Applying for daily allowance (FAQ)

In order to be entitled to earnings-related daily unemployment allowance, you must meet the membership and employment conditions. You must have been

  • a member of the unemployment fund for at least 26 weeks
  • and have worked for at least 18 hours a week for 26 calendar weeks (Mon–Sun) as a member of an unemployment fund.

If your unemployment or temporary lay-off started during the COVID-19 epidemic you may be entitled to earnings-related unemployment allowance after having worked just 13 calendar weeks. You must have at least one week of work that accrues the employment condition completed after 1 March 2020, and the first payment date of the earnings-related allowance must be no later than 31 December 2020. The membership condition is also 13 weeks.

Further information: Conditions for earnings-related daily allowance.

Register with your local TE Office on your first day of unemployment or temporary lay-off at the latest. Your unemployment is considered to begin from the date on which your register as a jobseeker. Once you have been a jobseeker for 2 weeks, you may submit your first application to the KOKO fund. Remember to include the required attachments.

See also Applying for unemployment allowance.

A suspension period, meaning a period in which benefits are not paid, will be set in certain cases, such as if you quit your job without a cause that is acceptable in labour market policy terms. The suspension period is set by the TE Office, and such a decision is binding upon the KOKO fund

The suspension period is often confused with the 5-day waiting period, which is set by KOKO. The waiting period applies for instance when you apply for daily allowance for the first time. The waiting period is a period corresponding to 5 full working days during which you would normally be paid daily allowance.

When you agree with your employer on the termination of your employment relationship, the TE Office will issue a statement, binding upon the unemployment fund, whether this will result in the setting of a suspension period. If your employer has paid you compensation upon termination of your employment that is voluntary or mutually agreed, the compensation you received will be periodised as of the end of the employment relationship. The term of periodisation accrues during the suspension period.

In order to receive an estimate of your daily allowance and to be informed of the date when you will be entitled to receive it, you need to register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office and submit an application for daily allowance to KOKO. We will only consider the information in your application in determining your daily allowance.

For further information, see Applying for unemployment allowance.

You must register as an unemployed jobseeker at the TE Office when your employment relationship ends, no later than on the first day of your unemployment. You may apply for daily allowance for periods of 4 weeks or more. Attach a copy of your employment contact and a pay statement covering your period of employment to the application you submit to the KOKO fund. Also attach a copy of your notice of termination if the employment relationship was a permanent one.

KOKO monitors the accrual of your employment condition. If your employment condition was not met after your period of employment, you will receive the same daily allowance as before that period of employment, with no new 7-day waiting period. The maximum period will also not be reset.

However, if you have met the employment condition again, the daily allowance maximum period will be reset. Your employment condition is met when you accrue 26 calendar weeks of employment in one or more jobs where the working hours are at least 18 hours per calendar week, within a review period of 28 months.

A new waiting period will be set and your daily allowance will be recalculated if you meet the employment condition and the new daily allowance maximum period begins more than one year after the beginning of the previous daily allowance maximum period and you had a waiting period at that time. When you submit your daily allowance application to KOKO, we will investigate your details and inform you of your daily allowance situation.

You may apply for earnings-related daily allowance again after your maternity/parental allowance period expires. Assuming all other conditions are met, you are entitled to daily allowance if

  • your maximum period of 300, 400 or 500 payment days has not expired,
  • you register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office after your maternity/parental leave, and
  • you have remained a member of the KOKO unemployment fund all this time.

Attach copies of the Kela decisions on your maternity/parental leave to your daily allowance application. If you or your spouse have applied for or received home child care allowance for a period after your maternity/parental leave, attach a child home care allowance enquiry to your application.

You may submit your first application to KOKO when your unemployment has lasted 2 weeks. eService will instruct you to fill out a first application, because more than 6 months will have elapsed between applications. After this, you may apply for daily allowance for periods of 4 weeks or more on a continuing application or express application.

Notify the TE Office of your new job. If you are starting a full-time job that will last for more than 2 weeks, you may apply for daily allowance up until the date when your employment begins. In this case, you may submit a daily allowance application exceptionally for a shorter period, immediately after your last day of unemployment.

You do not need to notify the unemployment fund of starting a full-time job. If you apply for daily allowance again after your full-time employment is terminated, attach a copy of your employment contact and a pay statement covering your period of employment to the application you submit to KOKO. Also attach a copy of your notice of termination if the employment relationship was a permanent one.

If you are on additional days on earnings-related daily allowance and about to take an early retirement pension, the KOKO unemployment fund will issue you a certificate on the additional days. You will need this to apply for your pension. You need to request this certificate separately. We will send the certificate to you, and you need to submit it to your pension insurance company.

You must apply for an old-age pension from the pension insurance company in advance; it is not granted retroactively. You can seek further information on applying for an old-age pension from your own pension insurance company or the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

You are also entitled to receive an earnings-related daily allowance for additional days up until the end of the calendar month of your 65th birthday. Your membership in KOKO will not be automatically cancelled when your pension begins. You must notify us that you are cancelling your membership.