Temporary changes to unemployment benefits and to labour market subsidies for the self-employed expire, simplified application rules extended until end of 2022

A number of temporary changes were made to unemployment benefits during the coronavirus epidemic. Most of these changes will run out at the end of November 2021. For instance, starting 1 December 2021, the exempt amount concerning unemployment benefits will again be 300 EUR per month. Also the eligibility of self-employed persons to labour market subsidy payments will end. A legislative change simplifying the processing of benefit applications will remain in effect until 31 December 2022.

The temporary changes made to unemployment benefits will expire on 30 November 2021. During the coronavirus epidemic, the exempt amount applicable unemployment benefits was EUR 500 per month. For persons applying for unemployment benefits from 1 December 2021, the exempt amount will again be EUR 300 per month. The exempt amount is the amount of money that an unemployed jobseeker may earn without it affecting their unemployment benefit. Each euro of earned income above the exempt amount decreases the unemployment benefit by 50 cents.

The commuting and relocation allowance was during the epidemic available exceptionally to persons working a full-time job who had a two-way commute of two hours. Persons starting a job on or after 1 December 2021 can qualify for the allowance if their daily commute lasts more than three hours or if they relocate a comparable distance for work.  

Entitlement of self-employed persons to labour market subsidy payments will end

During the coronavirus epidemic, self-employed persons could qualify for labour market subsidy payments from Kela even if they continued to pursue a certain amount of self-employment. A total of 48,000 self-employed persons received temporary labour market subsidy payments from Kela.

Starting from the beginning of December, self-employed persons can get unemployment benefits from Kela or an unemployment fund if they are unemployed and no longer pursue any self-employment at all.

Legislation streamlining the processing of benefit applications will remain in effect until the end of 2022

A legislative amendment which helps to streamline the processing of unemployment benefit applications will remain in effect until 31 December 2022. Earnings will be adjusted with the unemployment benefit in periods of four weeks even when the period includes days for which the applicant is not entitled to unemployment benefits. Previously, a specific adjustment period and a notional salary were used in such situations. Setting aside these rules has simplified the application process and made benefit decision letters easier for the recipients to understand.

While the amendment remains in effect, the possibility of permanently revoking the adjustment period and notional salary rules will be examined.

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