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Unemployment benefits in Estonia

In what situation can I claim?

You can claim unemployment insurance benefit if you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements:

  • you must be involuntarily unemployed (you were made redundant at your last place of employment);
  • the organisation was wound up;
  • your employment contract was terminated during a probationary period;
  • your employer cancelled your employment contract due to your long-term incapacity for work;
  • your fixed-term employment contract expired, etc.

Unemployment allowance can be claimed by a person who has not right to receive unemployment insurance benefit and who has worked or performed an activity regarded as work (raising children, in full-time education or study, completing military service, etc.) for at least 180 days during the 12 months preceding the claim.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You have the right to claim the unemployment insurance benefit if:

  • you are registered as unemployed;
  • you have submitted an application for unemployment insurance benefit;
  • contributions have been paid for you for at least 12 months during the 3 years prior to your being registered as unemployed;
  • you did not leave your last place of work or service voluntarily (except in the cases stated in § 37 (5), § 91 (2) and § 107 (2) of the Employment Contracts Act), by agreement with your employer (§ 79 of the Employment Contracts Act) or due to your own wrongful breach (§ 88 (1) 3-8) of the Employment Contracts Act, § 94 of the Civil Service Act).

You have the right to claim unemployment allowance if:

  • you are registered as unemployed;
  • your monthly income is less than 31 times the daily rate of the unemployment allowance (EUR 164.61);
  • for a period of at least 180 days in the year before being registered as unemployed you were occupied with work, an activity regarded as work or another activity of such a nature that it would not be possible to expect you to have worked during the year before you were registered as unemployed.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Applications for unemployment insurance benefit can be made at a suitable Unemployment Insurance Fund department or office or through the self-service section of the webpage. To claim unemployment insurance benefit at an Unemployment Insurance Fund department you must submit an application to register as unemployed and claim unemployment insurance benefit, and you must include your identification document. When claiming unemployment insurance benefit through the self-service section, you must fill out the electronic applications on registration as an unemployed person and an unemployment insurance benefit claim form.

As of 1 July 2014, the insurance period is calculated in months and years. Every 12 months in an insurance period is deemed a year of insurance period.

If your insurance period is:

  • shorter than 5 years, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will assign you benefit for 180 calendar days;
  • 5 to 10 years, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will assign you a benefit for 270 calendar days;
  • 10 years or longer, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will assign you a benefit for 360 calendar days.

The unemployment insurance benefit amount for a single calendar day is:

  • 50 % of a calendar day's wage from the 1st to the 100th calendar day;
  • 40 % of a calendar day's wage from the 101st to the 360th calendar day.

To claim unemployment allowance, please contact the county department of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and submit an application. With the application you must present an identification document and documents that provide evidence that you were occupied during the 12 months before being registered as unemployed.

Unemployment allowance is paid for up to 270 days. If the most recent employment relationship was terminated at the initiative of the employer due to breach of work duties, loss of confidence or an unbecoming act, then unemployment benefits are paid for a maximum of 210 days. Unemployed persons who have received unemployment insurance benefit for a period shorter than 270 days shall receive unemployment allowance until the end of the period of 270 days. If you have been assigned unemployment insurance benefit, you may not simultaneously apply for unemployment allowance.

Unemployment allowance is paid if the unemployed person comes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for meetings, complies with the conditions set out in the job-seeker's plan and carries out the activities it describes. The daily rate of the unemployment allowance in 2018 is EUR 5.31. The allowance is calculated and paid retroactively for the days between visits. The allowance is paid into the personal bank account of the unemployed person.

Know your rights

Claiming unemployment insurance benefit

Claiming unemployment allowance

Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund

Who do you need to contact?

Offices of the Unemployment Insurance Fund across Estonia


Skype: tootukassa

Helpline (in Estonia): 15501

(Mon-Thu 8.30-16.45; Fri 8.30-15.30)

Estonian state portal

European Commission and national authorities dealing with unemployment insurance.

This page was last updated on February 15, 2020.

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