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Apply for earnings-related allowance while studying 

As a member of the Open Unemployment Fund, you are allowed, in certain situations, to study while receiving earnings-related allowance. Read this piece to find out how that’s possible. 

You are eligible for a daily allowance if you study either 

  • part-time 
  • short-term, or 
  • for employment promotion measures. 

The full-time and part-time status of the studies are evaluated in the TE office only when it is a question of 

  • university of applied sciences degree or higher university of applied sciences degree 
  • a lower or higher university degree or postgraduate studies to be completed at the university 
  • professional basic degree or part of a degree 
  • high school studies 
  • basic adult education 
  • a professional degree and a specialized professional degree or a part of such a degree 
  • education at a folk high school or physical education center 
  • studies lasting more than three months at an open university 

Studies other than those mentioned above can be studied freely without losing unemployment benefit and you do not need to report them to the TE office, because for other studies, part-time and full-time status are not examined. 

The most important prerequisite for applying for earnings-related allowance for the duration of your part-time studies, short time studies or employment promotion measures, is that the TE Office approves your studies to be completed during the unemployment or temporary lay-off period. Therefore, you must first contact your TE Office well in advance of your studies starting. 

If the TE Office considers you a full-time student and the studies cannot be completed as an employment promotion measure, you cannot apply for daily allowance from the unemployment fund, but instead you must turn to Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland), for example, to finance your studies. 

Let’s briefly go through the ways you can study during your unemployment and receive earnings-related allowance. More detailed information about the different options can be found via the links at the end of the article. 

Part-time studying 

Part-time studying means that studying does not prevent you from applying for a full-time job. You can apply for daily allowance if 

  • you have notified the TE Office of your intention to study, and 
  • the TE Office considers you to be studying part-time. 

Short-term studying 

Short-term studying refers to studies that last a maximum of six months. You can apply for daily allowance if 

  • you have notified the TE Office of your studies, 
  • the TE Office considers you to be studying short-term, 
  • you are at least 25 years old, and 
  • the studies improve professional skills or support your business activities. 

You can also complete your previously interrupted studies with six months of daily allowance, if 

  • at least one year has elapsed since the studies were interrupted. 

During short-term studies, you are still obliged to apply for and accept work and to participate in employment promotion measures, if they are offered to you (usually by the TE Office). 

Employment promotion measures 

The employment promotion measures offered by the TE Office cover several options. In terms of studies, the most common services are labor policy education and self-motivated studies. 

You can receive daily allowance, if 

  • you have agreed on an employment promotion measure together with the TE Office, and 
  • the TE Office accepts your participation in the service. 

Increased earnings-related unemployment allowance is paid for a maximum of 200 days during employment promotion measures. 

In addition, an expense allowance is paid to cover travel and accommodation costs for the days you have participated in the services. However, no expense allowance is paid for the duration of self-motivated studies. 

For more detailed information, read our section on studying 

For more information, visit TE Office’s website (you will be redirected to the Työmarkkinatori.fi website)