Unemployment insurance benefit

The goal of unemployment insurance is to provide the employee a substitute source of income during the period he or she is unemployed, support an active job search and offer the employer economic support in the case of collective cancellation of employment contracts.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund pays three types of benefits:

  • unemployment insurance benefit – unemployed person applies through the regional department of the Unemployment Insurance Fund;
  • indemnity for collective cancellation of employment contracts – applied for by the employer through the Unemployment Insurance Fund;
  • indemnity in case of insolvency of employer – applied for by the trustee in bankruptcy through the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Unemployment insurance benefit

You become eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if:

  • you have been registered as unemployed.
  • you have filed an application for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • you have been employed and paid unemployment insurance premiums for at least 12 months within the 36 months preceding registration as unemployed.
  • your employment relationship was terminated on grounds giving you the right to seek indemnity.

To apply for the unemployment insurance benefits, you must fill in the application for registration as unemployed and the application for the unemployment insurance benefit, which is available from offices of the Unemployment Insurance Fund or online from the website of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. After that, go to the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s county department or send the application electronically.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund shall make the decision with regard to payment of the benefit within 14 days of submission of the application. You can find out about the decision from a county department of the Unemployment Insurance Fund or it shall be sent electronically.

How high is the benefit

The amount of the unemployment insurance benefit depends on your insurance record. When your application is approved, you will be given a decision in which the benefit is calculated, and the information that is used to make the calculation is repeated.

The unemployment insurance compensation is paid at a rate of 50% of the previous wage or salary for the first hundred days and thereafter at a rate of 40%.

Because your previous wage is only taken into account up to a certain amount, there is a maximum limit (43.47 EUR for the first 100 calendar days and 34.78 EUR for the subsequent days) as to how much unemployment benefit anyone can receive. There is also a minimum amount, which is set at half of the national minimum wage.

Layoff or cancellation of employment contract

In the case of layoffs or cancellation of employment contract (if, due to circumstances beyond your control, the employer was not able to provide you with the agreed-upon work and reduced your salary or wages), a waiting period comes into effect. The unemployment insurance benefit will start to be calculated and paid after the waiting period and the payment period will not be any shorter.

The length of the waiting period is:

  • 30 days after the end of an employment or service relationship ends if your seniority on the job was 5-10 years;
  • 60 days after the end of an employment or service relationship ends if your seniority on the job was over ten years.

Estonian unemployment insurance benefits can also be determined taking into account unemployment insurance qualifying period amassed in any other member states. This ensures that those who move from one member state to another do not forfeit their right to unemployment benefits from past employment.

Read more about unemployment insurance benefit from the website of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

If you have any questions, call the information line of the Unemployment Insurance Fund at 15501 (when calling from abroad, dial +372 614 8500), contact us in Skype (tootukassa), or write an e-mail to info@tootukassa.ee.

Last amended: 07-06-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Unemployment Insurance Fund