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Basic unemployment allowance

The basic unemployment allowance is one of the two unemployment benefits provided by Kela. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, you can receive earnings-related unemployment allowance.

Eligibility for basic unemployment allowance

If you become unemployed, you can receive basic unemployment allowance if

Read more about the entitlement criteria for basic unemployment allowance for persons aged under 25 years.

How much is the basic unemployment allowance?

Basic unemployment allowance is paid to the amount of
EUR 37.21 per day
On average the basic unemployment allowance amounts to
EUR 800.02 per month

You must pay tax on the basic unemployment allowance.

If you for instance receive a wage or salary from part-time work, the wage or salary reduces the amount of the basic unemployment allowance. In this case, you receive adjusted basic unemployment allowance. However, you can earn up to EUR 300 per month without it affecting your benefit.

The basic unemployment allowance is paid for 5 working days a week (including mid-week holidays).

Increases to the basic unemployment allowance

You can receive an increase to the basic unemployment allowance, if you have dependent children under 18 years of age or if you participate in employment promoting services.

Child increases to be discontinued as of 1 April 2024

The child increases to basic unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy paid by Kela will be discontinued as of 1 April 2024.

Learn more

Child increase
Number of childrenEUR per day
One child5,84
Two children8,57
Three children or more11,05

The child increase is payable starting from the birth of the child. You are also entitled to child increase for your spouse's/partner's underage children if they live with you.

If you participate in employment promoting services, you can receive an increase to the basic unemployment allowance for the duration of the participation in the service. The increase amounts to EUR 5.29 per day, or on average EUR 111 per month. The increase can be paid for a maximum of 200 working days.

Benefits that reduce the basic unemployment allowance

If you receive other benefits, their amounts are usually directly deducted from the basic unemployment allowance you receive. If you receive a benefit that is paid out monthly, the daily amount of the benefit is calculated by dividing the benefit amount for the whole month by 21.5.

Child home care allowance that you or your spouse/partner receives is deducted from the basic unemployment allowance.

However, the child home care allowance payable to your spouse/partner is not deducted from your basic unemployment allowance if

  • your spouse/partner is also unemployed and the child home care allowance is paid to him/her
  • your spouse/partner cares for the child and is because of child care not entitled to unemployment benefit
  • your spouse/partner receives daily allowances for parents in addition to the child home care allowance.

If your spouse/partner receives child home care allowance and regularly works part-time, studies or has income from self-employment, the child home care allowance is deducted from your basic unemployment allowance.

Example

Milla is unemployed and receives basic unemployment allowance. Her spouse Matias cares for their child at home and receives child home care allowance. Matias has occasional incidental work. For this reason, the child home care allowance he receives is deducted from Milla’s basic unemployment allowance. If Matias did not work, his child home care allowance would not be deducted from Milla’s basic unemployment allowance.

The following benefits do not affect the amount of the unemployment benefit:

  • child benefit
  • child support payments or child maintenance allowance
  • general housing allowance or pensioners' housing allowance
  • social assistance
  • care allowance for pensioners or disability allowance
  • disability indemnity under the Employment Accidents Insurance Act or conscript’s allowance
  • life annuity or supplemental annuity under the Military Injuries Act

Estimate the amount of the basic unemployment allowance

Go to calculator (in Finnish and Swedish)

For how long can you receive basic unemployment allowance?

There is a waiting period of 7 days for the basic unemployment allowance, and the waiting period starts from the day on which you register as unemployed. For this period, you will not receive the benefit. The basic unemployment allowance is payable for a maximum period of 400 days. If you have an employment history of less than 3 years, the longest you can get unemployment allowance is 300 days. 

If you meet the work requirement after you have reached the age of 58, you can receive unemployment allowance for a maximum of 500 days. Read more about the entitlement criteria for unemployment benefit for ageing unemployed.

You can track your progress towards the maximum payment period in the OmaKela e-service. 

The 7-day waiting period for the basic unemployment allowance is applied at the beginning of each maximum payment period of 400 days. The waiting period is only applied at the most once a year, however. 

After the basic unemployment allowance you can receive labour market subsidy, if you meet the entitlement criteria. When the maximum payment period for the basic unemployment allowance is about to be completed, we will automatically request the information needed for the award of labour market subsidy from you.

If you are unemployed, close to retirement age and you meet the work requirement, you can receive basic unemployment allowance for additional days and enter the so-called unemployment pathway to retirement. The additional days are only available to recipients of basic unemployment allowance for employees but not for entrepreneurs or self-employed persons.

You are entitled to additional days of basic unemployment allowance if you before reaching the maximum of 500 days of unemployment allowance have reached the age of 

  • 61 years and were born in 1957-1960
  • 62 years and were born in 1961-1962
  • 63 years and were born in 1963
  • 64 years and were born in 1964.

Granting of the additional days also requires that you have completed at least 5 years of employment during the previous 20 years. The extended payment of basic unemployment allowance will continue until the end of the calendar month in which you reach the age of 65. After this you can receive a pension.

Persons born in 1965 or later can no longer be granted additional days of basic unemployment allowance. 

How to apply for basic unemployment allowance

  1. Register with TE Services (tyomarkkinatori.fi) as an unemployed jobseeker. Basic unemployment allowance cannot be paid out unless you are registered as an unemployed jobseeker.
  2. Apply for basic unemployment allowance in the OmaKela e-service (available in Finnish and Swedish).
  3. Take photographs of the supporting documents and send them in OmaKela. From the application you can check which documents you should enclose with the application.
  4. Visit the OmaKela e-service to see if your application has been decided, how much you will get and when your benefits will be paid. You can also see possible reminders concerning, for instance, any documents missing from your application. You will also get a decision by post if you have not given up paper mail.

Alternatively you can complete and print out the application form for unemployment benefits (TT 1e, pdf). Send the application and any supporting documents by mail. The address is Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

Apply for basic unemployment allowance

Claim now

What to remember when you apply for basic unemployment allowance

State the dates in the application starting from the first day of unemployment. However, do not file the first application until after 7 days of unemployment so that the waiting period has been completed.

The first payment period for the basic unemployment allowance is 2 weeks. After that, the unemployment benefit is paid every 4 weeks on the basis of the unemployment status report.

You can only report days of unemployment in the application afterwards. Applications for basic unemployment allowance can be made retroactively for up to 3 months.

We receive the labour policy statement that is needed for the processing of the application from TE Services. Thus, you do not have to send it yourself.

Kela obtains information on wages and salaries from the national incomes register. We use this data when processing claims and applications. We may ask for additional information, if necessary.

Documents that you have sent to TE Services are not available to Kela.

Report changes that affect the basic unemployment allowance

If you receive basic unemployment allowance, you have to inform Kela if

  • you work during the period of unemployment
  • a child is born to your family or there are other changes in your family circumstances

In this way, the benefit is paid to the correct amount and you also do not lose any benefit due to you.

If you do not report changes, you may be paid benefits you are not entitled to. In that case, the benefit will be recovered from you later.

Do not forget to check how any changes in your circumstances will affect other benefits that you receive from Kela.

Information about the recovery of overpaid benefits.

Do you still have questions?

Call Kela’s customer service.

020 634 2550
020 634 2550

What about other areas of your life?

  • Do you need help with housing costs?

    Housing allowance can compensate for reduced incomes and help with the housing costs. Read more about the types of costs for which you can get housing allowance.

  • Are you short of money?

    If you are unemployed, you may be really short of money. In that case, social assistance can help you get through the worst.

  • Did you fall ill?

    If you are ill, you should apply for sick leave and sickness allowance instead of unemployment benefit. That way, you do not use up the maximum of 400 days of basic unemployment allowance while on sick leave.

Last modified 20/2/2024

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