Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Lithuania - Unemployment benefit

This section provides current information on unemployment benefit, procedures for claiming it and the requirements for eligibility.

In what situation can I claim?

Unemployment insurance is compulsory for all in employment. Benefits are linked to earnings prior to becoming unemployed and to minimum monthly wage approved by Government.

In order to qualify for unemployment benefit (nedarbo išmoka), a person is required to have been insured for at least 12 months in the last 30 months prior to signing on at the Employment Service).

If insurance contributions were paid for you, but they have not been paid for the required length of time (if, for example, you were unfairly dismissed by your employer or you have completed compulsory military service), you may be treated as an exception. If contributions have not been made on your behalf, there will be a waiting period of 7 days, or the length of time for which your former employer paid the missing contributions. If you became unemployed through your own fault, the waiting period will be 3 months.

Unemployment benefit will cease to be paid from the date you find work or become self-employed.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You have unemployment insurance if:

  • you are employed under an employment contract, an authorship contract or a patent agreement, including in positions to which you were elected or you are politician or public official and you receive wages according to special laws;
  • you are in the National Defence system professional military service, a volunteer soldier, on  other active service, or a managed reserve soldier called up for exercise, training or to perform service tasks;
  • you are in the Lithuanian armed forces, in the initial compulsory military service or undertaking alternative service;
  • you are not working because of taking childcare leave to look after a  1-3 years old child;
  • you are one of the parents (or adoptive parents) of a disabled person or the guardian (carer) of a disabled person, providing permanent care at home;
  • you are the spouse of a posted civil servant or of someone in the professional military service and living together abroad;
  • you are an Internal Service officer;
  • you are the owner of an individual company, member of a small partnership or member of the partnership and generate income.

If you wish to receive unemployment benefit you must fulfil the following conditions:

  • you must be unemployed;
  • you must be of working age;
  • you must not be in full-time education;
  • you must be able to provide proof of having achieved the minimum period of unemployment insurance;
  • you must be registered with the Employment Service;
  • you must be actively seeking work, prepared to accept jobs offered to you, and actively participate in labour market policy measures (see Jargon busters below);
  • you must not be in receipt of sickness or maternity (paternity) benefits or other social security benefits.

You will not receive unemployment benefit if you:

  • are studying under a general education programme or a formal vocational education programme;
  • have reached the statutory old-age pension age or are recognised as being incapable of work;
  • refused, without a valid reason, a suitable job offer;
  • failed, without a valid reason, to attend an appointment at the of Employment Service for accepting a job offer, or for drawing up of an individual activation plan; 
  • stopped participating in the learning support measures or supported employment measures without a valid reason;
  • the Employment Service repeatedly receives information from institutions exercising control and prevention of illegal work, undeclared employment and undeclared self-employment that you received income illegally;
  • your permit entitling you to reside in Lithuania as unemployed has expired;
  • a court decision, order or judgment has imposed penalties, or sanctions on you;
  • you migrate from Lithuania;
  • you have filed an application cancelling registration with the of Employment Service.

You will avoid sanctions if you can show good reason for any of the above (illness, accident, death of a parent, child or spouse, etc.).

The unemployment insurance benefit shall be paid during 9 months.

In the case you have less than 5 years remaining until retirement age when the period of benefit payment comes to an end, payments may be extended by a further 2 months so long as you are not in receipt of an early old-age pension.

If you have more than 30 years of insurance contributions and you will receive a retirement pension within the coming 5 years, you may apply for early payment of your pension.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Unemployment benefit is calculated as the sum of a fixed part and a variable part. The fixed part equals the 23.27% of the Minimum monthly wage and now it is EUR 129.15.

The variable part of the benefit is 38,79% of the average monthly insured income of the unemployed for the first 3 months; 31,03% for the next 3 months and 23,27% for the following 3 months. The average monthly insured income of the unemployed is calculated over the 30 months prior to registration with the Employment Service.

Unemployment benefit cannot be less than 23.27% of the minimum monthly wage and cannot exceed 75% of the average national wage.

Applications for payments should be addressed to the Employment Service or SoDra.

Jargon busters

  • Active labour market policy measures include support for learning (vocational training, employment under an apprenticeship employment contract, advanced training), support for mobility, supported employment (subsidised employment, support for the acquisition of work skills) support for job creation (subsidising of job creation / adaptation, implementation of local employment initiative projects, support for self-employment).
  • the Employment Service - the main institution for the implementation of employment, retraining and active labour market policies.
  • SoDra - The State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the main institution organising social security.
  • Minimum required insurance period - the period for which the payment of insurance contributions is required in order to qualify for unemployment benefit (12 months in the previous 30 months prior to signing on as unemployed at the Employment Service, though there are exceptions as indicated above.

Forms you may need to fill in

You may sign on at district office of SoDra or at the Employment Service or online.

Know your rights

These links will help you find out what your rights are. These are not European Commission websites and the information they contain may not necessarily reflect the Commission's point of view:

European Commission publications and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Lithuanian Job Centre: +370 70055166.

Regional Job Centre branches.

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