The extension of compulsory education will affect the eligibility of persons under 18 for unemployment benefits

The age of compulsory education will increase to 18 years in August 2021. This will affect the eligibility of persons who are under 18 for unemployment benefits.

Compulsory education will be extended at the beginning of August 2021. Upper secondary education will be free of charge to young persons who come within the scope of extended compulsory education. The extension of compulsory education means that young persons must, after leaving comprehensive school, complete upper secondary school or earn a vocational upper secondary qualification. Alternatively, they can seek transition-phase education.

The extension will apply to young people who leave comprehensive school in or after 2021.

Completion of compulsory education is required to qualify for unemployment benefits

The extension of compulsory education will also affect the eligibility of persons who are under 18 for unemployment benefits. Jobseekers aged 17 are currently eligible for unemployment benefits. Starting in August, jobseekers under 18 cannot get unemployment benefits unless they have completed compulsory education.

To complete compulsory education, students must either earn a vocational qualification or pass the matriculation examination.

The exception is that jobseekers aged 17 can get unemployment benefits if they have to interrupt compulsory education for example because of a long-term illness. 

Kela will check the status of current beneficiaries aged 17

At the beginning of August, Kela will check whether unemployment benefit recipients who are 17 continue to be eligible for benefits. Young persons who have completed a vocational qualification or passed the matriculation exam can continue to get unemployment benefits after 1 August 2021.

For those who have not completed compulsory education, eligibility for unemployment benefits will end on 31 July 2021. Those affected should seek to find out if they qualify for other Kela benefits, including financial aid for students, which is available to 17-year-olds who study.

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