate concerning the social insurance legislation applied to the certificate holder). The A1 certificate (former E101 form) indicates which state provides insurance to the holder; it is issued by the state whose social insurance legislation applies, and someone who works in several states can use it to prove to the authorities of the receiving state that he or she is not subject to the legislation of any other state insofar as employment is concerned.

In other words, he or she is not obligated to make social insurance contributions to other states; instead, his or her employers are obligated to fulfil all the obligations imposed upon them in relation to their employees under the applicable social insurance legislation, especially the obligation to make social insurance contributions to the state that is providing that person with insurance and all the attendant social rights and benefits.

Parental benefit

  • To claim parental benefit, you must submit an application and an identification document to the Estonian National Social Insurance Board;
  • Applicants who are on parental leave must submit a certificate from their employer indicating the duration of the parental leave and the name of the child;
  • The application may be submitted in person to a client service office of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board or sent via mail. The application may also be submitted electronically through the State portal.

The application form is available from the client service offices of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board (the addresses and reception hours of the client service offices are available under the 'Client Service' section of the homepage).

Unemployment insurance benefit

To combine unemployment insurance periods from other Member States, you must submit form U1 when claiming unemployment insurance benefit. The form is issued by the labour market or unemployment insurance authorities of Member States, who will indicate on the form the unemployment insurance period that you have accumulated in that state. It is advisable to obtain a U1 form from the local authority when moving from one Member State to another. Information on applying for the U1 form in the Member States can be found on the right.

You can also apply for the form at a later date - either in person or through an unemployment insurance fund, but it may take longer. If you wish to apply for the form through an unemployment insurance fund, then the U1 application form can be filled out electronically or on a printout.

All documents that prove employment in a Member State (employment contracts, wage slips, certificates from the employer or a tax authority, etc.) should be attached to the application. An application for a U1 form can be filled out and submitted from the unemployment insurance fund.

State pension

If a person has accumulated a pension qualification period of at least 1 year in a Member State of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, the pension application, together with the documents proving the accumulated period, must be submitted to the competent authority in the country of residence or the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.

The application can be submitted through the state portal www.eesti.ee . More information on the procedure for claiming benefits or pensions is available here: http://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/tootamine-euroopa-liidu-liikmesriigis-2/ or https://www.tootukassa.ee/eng/node/1095.

Know your rights

Publications and webpage of the European Commission

Who do you need to contact?

The application form is available from the client service offices of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.

The Estonian National Social Insurance Board has 17 client service offices across Estonia that deal with requests and applications in person, as well as via mail.

Information is available on telephone number 16106 (in Estonia) or +372 612 1360 between the hours of 9:00-17:00 on all working days and the general phone numbers of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board's offices (please see http://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/et/klienditeenindused-loeteluna ).

Visit us at our regional offices on any working day (please see Client Service http://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/et/klienditeenindused-loeteluna ).

Applications submitted electronically must be digitally signed.

For unemployment benefit, please contact the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Mon-Thu 8:30-16:45; Fri 8:30-15:30).

Helpline (in Estonia): 15501

E-mail: info@tootukassa.ee

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