How to apply for unemployment benefit

  1. Read first Right to unemployment benefits.
  2. Register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Services. Unemployment benefits cannot be paid out unless you are registered as an unemployed jobseeker.
  3. Complete an application in Kela's online customer service. To log in to Kela's online customer service, use your bank ID and password or a mobile ID. Unemployment benefits cannot be paid before the date on which you registered as an unemployed jobseeker.
  4. Send the application and supporting documents via Kela's online customer service system. Documents photographed with a mobile phone are accepted if the pictures are clear and legible. You may wish to write a cover note if the document you are sending is relevant to several different benefits. Documents that you have sent to the TE Services are not available to Kela.
  5. Alternatively you can complete the form Unemployment benefits TT1e (pdf) and send it to Kela.
  6. From the application you can check which documents you should enclose with the application. You can, for instance, need job certificates and wage certificates for the determination of whether you meet the work requirement.
  7. If you have received copyright royalties, income from self-employment, dividend or rental income or significant interest income, Kela needs documentation on these.

Notice on coronavirus 

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, some entitlement criteria for the unemployment benefits, such as waiting period, work requirement and unemployment benefits for self-employed persons, have been changed temporarily.

Summary of all the changes: Unemployment benefits during the coronavirus outbreak

When to apply

State the dates in the application starting from the day when you became unemployed. However, do not file the first application until you have been unemployed for 5 days. At that point, the waiting period has been completed.

A labour policy statement is needed in order to decide on the application. Kela receives the statement directly from the TE Services.

The first payment period for the unemployment benefit is two weeks. After that, the unemployment benefit is paid every four weeks on the basis of the unemployment status report. Indicate on the report whether you have been unemployed, working or participated in employment promoting measures.

You can only report days of unemployment afterwards. Applications for unemployment benefits can be backdated for up to 3 months.

Further information: