Unemployment benefit

In order for you to have some income while searching for employment, you may apply for unemployment benefit. Below you can read about what conditions apply and how to apply for unemployment benefit.


What is unemployment benefit?

This video explains how unemployment benefit works and what conditions apply. (Swedish only)

How do I apply for unemployment benefit?

  • Register with us the first day you are unemployed.
  • Contact your unemployment benefit office and apply for benefit. The simplest way to do this is to log into your unemployment benefit office’s website.

If you are not a member of an unemployment benefit fund, you can apply for membership and basic compensation when you become unemployed. If you do not want to become a member of an unemployment benefit fund, you can apply for basic compensation from the “Alfa-kassan” fund.

Find your unemployment benefit office

What is required to receive unemployment benefit?

To qualify for unemployment benefit, you must be registered with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. You must also be prepared to immediately accept an offer of employment. In other words, you cannot be on sick leave, you must be in Sweden and have arranged for any necessary childcare.

To receive benefit you must also have worked before. You need to satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • You need to have worked 60 hours per calendar month for at least 6 months over the past year.
  • You have worked for at least 420 hours during 6 consecutive months and worked at least 40 hours during each of the 6 months over the past year.

If you have been informed by your unemployment fund (A-kassa) that you do not meet the conditions for compensation, you can contact your municipality to apply for financial support.

How much money do I receive?

You can receive either benefit based on your previous income or so-called basic benefit. The benefit you receive depends on how long you have been a member of an unemployment benefit insurance fund.

Benefit based on your income

You can receive up to 80 per cent of your previous wages/salary and at most 26,400 kronor per month before tax if you have been a member of an unemployment benefit insurance fund for at least a year. Each month in which you were a member of an unemployment benefit during the period from March-December 2020 is counted as four months. This means that you may be entitled to compensation based on your income after a shorter period as a member.

Basic benefit

Basic benefit is 11,220 kronor per month before tax depending on how mush you have worked before. You can apply for basic benefit if you are not a member of an unemployment benefit insurance fund or have been a member for less than a year. You must also be over 20 years of age.

It is your unemployment benefit office that decides on the benefit and calculates how much benefit you are entitled to.

What do you need to do to continue receiving unemployment benefit?

When you are receiving unemployment benefit, you must be an active job seeker and apply for several jobs each month. These jobs might be advertised positions and/or jobs that Arbetsförmedlingen has suggested to you or instructed you to apply for. You can also contact potential employers yourself, expressing your interest in working for them, or send them your CV. Bear in mind that you may need to broaden your search, both in terms of type of occupation and where in Sweden you are looking to find employment.

You need to carry out the activities we agree on and take part in the meetings we book. You must notify us if you are unable to do so. You must also report your activities every month. This means that you report what jobs you have applied for and other things you may have done to try and secure employment. You must submit your activity report between the 1st and 14th of each month.

If you want to take a course or study while looking for employment, you must contact your unemployment benefit office (a-kassa). They will decide if you can do so at the same time as you are receiving unemployment benefit.

Report your activities

Unemployment benefit inside Europe

Are you considering working or have you worked in another European country? Within the EU/EEA and in Switzerland there are laws that protect you from losing your social security if you move between the various countries.

Transfer your benefit to apply for a job in Europe

If you are entitled to unemployment benefit in Sweden, you can apply to transfer your benefit to apply for a job in another country within the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

You must be fully unemployed and have been registered with us for at least four weeks after becoming unemployed.

Remember to apply before you leave Sweden. You apply to the Swedish Unemployment Insurance Board (IAF).

Application for certificate on IAF’s website

Contact your unemployment benefit office if you have questions

If you have questions about your benefit, your membership or something else, contact your unemployment benefit office. On the Sveriges a-kassors (The Swedish Federation of Unemployment Insurance Funds) website you will find the contact details of all unemployment benefit insurance offices.

Sveriges a-kassor

For more information about unemployment benefit, visit our website ‘Hej a-kassan’. Here, you will also find useful information about choosing unemployment insurance fund.

Hej a-kassa

Warning or loss of unemployment benefit

If, for example, you do not actively look for a job or omit to report on your job searching activities, you may be given a warning or lose your unemployment benefit for one or more days. It is your unemployment benefit office that investigates and decides whether a warning should be given or you should lose your benefit.

Warning or loss of unemployment benefit

Checks of jobs applied for

Sometimes we conduct checks to see if you applied for the jobs you reported in your activity report.

Proof of job applications

Read more