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Unemployment benefit

Unemployment benefits are granted to persons insured against unemployment (i.e. mandatory social insurance contributions against unemployment have been paid) and registered as unemployed. You should register as unemployed in person at the State Employment Agency (NVA). You may register in any of 28 NVA offices throughout Latvia irrespective of the place of residence you have declared.

Unemployment benefit is granted and paid by the State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA). An application for unemployment benefit may be filed in person with any office of the VSAA throughout Latvia. In specific cases, an application for unemployment benefit can be filed at the same time as obtaining the status of an unemployed person, i.e. when registering with an NVA office. It is paid by bank transfer to an account specified by the beneficiary at a credit institution or the post office.

Unemployed persons registered with the NVA and who have been insured for not less than one year, and who have had compulsory social insurance contributions for unemployment made on their behalf in Latvia for not less than 9 months in the last 12-month period before the date of registration as unemployed are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unless the insurance period in Latvia is sufficient to be entitled to unemployment benefit, employment/insurance periods in any other EU/EEA country may be taken into account. In order to be able to aggregate employment/insurance periods in Latvia with employment/insurance periods in another EU/EEA country, individuals must submit to the VSAA form U1 or certificate E 301 stating the employment/insurance periods in the respective Member State, the reason for termination of the job contract, etc. Forms U1 or E 301 are to be submitted to a competent authority of the state in which the person has been employed. Contact information of competent authorities is available on VSAA homepage: www.vsaa.lv"ES un starpvalstu līgumi" (EU and International Agreements). - section

The amount of the unemployment benefit is calculated on the basis of the period for which the unemployed individual has been insured (the duration of employment) and the unemployment insurance contribution earnings. Depending on the duration of employment, the amount of the benefit amounts to 50-65% of the average insurance contribution earnings. The average insurance contribution earnings over 12 months is taken into account. The benefit is paid over nine months and decreases to 50% of the granted amount on a regular basis, and may amount to LVL 45 (EUR ~64) per month, depending on the length of unemployment, over the last 3-5 months.

The amount of unemployment benefit granted in the period from 1 January 2010 to 14 December 2014 is limited by a threshold.

The benefit is granted from the day on which the applicant (or a person authorised by the applicant) submits all the documents necessary to be granted the benefit. Should the person become unemployed as a result of termination of employment at your own request or because of a violation, the benefit shall be granted from the day on which you submit the application, but not sooner than two months from the date of acquisition of unemployed status.

Payment of unemployment benefit begins approximately two months after the date on which the benefit is granted.

An individual may not receive parental benefit and unemployment benefit simultaneously. Payment of parental benefit is suspended for the period during which the person receives unemployment benefit. Payment of unemployment benefit is also suspended for the period during which the person receives sickness benefit.

A person has the right to decline unemployment benefit. Eligibility for unemployment benefit is considered again only when the status of the unemployed is obtained anew.

Export of unemployment benefits

If you are registered unemployed in any EU/EEA country or Switzerland for four weeks at least and you have been granted unemployment benefits, you can look for work in Latvia and continue receiving (exporting) the benefits from your country for up to three or six months. In order to be able to export your unemployment benefit to Latvia, you must request form U2 or certificate E 303 from the competent institution in your country. When you have received form U2 or certificate E 303 and arrive in Latvia, you must register with the State Employment Agency (NVA) within 7 days and submit form U2 or certificate E 303 to the State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA).

If you are not eligible for unemployment benefit in the country where you were last employed and you have decided to return to Latvia, before leaving you need to request from the competent institution certificate U1 or E 301 proving the period of your employment in the foreign country - this certificate will be required when your apply for unemployment benefit in Latvia.

Contact information of competent authorities is available on VSAA homepage: www.vsaa.lv"ES un starpvalstu līgumi" (EU and International Agreements). - section

For more information about unemployment benefits see:

  • the State Social Insurance Agency's homepage: www.vsaa.lv. Contact details: vsaa@vsaa.lv, Phone No. +371 67011838, +371 67013601

How to apply for unemployment benefit in Latvia?

According to valid legislation a person is entitled to unemployment benefits if:

  • status of an unemployed person is obtained;
  • length of period of insurance is not less than one year;
  • if the mandatory State social insurance payments for unemployment has been made or had to be made for such person in the Republic of Latvia for not less than 9 months during the time period of the last 12 months prior to the day when the status of an unemployed person was obtained.

In order to apply for unemployment benefit, a person shall obtain status of an unemployed person in State Employment Agency (SEA). Following documents shall be filed with SEA in order to obtain status of unemployed person:

  • passport;
  • payroll tax booklet;
  • statement from the previous employer indicating the paragraph of law used for terminating labour relations.

SEA then takes a decision on granting status of unemployed person within one working day. In case a person wishes to receive unemployment benefits, he or she shall register with SEA within 3 months after labour relations' termination. SEA may reject in case the person is working at the moment of applying for unemployed person's status.

After a person has registered with SEA and obtained unemployed person's status, he or she shall be entitled to receive unemployment benefits in any department of State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA). In such case a person will need the following:

  • application for assignment of unemployment benefits;
  • payroll tax booklet, documents confirming the length of employment until December 31, 1995 (work booklet, statements from place of work, labour contract, etc.) and their copies;
  • banking details or account number in Post Accounting System (PNS);
  • document confirming the change of person's last name;
  • Health and Work Expert Physicians Commission's decision for determining disability of a child under 16 (if the person took care of a disabled child before the day of receiving unemployment status);
  • Statement issued by Health and Work Expert Physicians Commission, proving that the applicant of the benefit has regained the ability to work after having been disabled (If the applicant has regained the ability to work after being disabled).

When applying for the benefit, a person shall present identification document. Decision on granting the benefit shall be taken within a couple of days. Said decision then shall be sent to the applicant's address indicating the date for the start of benefits' payments. Usually payment term starts from succeeding month. The benefit shall be paid during 9 months.