When can I apply for unemployment benefits?
You can claim earnings-related allowance (ansiopäiväraha), basic allowance (peruspäiväraha), or labour market subsidy (työmarkkinatuki) if you become unemployed or finish your studies and do not have a job.
Earnings-related unemployment allowance is available to members of an unemployment fund. The amount it entails is linked to your previous income level. Earnings-related unemployment allowance is claimed from your unemployment fund. Affiliation to an unemployment fund is voluntary.
If you do not belong to an unemployment fund but were previously working at least 26 weeks (the work requirement), you can claim basic unemployment allowance from Kela. Earnings-related unemployment allowance and basic unemployment allowance can be paid for up to 300-500 days. After this period you can apply for labour market subsidy from Kela. Labour market subsidy is payable to unemployed job seekers entering the labour market for the first time and unable to find work. It is also paid to persons who have worked but do not meet the work requirement or have received unemployment allowance for the maximum period.
Unemployment allowance can also be paid to self-employed persons.
For all applications for unemployment allowance it is required to register as a job seeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office). The TE Office can advise you on searching for jobs and offer different forms of support.
What is required to claim unemployment benefits?
Unemployment allowance is first paid when you have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the employment office for five working days.
Whether you are claiming earnings-related unemployment allowance from your unemployment fund or basic unemployment allowance from Kela, the criteria are the same. The allowances are paid to unemployed persons who are between 17 and 64 years of age and living in Finland, who are looking for work and who had been working for a total of 26 weeks in the 28 months before becoming unemployed. Self-employed persons must have been working for 15 out of the 48 months immediately preceding their unemployment and this activity must have had a defined scope. For earnings-related allowance, you have to fulfil the work requirement while you are a member of an unemployment fund.
If you do not meet these conditions, you can apply for labour market subsidy. Unemployed jobseekers aged between 17 and 64 and living in Finland have the right to labour market subsidy. Persons who have not completed vocational training may be subject to a waiting period of 21 weeks.
Benefits and how to claim them
You should claim earnings-related unemployment allowance from your own unemployment fund. The amount will depend on your previous earnings level. You can calculate the value of your own earnings-related unemployment allowance on the website of The Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland (TYJ).
You can apply for basic unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy from Kela.
Earnings-related unemployment allowance, basic unemployment allowance and labour market subsidies are increased for each child under 18 who lives in the care of the recipient. Increased unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy are paid for the period of a service that promotes your employment.
Unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy are taxable income.
Services that promote employment: job search training, career coaching, trials, work force training, independent study supported by unemployment benefit, immigrants' independent study, rehabilitative work, or other measures provided by TE offices.
TE Office: Employment and Economic Development Office.
Forms and online services that you may need
- Register as a job seeker with the TE Offices' online service
- Instructions and forms for applying for earnings-related unemployment allowance
- Instructions for applying for basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy (Kela)
- More information about basic unemployment allowance
- More information about labour market subsidy
- More information about earnings-related allowance
Know your rights
You can find out more information about your rights via the link below. The websites are not maintained by the European Commission and they do not represent the Commission's views.
The Commission's publication and website:
Who should I contact?
Your local TE Office, www.te-toimisto.fi/en
Your own unemployment fund:
Here you can find all unemployment funds operating in Finland
- Contact details: http://www.tyj.fi/eng/unemployment_funds_/contact_details_for_the_unemployment_funds/
Kela’s contact information, main portal http://www.kela.fi
- electronic services at http://www.kela.fi/web/en/e-services
- phone services at http://www.kela.fi/web/en/phone-services
- locate the nearest customer service at http://www.kela.fi/web/en/customer-service-locator