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You are here: A-kasser (.dk)->Unemployment insurance in Europe->Portugal

Unemployment benefits in Portugal

In what situation can I claim?

Workers who are resident in Portugal and covered by the general social security scheme may claim unemployment benefits if:

  • They had an employment contract and have become unemployed; or
  • They have suspended their employment contract on the grounds of wage arrears;
  • They have ceased work involuntarily (self-employed workers who are financially dependant);
  • They are ex-recipients of disability pensions who are deemed capable of working following a work capability assessment.

Workers may claim Social Unemployment Benefits, a cash benefit paid to the unemployed beneficiary, to compensate them for lack of income due to involuntary unemployment if they do not meet the conditions for unemployment benefits or after the unemployment benefits to which they are entitled have run out.

Workers may claim Partial Unemployment Benefits, a cash benefit paid to workers who claimed or were receiving Unemployment Benefits and who subsequently resume employment on a part-time contract or who start self-employed work.

The Allowances for Cessation of Work and the Partial Allowances for Cessation of Work are intended for certain categories of self-employed workers (workers who are financially dependent on a sole contracting entity and whose service contract has been terminated against their will, as well as workers running businesses and company managers or directors who stop working and/or close the business on justifiable grounds).

What conditions do I need to meet?

  • Beneficiaries must reside in Portugal;
  • Beneficiaries must be involuntarily unemployed;
  • Beneficiaries must be capable of working and available for employment;
  • Beneficiaries must be registered as job seekers at a Centro de Emprego [Job Centre] in their area of residence;
  • Beneficiaries must meet the minimum qualifying period requirement: 360 days of paid employment (with registered earnings) in the 24 calendar months immediately prior to the date of unemployment.

Days on which the beneficiary worked in the following countries are counted towards the minimum qualifying period:

  • EU states, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein or Switzerland;
  • Countries that have signed Social Security Agreements with Portugal allowing contributions registered in those countries to be counted towards unemployment benefit claimed in Portugal.

For Social Unemployment Benefits

  • Beneficiaries must not satisfy the conditions for receiving Unemployment Benefits; or
  • Beneficiaries must have already received their full entitlement to unemployment benefits (Social Unemployment Benefits Subsequent to Employment Benefits);
  • Beneficiaries must reside in Portugal;
  • Beneficiaries must be involuntarily unemployed;
  • Beneficiaries must be capable of working and available for employment;
  • Beneficiaries must be registered as job seekers at a Centro de Emprego [Job Centre] in their area of residence;
  • Beneficiaries must meet the minimum qualifying period requirement of 180 days of paid employment (with registered earnings) in the 12 calendar months immediately prior to the date of unemployment;
  • Beneficiaries must not have movable assets worth more than € 102,936 or income greater than 80% of the IAS [Indexing Reference of Social Support] (€ 343.12), subject to weighted capitation.

For Partial Unemployment Benefits

  • Beneficiaries must have claimed or already be in receipt of Unemployment Benefits;
  • Beneficiaries must be working or about to work as part-time employees with an average weekly working-week that is shorter than that of full-time employment in a comparable situation, on the condition that earnings from this work are lower than the amount of the Unemployment Benefits; or
  • Beneficiaries must be working or about to work on a self-employed basis, on the condition that earnings from this work are lower than the amount of the Unemployment Benefits.
  • The minimum qualifying period for self-employed workers is set at 720 days of social security contributions paid during the 48 months prior to the date when the services contract or other form of work ceased.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Entitlement period

This depends on the age of the beneficiary and the number of months with registered earnings for social security purposes since the beneficiary's last period of unemployment.

For beneficiaries who became unemployed after 1 April 2012 and who, on 31 March 2012, did not meet the minimum qualifying period requirement for accessing Unemployment Benefits, the entitlement period is set out in the following table:

Beneficiary's age

No. of months with registered earnings

Entitlement period

No. of days benefit received

Increase

Under 30 years of age

Less than 15

150

30 days for every 5 years with registered earnings

Equal to or greater than 15 and less than 24

210

Equal to or greater than 24

330

Between 30 and 39 years of age

Less than 15

180

30 days for every 5 years with registered earnings in the last 20 years

Equal to or greater than 15 and less than 24

330

Equal to or greater than 24

420

Between 40 and 49 years of age

Less than 15

210

45 days for every 5 years with registered earnings in the last 20 years

Equal to or greater than 15 and less than 24

360

Equal to or greater than 24

540

50 years of age or over

Less than 15

270

60 days for every 5 years with registered earnings in the last 20 years

Equal to or greater than 15 and less than 24

480

Equal to or greater than 24

540

The periods differ from those above if, for the first period of unemployment occurring after 1 April 2012, the beneficiary on 31 March 2012 already had a certain entitlement period guaranteed (Table II).

For long-term unemployment, employees may be entitled to anticipate their old-age pension after the age of 62 in the case of beneficiaries aged 57 or older on the date of unemployment who have completed the waiting period. It is also possible after the age of 57 for those who have paid contributions for 22 calendar years, are aged 52 or over at the time of unemployment. In this case, the amount of the pension is reduced.

For self-employed workers, the entitlement period also depends on the age of the beneficiary and the number of months with registered earnings for social security purposes (at least 24 months are required); more specifically, entitlement ranges from 330 days for beneficiaries under 30 years of age, to 540 days for beneficiaries 50 years of age or older, and the respective periods of increase are added to these figures.

Benefit amounts

The daily amount is equal to 65% of the reference income, calculated on the basis of a 30-day month.

The amounts for ex-recipients of Invalidity Pensions who are now deemed capable of working are:

  • 80% of the IAS (€343.12 per month) for those living alone or 100% of the IAS (€428.90) for those living with family members.

The reference income (R/360) is calculated as follows:

  • The sum of all registered earnings (including holiday and Christmas bonuses) declared to the Social Security Institute for 12 months, including holiday and Christmas bonuses, counting from the month preceding the date of unemployment, divided by 360.

Holiday and Christmas bonuses are only counted if they fall due within the reference period.

Minimum monthly rate

€428.90 (100% of the IAS), unless net reference income is less than the IAS.

Maximum monthly rate

  • €1,072.25 (2.5 times the IAS);
  • 75% of the net reference income amount on which the benefit calculation was based;
  • In the case of ex-recipients of an Invalidity Pension, it is equal to the amount of the Invalidity Pension that was being received.

Increase in the amount of benefits

The daily amount of unemployment benefits is increased by 10% when:

  • Both spouses or persons living in a de facto relationship are receiving unemployment benefits and they have dependant children or the equivalent. The increase is granted to each of the beneficiaries;
  • The person granted Unemployment Benefits is the sole parent in a single-parent household. Should one of the spouses or one of the persons living in a de facto relationship stop being entitled to Unemployment Benefits and start receiving Social Unemployment Benefits Subsequent to Employment Benefits or, despite remaining unemployed, no longer receive any form of unemployment benefits, the other beneficiary will continue to receive the benefits increase.

Lump sum payment

Unemployment Benefits may be paid as a lump sum if the beneficiary presents a project proposal to the Centro de Emprego for creating his or her own employment.

The Social Unemployment Benefits amount is set at 100% of IAS (€428.90) for beneficiaries who are part of a household or 80% (€343.12) for beneficiaries who are on their own.

Jargon busters

IAS: Indexante dos Apoios Sociais [the indexing reference of social support].

Capacity for work: ability to perform a job.

Date of unemployment: the day immediately after the day on which the employment contract ceased.

Unemployment: situation arising from the involuntary loss of employment.

Involuntary unemployment: where the employment contract is terminated on the initiative of the employer; there are other types of involuntary unemployment.

A worker is also deemed to be involuntarily unemployed when he or she was previously in receipt of an Invalidity Pension under the general scheme, but is subsequently declared fit for work through a work capability assessment carried out under the applicable regulations.

Personal employment plan: this instrument is a joint commitment contracted between the Centro de Emprego and the beneficiary, which, in accordance with the profile and specific circumstances of each beneficiary, as well as the labour market that he or she is entering, sets out actions aimed at integrating the beneficiary into the labour market.

Community service: Occupational programmes, organised by public or private not-for-profit organisations for the common good, in which the benefit holder is capable of participating.

Know your rights

The links below define your entitlements in accordance with Portuguese law:

Subsídio de desemprego [Unemployment Benefits]

Social benefits for unemployment;

For Partial Unemployment Benefits

Subsídio por cessação de atividade [Allowance for Cessation of Work]

Subsídio parcial por cessação de atividade [Partial Allowance for Cessation of Work]

Subsídio por cessação de atividade profissional [Allowance for Cessation of Professional Work]

Subsídio parcial por cessação de atividade profissional [Partial Allowance for Cessation of Professional Work]

Who do you need to contact?

You can obtain further information on social protection during unemployment through one of the following:

Social Security Line: 300 502 502.
Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

From abroad: +351 300 502 502.

Social Security website: www.seg-social.pt. Consult Segurança Social Direta [Social Security Direct].

You can also consult the network of job centres.

Source:
European Commission and national authorities dealing with unemployment insurance.

This page was last updated on November 15, 2018.

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