10 min czytania 21 March 2023

Unemployment benefit – who is entitled to it?

Losing a job can be extremely stressful. The law protects such people by entitling them to benefits. One such benefit is unemployment benefit. To receive it, several conditions must be met. How much is unemployment benefit in 2023? What conditions must be met? Who is entitled to unemployment benefit?

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Unemployment benefit – what is it?

Unemployment benefit is a benefit that is granted to people who are unemployed. Colloquially, such an allowance is known as a curonium. It is intended to provide a minimum income for the unemployed person, so that he or she is not left completely without money while looking for a job. It is a form of support, financial assistance, which is financed from the state budget. The unemployment benefit is paid by the labour offices. In order to receive it, it is necessary to register there and to meet certain conditions.

Who is entitled to unemployment benefits?

The right to unemployment benefit is set out in the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions. To receive an unemployment benefit, certain requirements must be met. A person applying for the benefit must be unemployed, i.e. have no job and be seeking employment. In addition, he or she must have an unemployment status established by the labour office and be registered as a jobseeker. An unemployed person can apply for benefits if there is no offer of a job, internship, vocational preparation, training or public works for him/her.

In brief, in order to receive unemployment benefits one must:

  • register at an employment office,
  • have worked for at least one year,
  • demonstrate that you have worked for a minimum of 365 days, in the 18 months preceding your registration at the employment office as an unemployed person,
  • show that you have received at least the minimum wage for your previous work,
  • not have been offered a job by the employment office.

Employment that entitles you to benefits includes:

  • parental leave,
  • contract of mandate or agency contract, if the amount of contributions was not less than the minimum wage,
  • minimum wage employment (except for unpaid leave of more than 30 days),
  • compulsory military service,
  • receiving a disability pension,
  • economic activity, if the small ZUS was not paid.

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How much is unemployment benefit in 2023?

The amount depends on the length of service of the applicant. Currently, the unemployment benefit is PLN 1304.10 for the first 3 months. After that, the amount drops to PLN 1024.10. This is the gross amount that applies from 1 June 2022 to 31 May 2023. Every year in June, this value is subject to valorisation – it is changed by rising inflation.

The above amounts are 100% of the benefit that an unemployed person can get. Not every person will get this much. The rules for determining the amount of benefit depend on length of service:

  • If he or she has not worked five years, the allowance is reduced to 80%.
  • It is possible to increase the allowance to 120%, only if the period of entitlement is at least 20 years.

How long can you collect unemployment benefits?

Unemployment benefits can be collected for 6-12 months. However, the maximum duration of this benefit depends on the unemployment rate that prevails in the area. If unemployment there does not exceed 150% of the national unemployment rate, the unemployed person is entitled to collect the benefit for 6 months. If it exceeds 150%, the collection time is extended to 12 months. The benefit is paid quite quickly. It is paid 7 days after registration at the labour office.

Who is not entitled to unemployment benefits?

Allowance is not a long-term solution for people who have lost their jobs. To improve their employment situation, jobless people should continue to actively search for new employment. If the job search is unsuccessful, it is worth considering a change of profession or additional temporary work.

The benefit is not available to a person who:

  • has not undertaken any training, apprenticeship or work experience,
  • refused to take up employment without a reason,
  • was dismissed with disciplinary action 6 months before registering at the labour office,
  • received compensation for the shortened notice period of her employment contract,
  • is doing a paid graduate internship for which he/she receives more than half of the minimum wage.
  • in the period of 6 months before registering at the labour office, has had his/her contract terminated due to his/her fault,
  • a person who is on sick leave.

Does unemployment benefit count towards the pension?

The period of benefit receipt is a contributory period, which means that it counts towards seniority. A non-contributory period is a period in which incapacity for work is documented and benefits paid from the Labour Fund are collected for this reason.

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Where and how to apply for unemployment benefits?

In order to receive unemployment benefits, it is necessary to register with the labour office. The unemployed person can do this either stationary or via the government portal. The online application is easy to submit, it can be done with a Trusted Profile or an electronic signature. One only needs to fill in the form and upload the documents. In order to receive the benefit, a person should meet all the conditions mentioned above. One gets the status of unemployed after submitting all the required documents for registration.

What documents will you need?

  • Identity card
  • Employment certificates, diplomas and all documents that prove professional qualifications or employment
  • Former entrepreneurs must present a certificate from the Social Security Office on payment of social security and labour fund contributions. They must also show a certificate of expulsion or suspension of their entry in the business register.

Once an application for benefits has been submitted, the unemployed person should receive a confirmation of the application by email. After this, you should wait for the award decision, which the Job Centre will also send you by email. If such a message appears, one should go to the account where the application was submitted and confirm receipt of the document.

In Poland, the unemployment benefit is an important support for unemployed people. It is a tool to improve the situation of the unemployed and to reduce the scale of poverty in the country. It is important to remember that not everyone is entitled to the benefit. Certain conditions have to be met.

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