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Because of the hardship caused by COVID-19 for employees and self-employed persons, some temporary changes will be made to the unemployment benefit system. Self-employed persons are eligible for labour market subsidy from 1 January to 28 February 2022.

The waiting period that must be completed at the beginning of unemployment will also be waived temporarily until the end of February. The above changes will take effect retroactively.

Self-employed persons can qualify for labour market subsidy if their business has been hit by the coronavirus epidemic. The labour market subsidy is also available retroactively from 1 January 2022 until 15 February 2022 even if the applicant was not yet registered as a jobseeker with the TE Services during that period. After 15 February 2022, the subsidy is only available to registered jobseekers. Further information for self-employed persons about how to register as a jobseeker is available from the TE Services.

The qualifying conditions for labour market subsidy are the same as earlier during the coronavirus epidemic. Kela pays self-employed persons labour market subsidy, if at least one of the following requirements is met:

  • full-time employment in the business has ended
  • the income from self-employment is, because of the coronavirus epidemic, less than EUR 1,103.92 per month.

Stopping self-employment activity is not required to qualify. Self-employed persons can self-report any income they have while unemployed to Kela.

An online application for self-employed persons will be made available in the OmaKela e-service in February.

Unemployment benefits are available right away from the beginning of unemployment

Applicants for unemployment benefit must normally complete a five-day waiting period, during which unemployment benefits are not paid. The waiting period requirement is waived for the period 1 January - 28 February 2022, which means that unemployment benefits are available right away starting from the first day of unemployment.

Any decision which was issued to customers before the changes described here are in effect and which requires them to complete a waiting period, no longer applies and they will be paid benefits also during the waiting period. Kela will mail them a new decision once the law is in effect. Customers can also review the decisions issued to them in the OmaKela e-service. Customers do not have to contact Kela on account of this change.

Source: Kela

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