Unemployment benefits

A jobseeker is entitled to an unemployment social insurance benefit (commonly known as an unemployment benefit or nedarbo išmoka). Benefits are linked to earnings prior to becoming unemployed and to State Insured Income approved by Government. If you became unemployed through your own fault, the waiting period to get an unemployment benefit will be 3 months.

In order to qualify for unemployment benefit, a jobseeker is required to have been employed for at least 12 months in the last 30 months prior to registration. This benefit may only be granted if the person’s last workplace is/was in Lithuania. If a person has not worked 12 months in Lithuania in the last 30 months but has completed the same period in another EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, he may present a statement on unemployment insurance and employment periods from a competent body of the previous State of employment (in the EU/EEA and Switzerland, the form U1 PD is issued). Upon submission of such a statement, unemployment insurance period acquired abroad will be taken into account in Lithuania.

If such a statement is not delivered, a person is required to submit to the Lithuanian SoDra the documents proving his work record in another member state. The relevant bodies administering social benefits in different states will contact each other to obtain the data required (It may take up to several months, therefore it is recommended to request the issue of such a statement from the competent authority prior to leaving a foreign country).

If you receive an unemployment benefit within the EU/EEA or in Switzerland, you have the right to come to Lithuania to look for a job and are entitled to receive an unemployment benefit from, say, Germany, during a job-search period (exporting unemployment benefit to Lithuania).

You may receive an unemployment benefit for at least another period of 3 months from the EU member state, the Labor Exchange of which you are registered with, but have come to Lithuania to look for a job, if:

  • you are entitled to an unemployment benefit in the country where you became unemployed;
  • you are registered as a job seeker with the Employment Services of the country where you became unemployed at least 4 weeks ago;
  • you applied to the national Employment Services requesting the issue of a permit to export your unemployment benefit (a (portable) unemployment benefit export document is U2 PD);
  • upon coming to Lithuania, you have registered in the Local Labour Exchange Office within 7 days.

On returning from other countries than the EU/EEA member states and Switzerland as well as from other countries than those with which Lithuania has concluded bilateral agreements on social security covering unemployment benefits (Ukraine, Belarus), unemployment insurance status periods are not added up.

You can receive unemployment benefit if you fulfill the following conditions:

  • you have been insured by unemployment social insurance, i.e. you personally paid the unemployment social insurance contributions or they were paid for you (the last workplace needs to be in Lithuania). P.S. In exceptional cases, you can apply for unemployment benefit even if the last job was in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. For example, when it is determined that the person had lived in one country but worked in another, or in case the job was with a temporary contract etc.
  • you have registered with the labour exchange (lith. Užimtumo tarnyba);
  • you are provided with an unemployed person’s status at the decision of the territorial labour exchange.
  • The territorial labour exchange did not offer you proper employment or active labour market policy measures.
  • During the last 30 calendar months prior to registering at the territorial labour exchange, you had at least a 12 months unemployment insurance record.
  • You have finished the primary military service or an alternative national defence service, during which you received the primary military readiness level and registered at the territorial labour exchange not later than in 6 months since your release from the service.
  • you are of working age;
  • you are not in full-time education;
  • you are actively seeking work, prepared to accept jobs offered to you, and actively participate in labour market policy measures (see Jargon busters below);
  • you are not in receipt of sickness or maternity (paternity) benefits or other social security benefits.

You will not receive unemployment benefit if you:

  • are studying under a general education programme or a formal vocational education programme;
  • have reached the statutory old-age pension age or are recognized as being incapable of work;
  • refused, without a valid reason, a suitable job offer;
  • failed, without a valid reason, to attend an appointment at the local labour exchange for accepting a job offer, or for drawing up of an individual activation plan; 
  • stopped participating in the learning support measures or supported employment measures without a valid reason;
  • the local labour exchange repeatedly receives information from institutions exercising control and prevention of illegal work, undeclared employment and undeclared self-employment that you received income illegally;
  • your permit entitling you to reside in Lithuania as unemployed has expired;
  • a court decision, order or judgment has imposed penalties, or sanctions on you;
  • you emigrate from Lithuania;
  • you have filed an application cancelling registration with the local labour exchange.

You will avoid sanctions if you can show good reason for any of the above (illness, accident, death of a parent, child or spouse, etc.).

The unemployment benefit will be paid for 9 months to everyone satisfying the conditions for receipt. In certain cases, payments may be extended. Unemployment benefit will cease to be paid from the date you find work or become self-employed.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim it?

Unemployment benefit is calculated as the sum of a fixed part and a variable part. The fixed part consists of State-supported income amounting to EUR 129,15, which is the same for everyone.

The variable part takes account of unemployment insurance contributions. The variable part of the benefit is 38,79% of the average monthly insured income of the unemployed for the first 3 months; 31,03% for the next 3 months and 23,27% for the following 3 months. The average monthly insured income of the unemployed is calculated over the 30 months prior to registration with the local labour exchange.

You may apply for unemployment benefit while taking part in training. This must not be less than the State supported part, but at the same time must not exceed 70% of the current year's insured income, as set by the Government.

From 1 July 2017, unemployment benefit cannot be less than 30% of the minimum monthly wage, but cannot exceed 75% of the average national wage.

Applications for payments should be addressed to the district office of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.

Read more about unemployment benefits

Source: Sodra

Information updated: 2019-04-04
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