How to Claim Unemployment in Finland
Labour markets are tight all around the world so unemployment is a sad fact of life everywhere, but as in many countries, Finnish workers have access to financial assistance in the event they find themselves out of work.
Claiming unemployment in Finland is a relatively simple process. The body responsible for the unemployed is Kela, the country’s social security agency.
Unemployed jobseekers and school or university graduates without a job are required to register with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) after which they become eligible for assistance under one of three schemes depending on their circumstances:
- Earnings-related unemployment allowance is claimable from the employee’s unemployment fund. It is paid for up to 500 days, after which workers need to apply for the labour market. Most workers in Finland are members of unemployment funds.
- Basic unemployment allowance is claimed from Kela. To qualify for the allowance, claimants must have been in employment for a minimum of eight months in the two years prior to becoming unemployed. It is payable for a maximum of 500 days, after which workers become eligible for the labour market subsidy.
- Labour market subsidy is paid by Kela and is payable to unemployed jobseekers entering the job market for the first time, those who have no work experience and those who have exhausted the 500-day limit for the basic or earnings-related unemployment allowance.
Unemployed immigrants are also eligible for assistance.
They can apply for unemployment in Finland by registering at a TE Office, which then issues a labour policy statement to Kela confirming that the applicant is an unemployed jobseeker and eligible for labour market subsidy.
Immigrants are entitled to an individual integration plan that sets out how to integrate into Finnish society and what services are available to help immigrants find work. Immigrants with an integration plan are paid their labour market subsidy in the form of integration assistance, which is available on application to Kela. It can be paid for the first three years of permanent residence in Finland.
There are two forms required for those seeking to apply for unemployment in Finland. The first is the Claim Unemployment Benefits (TT1). It is used for claiming unemployment allowance, labour market subsidy or integration allowance.
The second is the Unemployment Status Report (TT2), which is to be used by recipients of basic unemployment allowance, labour market subsidy or integration assistance to report details about periods of unemployment required for benefit payment.
These forms are downloadable from the links above. More information about the process of claiming unemployment is also found on the two above forms.
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