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Unemployment benefits in Romania

In what situation can I claim?

The following categories of persons who live or are resident in Romania have compulsory insurance for unemployment benefit:

  • employees and assimilated, except in-work pensioners;
  • civil servants;
  • ONG members;
  • other categories (such as cooperative members, administrators with contract of mandate).

If they are at least 18 years of age and are insured under the state pension system and the health insurance system, the following categories of persons who live or are resident in Romania can voluntarily insure themselves for unemployment allowance:

  • persons who are authorised to pursue self-employment and their partners who contribute to the activity concerned;
  • Romanian citizens who work abroad;
  • persons who are subject to the social security system in Romania - and members of their family - who live in a Member State of the European Union and whose employer is not based in Romania.

The unemployment insurance contract for the above categories of persons must be entered into with the employment agency within whose catchment area the person concerned lives or is resident.

What conditions do I need to meet?

To be able to receive unemployment benefit (indemnizație de șomaj), you must meet the following conditions:

  • you live or are legally resident in Romania;
  • you are involuntarily jobless;
  • you have no income or your income is below the value of the reference social indicator (RSI) that is in effect at the relevant time;
  • you are fit to work;
  • you are aged between 16 and the statutory retirement age;
  • you are available to be recruited and actively seeking a job;
  • you are registered with the county employment agency in the county or district where you live;
  • you apply for unemployment benefit within 12 months after your employment, service, agency, etc. relationship ended.

In addition, jobseekers who are registered with the county employment agency must have contributed to the unemployment insurance system for at least 12 of the 24 months preceding the time when they apply for unemployment benefit.

This condition does not apply to graduates of an educational institution who are aged at least 16 and have been unable to find work that corresponds to their vocational training within 60 days after the date they graduated.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Unemployment benefit is calculated on the basis of the value of the reference social indicator (RSI), the income of the person who holds unemployment insurance, and the period for which they contributed to the unemployment insurance system.

The value of the RSI for 2018 is RON 500.

Unemployment benefit for 2018:

Contribution period

Type of unemployed person

Percentage of RSI

Monthly benefit

At least 1 year

Person who is insured under the unemployment insurance system

75 %

RON 375

Not applicable


50 %

RON 250

The cash benefit if the unemployed person has contributed to the unemployment insurance system for at least 3 years. A certain percentage calculated on the basis of average gross monthly base pay over the previous 12 months of contributions is added to unemployment benefit as follows:

Contribution period

Percentage added

3-5 years

3 %

5-10 years

5 %

10-20 years

7 %

Over 20 years

10 %

Unemployment benefit is paid every month, for a period of between 6 and 12 months, according to the length of the completed period of contributions to the unemployment insurance system. Graduates who do not find a job within 60 days after graduating from an educational institution receive unemployment benefit for 6 months.

Payment of unemployment benefit ends, among other situations, on the date the unemployed person unjustifiably rejects a job that corresponds to their level of education, or on the date the recipient leaves the country for a period longer than 3 months.

Payment of unemployment benefit is suspended, among other situations, where the recipient fails to attend, on a monthly basis or whenever requested, the employment agency at which they are registered in order to receive assistance in finding work.

To receive unemployment benefit, you must apply to your local employment agency within 12 months after your employment, service, agency, etc. relationship ended.

Unemployment benefit is paid through banks or post offices.

It is not subject to the income tax system.

Jargon busters

  • Reference social indicator: unit expressed in lei on the basis of which allowances and other benefits for unemployment are calculated. Its value may be changed by decision of the government, according to the consumer price growth index forecast for the year or for the previous year.
  • Unemployment benefit: partial compensation for the insured person's income as a result of loss of their job or for the income of graduates of educational institutions who have not been able to find a job.
  • Contribution period: the period over which unemployment insurance contributions have been paid by both the insured person and the employer or, where applicable, by the insured person only.
  • Insured person: individual who earns income, in accordance with the law, and is insured against the risk of losing their job by paying unemployment insurance contributions.

Know your rights

The links below give more information about your rights and obligations with regard to unemployment benefit:

Who do you need to contact?

County employment agencies

European Commission and national authorities dealing with unemployment insurance.

This page was last updated on February 15, 2020.

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