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 State Insured Income 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 labour exchange (from 1st October 2018, the Employment Service will be under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania).
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;
- 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 child 1-3;
- you are one of the parents (or adoptive parents) of a disabled person or the guardian of a disabled child, providing permanent care at home;
- you are the spouse of a civil servant or of someone in the professional military service;
- you are an Internal Service officer of the Prison Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice and its subordinate institutions;
- you are a farmer or his/her partner, a household member engaged in individual activities as defined in the Personal Income Tax Act, (except if so engaged under a business license).
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 labour exchange;
- 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 local labour exchange 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 local labour exchange 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 local labour exchange.
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 30% of the Minimum monthly wage and now it is EUR 120.
The variable part of the benefit is 50% of the average monthly insured income of the unemployed for the first 3 months; 40% for the next 3 months and 30% for the following 3 months. The average monthly insured income of the unemployed is calculated over the 30 months prior to registration with the local labour exchange.
Unemployment benefit cannot be less than 30% of the minimum monthly wage and cannot exceed 75% of the average national wage.
Applications for payments should be addressed to the district office of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.
- 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).
- Labour exchange with its 10 territorial labour exchange offices - 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 local labour exchange, though there are exceptions as indicated above.
Forms you may need to fill in
You may sign on at your local labour exchange 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:
- Lithuania labour exchange : information about unemployment benefit;
- SoDra: payment of unemployment benefit; http://www.sodra.lt/lt/situacijos/informacija-gyventojams/ka-daryti-jei-netekau-darbo-1
- Labour exchange FAQs.
European Commission publications and websites:
Who do you need to contact?
Lithuanian Job Centre: +370 70055166.