Studying during unemployment benefit

You may study while unemployed and receive earnings-related daily allowance, if you arrange your studies with the TE Office. Notify the TE Office of all studies prior to starting or continuing.

You may study on full-time, part-time or short-term courses, whilst receiving unemployment benefit. Under certain conditions, you may be allowed complete previously started studies or begin completely new studies, whilst receiving unemployment benefit.

You may also participate in other services that promote your employability (TEP). Such services may include a variety of activities or training.

Earning-related daily allowance can be received, once you have completed the full-time studies, during which you have not received daily allowance, and once you have fulfilled the membership and employment conditions.

Full-time studies

If the goal of your studies is for example:

  • a polytechnic degree (AMK)
  • a higher level polytechnic degree (YAMK) or
  • a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at university,

your studies are considered to be full-time; regardless of how widespread or compulsory the study may be. If the TE Office has determined your studies to be full-time, the Unemployment Fund will not be able to pay you a daily allowance. The TE-Office can consider your full-time studies as secondary activity under certain conditions.

Part-time studies

If you have begun independent studies while employed, you may continue those studies whilst unemployed and still receive a daily allowance, if the TE Office considers your studies to be secondary activity. Civic and Labour college courses may also be considered as secondary activity.

Full-time studies can be considered as secondary activity, if you are simultaneously employed as an employee or as an entrepreneur. The decision on whether your studies can be considered secondary activity will be made by the TE-Office; the Unemployment Fund will require a statement from the TE Office in order for you to receive daily allowance. If the TE office considers the study to be secondary activity, you may receive a daily allowance for the duration of the study.

Short-term studies

Short-term studies, i.e. studies lasting up to 6 months, may be undertaken whilst receiving unemployment benefit, if

  • you are at least 25 years old and
  • the studies improve your professional skills or support your business activities.

The studies may be completed either full-time or part-time. The decision of whether your short-term studies are accepted under the unemployment benefit terms is made by TE Office, please inform the TE Office before starting or continuing your short-term studies.

As a general rule in the case of previous incomplete studies, a minimum of one year must have passed from the discontinuation of the course. You may be able to, e.g. complete your unfinished studies. During your short-term studies, you are still required to seek and receive employment, and to participate in employment-promoting services, when they are offered to you.

Services that promote employment

You may receive daily allowance for participating in any services that promote employment (TEP), if they have been agreed to with the TE Office. Such services include the following:

  • independent study
  • labour market training
  • Job search coaching
  • work internship
  • career coaching

In order to receive daily allowance, you are required to have a statement from the TE Office for the duration of any activities or services that promote employment. You must maintain jobseeker status during the training.

During your studies, you may receive the same daily allowance from the KOKO Unemployment Fund, as when you were an unemployed jobseeker. In addition, you may receive increased daily allowance and expense reimbursement for some services. Exceptionally, daily allowance may be received for studies during the suspension period or waiting period, even if other restrictions of receiving daily allowances remain in place.

If you are aged 60 or over and participate in a service that promotes employment organized based on the obligation set to the TE Office, this time will count towards fulfilling the employment condition.

During independent study and labour market training, your daily allowance will not be recalculated, nor will the maximum period of receiving your daily allowance be reset, even if you meet the employment condition. Your daily allowance will be recalculated and the maximum period of receiving daily allowance reset once you have completed your studies.

Accrual towards maximum period during studies

You continue to accrue days towards the maximum period of your daily allowance during your studies. The daily allowance will be discontinued when the maximum period expires, even if you have not yet completed your studies. If your maximum payment period expires before your independent study or labour market training has ended, you will be paid labour market subsidy until the end of your studies.

During independent study and labour market training, your daily allowance will not be recalculated, and the maximum period cannot be reset even if you meet your employment condition. Your daily allowance can only be recalculated and the maximum period reset when you complete your studies.

Impact of absences on the daily allowance

You may be paid a daily allowance also for days when you are absent from independent study or labour market training. For all other studies, a daily allowance may only be paid for days of absence if the absence is due to:

  • disability (maximum absence 3 days, for 4 days or more a medical certificate is needed),
  • illness of a child aged under 10 (maximum absence 4 days),
  • job interview or similar employment-related reason.

Increased earnings-related component

The increased earnings-related component will be paid for a maximum of 200 days during your studies within the maximum period of daily unemployment allowance. If your maximum period is reset, a new 200 days of payment of the increased earnings-related component will be available. In order to be paid the increased earnings-related component, you must have agreed on your participation in training with the TE Office in your employment plan.

You may receive the increased earnings-related component during your studies even if you do not have study sessions on every weekday. This means that you can continue to receive the increased earnings-related component between study sessions or courses, for a maximum interval of 7 calendar days.

The amount of the increased earnings-related component is calculated from the wages on which your daily allowance is based.

For further information, see amount and duration of earnings-related allowance and Daily allowance calculator

Reimbursement of expenses

Expense reimbursements are tax-free and can be received you participate in employment training, job search coaching, work experience or career coaching. In the case of independent studies, no reimbursement for expenses can be received if the studies have begun 1.1.2017 or after.

Reimbursement of expenses is € 9 per allowance day. Increased reimbursement of expenses is € 18 per allowance day; this can be received if your place of study is outside your commuting area or outside your home municipality, causing you to incur accommodation expenses.

Reimbursement of expenses can be received for days during which you attend studies. During independent studies and labour market training, reimbursement of expenses can also be received for days of absence. Reimbursement of expenses cannot be received during holidays.