Our telephone service is open mon-thu between 10 am and 2 pm. Our customer service point in Loimaa is closed until further notice. 

Why can’t I apply for daily allowance for the duration of the entire lay-off in one go?

Tens of thousands of people are applying for unemployment benefits perhaps for the first time in their life. We are then faced with questions about issues that are so self-evident to us that we have not informed about them in the required extent and with required clarity. Questions arise about the practices of applying for daily allowance in particular.

So when can I send the first application?

According to the Unemployment Security Act, the application for earnings-related daily allowance shall be made in writing. There are not much more regulations than that defined in the law. Slightly more detailed instructions can be found in the Government Decree on the implementation of the Unemployment Security Act. According to the Decree “earnings-related daily allowance shall be paid afterwards starting from the beginning of the daily allowance period in payment periods of four weeks or one month, however so that the first payment period can be shorter than stated above.”

In practice, it means that we always guide the applicant to apply for daily allowance in such a way that a period of four weeks or one month is fulfilled. Situations in which unemployment or lay-off ends make, of course, an exception. In practice, the content of the Decree also means that it is useless for the applicant to apply for daily allowance in advance for a future period, because in any case we can only pay the daily allowance afterwards for a past period. And as we use the application to check matters that affect the right to receive a benefit, we should anyway request for additional information to an application made in advance, because everyone will only know afterwards what happened.

As the first payment period can, according to the Decree, be shorter than four weeks or one month, it means that you can send the first application before four weeks or one month have passed. However, there exists no statutory time limit for when exactly you can send the first application. The established practice is two weeks.

Two weeks is a suitable time, because the processing time of the first application is typically slightly longer. When you send the first application a little earlier, you will receive the first payment of daily allowance around one month after the start of the unemployment or lay-off.

Two weeks is also a practical period, because as a general rule, a waiting period corresponding with five full working days is set at the beginning of the unemployment allowance period for which daily allowance cannot be paid. So if you send the first application before the waiting period has passed, you will get a negative decision to your first application. That causes unnecessary work and may delay the payment of your daily allowance. The issue is confused by the fact that during the coronavirus epidemic, an exceptional provision is in force which allows the payment of daily allowance also for the waiting period, but that is another thing.

What is the first application and can I get my money sooner by making an application for a shorter period?

By the first application we refer to the application you send when your unemployment or lay-off starts, and you have not received daily allowance for a while before that. From the point of view of processing, “the first application” is the application based on which we decide whether the conditions for the payment of daily allowance are met and what is the amount of your full daily allowance.

We have frequently given advice to send the first application when two weeks have passed from the beginning of the lay-off or unemployment. We have been so successful at it that also those who were receiving daily allowance while employed part-time and were laid off, also send an application two weeks after the beginning of the lay-off. That is not necessary, because it is not the first application, but a normal further application during which a change has occurred. You should then continue to send applications at normal intervals.

Due to a high volume of applications, our processing is congested, and you have to wait for the decision on daily allowance longer than usually. It is not advisable to send an application for a shorter period in the hope that you will get your money sooner. Normally a further application with no changes will be forwarded to payment immediately. If there are changes in the application, it will be forwarded to the processing queue and we will check specifically what changes have occurred. The payment is then delayed.

Why can’t I apply for daily allowance for the duration of the entire lay-off in one go?

Many social security benefits and also e.g. business subsidies are applied for in such a way that the benefit or subsidy is applied for with one application for the entire period. Hence many people have wondered why they can’t apply for daily allowance in advance for the entire lay-off period. It is an understandable thought, especially if the duration of the lay-off period is known beforehand.

Unemployment security does not, however, work like that. Benefit is always paid retroactively, and the events during the application period easily affect the right to receive the benefit. If the benefits could be applied for in advance, we should nevertheless check afterwards that there were no changes. So in practice we would always request a new application for the past period.

Even if you knew the duration of an upcoming lay-off period, nobody can tell how it will be actually realised. Similarly, it is also impossible to know about the many factors, such as illness, that may affect the right to receive a benefit.

If there have been no changes, applying for daily allowance is fortunately very easy. You need to remember to send it, but next to no time and effort is required.

The ten commandments for applying for daily allowance

​​​​​​​
  1. Register as a job-seeker in the TE Office as soon as you are laid off or given a notice of termination.
  2. Always apply for daily allowance retroactively for a past period. Make the first application for two past weeks and the further applications for either four past weeks or one past month.
  3. You cannot apply for daily allowance in advance for a future period.
  4. Send the first application when two weeks have passed from the beginning of the unemployment or lay-off. Apply for daily allowance for the past two weeks.
  5. Send a further application, if your unemployment or lay-off continues, even if your first application had not yet been processed.
  6. Send a further application no earlier than four weeks or one month after the last day of your first application.
  7. You will get your money sooner, if you use in your further application the application period proposed by OmaYTK.
  8. Send the last application on the last day of the lay-off or unemployment at the earliest.
  9. Send the application within three months from the first day of the application period at the latest.
  10. Keep calm. In case your application is missing essential attachments, we will ask you for them straight away.
Petja Eklund, unemployment security expert.

Petja Eklund, unemployment security expert

Current topics

Back to the front page of Topical