How to apply for unemployment benefit

To apply for unemployment benefit, you must first register as a jobseeker, at the latest on the first day you are wholly or partially unemployed. You can call NAV Call and Service Centre on (+47) 55 55 33 33 for help and advice.

Register as a jobseeker 

Apply unemployment benefit

When you apply for unemployment benefit, NAV needs various information from you that you must submit with your application. Read more about documents that must be submitted with an application for unemployment benefit. It is always a good idea to start gathering the documentation you need early. If you provide all the documentation we need when you submit your application, you will get a quicker response.

When to apply

Ideally, you ought to register as a jobseeker and apply for unemployment benefit approximately one week before the first day on which you will be wholly or partially unemployed. You may lose days of unemployment benefit if you register as a jobseeker too late or submit the application too late.

It is therefore important to remember the following

  • Register as a jobseeker no later than the first day you become wholly or partially unemployed
  • Submit an employment status form every 14 days after you have registered as a jobseeker

Note that if you apply more than 14 days before you become wholly or partially unemployed, you risk having your application rejected because you have applied too early.

Important information about applications submitted on or after 1 July 2019

From 1 July, it is no longer possible to be granted unemployment benefit with retroactive effect. It is therefore important that you submit your application for unemployment benefit no later than on the first day you are unemployed, in order not to lose days of unemployment benefit.

When to apply and calculation of income from 1 July 2019

From 1 July, income you have had right up until the last completed calendar month before you became unemployed will be taken into account when NAV assesses whether you are entitled to unemployment benefit, for how long, and how much you can receive.

Last completed calendar month

Your employer will report how much you have earned to the “A-ordning” scheme within the deadline of the 5th of the following month. If the 5th falls on a weekend or public holiday, your employer’s reporting deadline will be the next business day.

The last completed calendar month depends on whether the date you are granted unemployment benefit from is before or after your employer’s reporting deadline. Example:

  • If you are granted unemployment benefit from 5 August 2019, the last completed calendar month is June 2019. This is because the reporting deadline for your employer for July 2019 has not yet been reached.
  • If you are granted unemployment benefit from 6 August 2019, the last completed calendar month is July 2019. This is because the reporting deadline for your employer for July 2019 has been passed.

We use the reporting deadline that follows from the Act relating to employers’ reporting of employment and income, not whether your employer has actually reported the required information within the prescribed deadline.

You can check your income reported in the “A-ordning” scheme yourself at skatteetaten.no/mineinntekter. If you think that the income information NAV is using is incorrect, ask your employer to correct the reported information. You must also notify NAV that the information is not correct.

Who can receive unemployment benefit? 

The main conditions for receiving unemployment benefit are that you

For applications for unemployment benefit from 1 July 2019

Special rules apply if you are

For how long can you receive unemployment benefit?

For applications for unemployment benefit from before 1 July 2019

How long you can receive unemployment benefit for depends on how much earned income you have had in the last completed calendar year or on average in the three calendar years before you apply for unemployment benefit. You can receive unemployment benefit for:

  • 104 weeks if your earned income was NOK 199,716 or higher (2G).
  • 52 weeks if your earned income was below NOK 199,716 (2G).

For applications for unemployment benefit from 1 July 2019

How long you can receive unemployment benefit for depends on how much earned income you have had in the last 12 completed calendar months, or on average in the last 36 completed calendar months. You can receive unemployment benefit for:

  • 104 weeks (two years) if your earned income was NOK 199,716 or higher (2G).
  • 52 weeks (one year) if your earned income was below NOK 199,716 (2G).

Special rules for specific groups of people

  • Recently discharged conscripts can receive unemployment benefit for a maximum of 26 weeks.
  • There are separate rules for how long laid-off employees can receive unemployment benefit for. Read more under unemployment benefit if you are laid off.

You may be entitled to receive unemployment benefit up to and including the month you turn 67 years of age.

You can see how much of your employment benefit period is left in the payment overview service.

How much unemployment benefit are you entitled to?

For applications for unemployment benefit from before 1 July 2019

You can receive up to 62.4 per cent of the income you had in the year before you applied for unemployment benefit, or the average in the last three years before you applied for unemployment benefit.

For applications for unemployment benefit from 1 July 2019

You can receive up to 62.4 per cent of the income you had in the last 12 or 36 completed calendar months before you applied for unemployment benefit.

Which income is included?

The following types of income are included in the calculation of unemployment benefit: pay as an employee, sickness benefit, care benefit, attendance allowance, training allowance, pregnancy benefit, parental benefit in connection with birth or adoption and unemployment benefit.

The following types of income are not included in the calculation of unemployment benefit: income from self-employment, work assessment allowance (AAP), pension and lump-sum grant in connection with birth.

Income greater than six times the average of the National Insurance basic amount (6G) per 12 month period during a single calendar year is not included in the calculation of unemployment benefit.

Read more in the regulations on how NAV calculates your income.

The method used to calculate how much you will receive in unemployment benefit differs from that used to calculate minimum income, which is one of the conditions to qualify for unemployment benefit.

Child supplement

If you have children under the age of 18 years, you can apply for a child supplement of NOK 17 per child five days a week. You can apply for this in the application for unemployment benefit. If both parents are receiving unemployment benefit, only one parent can receive this supplement.

If you are responsible for your unemployment

If you are responsible for your becoming unemployed, you usually have to wait 12 weeks from the date on which you are granted unemployment benefit until payment of unemployment benefit starts. These weeks are deducted from the period during which you are entitled to unemployment benefit, but you will not receive money for these weeks.

This is called the “extended waiting period”. It is very important that you submit your employment status form (“meldekort”) regularly once you have registered as a jobseeker.

This is the case if you have resigned or handed in your notice without reasonable grounds, or have been dismissed from your position due to circumstances for which you are responsible. It is NAV that decides whether you had reasonable grounds to leave your job based on the information in your case.

The extended waiting period starts at the earliest from the date on which you are granted unemployment benefit. If you find work, are sick, or are in some other activity that would otherwise lead to you not receiving unemployment benefit in a given period, the extended waiting period is postponed accordingly.

Read more under losing entitlement to unemployment benefit.

Employment status form and information to NAV

Employment status formYou must submit an employment status form (“meldekort”) every 14 days after registering as a jobseeker.Read more about employment status forms:

Duty to report changes

If there are any changes in your income, family situation and/or work situation, or if you are planning to spend some time abroad, this may have an impact on the amount of money you are entitled to receive from NAV. You must notify NAV as soon as you know that one or more of these situations is going to change.

Incorrect or incomplete information

NAV checks the information that you provide as a recipient of unemployment benefit.

If you provide incorrect or incomplete information, you may lose the right to unemployment benefit for up to 26 weeks. In addition, NAV may require that you pay back any unemployment benefit that you were not entitled to. If you knew or ought to have known that the information was incorrect or incomplete, the matter may be reported to the police, which may result in imprisonment, community service and/or fines.

Payments

Unemployment benefit is taxable and is paid on the basis of the employment status form (“meldekort”) that you submit every 14 days. If you have completed the employment status form correctly and have submitted it at the right time, you will be paid 2–3 days after NAV has registered your unemployment status form. Tax is deducted based on the information we have about your tax card. Please contact the Norwegian Tax Administration if you want to change your tax withholding rate. Read more about payment dates, holiday pay and tax withholdings.

You can also check your payments in the payment overview service.

Waiting period before the first payment

You will not be paid unemployment benefit for the first three days of a new period of unemployment benefit. This is called “the waiting period”.

Days when you are sick, on holiday or work more than 50 per cent of your normal working hours are not included in the waiting period.

If you do not complete the three-day waiting period during the first 15 business days after you have been granted unemployment benefit, your unemployment benefit will be stopped without further notice.

Reduced payment

Your unemployment benefit may be reduced on the basis of information you register on the employment status form. The following situations may lead to you receiving less unemployment benefit for one or more employment status form periods:

Work

If you work up to 50 per cent of your normal working hours, the amount of unemployment benefit you receive will be reduced accordingly. If you work more than 50 per cent of your normal working hours, you will not receive unemployment benefit.

Holiday and periods spent abroad

Usually, you will not receive unemployment benefit if you go on holiday or spend time abroad (although there are exceptions relating to holiday), spend time in an EEA country or if you are receiving unemployment benefit in connection with establishing your own business.

Illness

If you are ill, you are not entitled to unemployment benefit. If you are on sick leave of 50 per cent or less, you may be entitled to a combination of unemployment benefit and sickness benefit. If you are on sick leave of more than 50 per cent, you will not be paid unemployment benefit for the period you are on sick leave. You must have a medical certificate from a doctor from the first day.

Other payments

If you receive pensions, care support or other payments from NAV, your unemployment benefit may be reduced.

Discontinuation of unemployment benefit

The following situations may cause NAV to stop your unemployment benefit decision. You will not receive a decision or be informed in any other way:

  • You have not completed the three-day waiting period during the first 15 business days after you were granted unemployment benefit
  • You stop submitting your employment status form and more than 21 days have passed since you last submitted an employment status form
  • You do not submit an employment status form after you have registered as unemployed
  • You answer “no” to the question on the employment status form about whether you want to continue to be registered as unemployed
  • The period for which you have been granted unemployment benefit has ended
  • The period for which you have been granted unemployment benefit due to redundancy has ended
  • You turn 67 years of age

NAV will also stop your unemployment benefit decision if:

  • You have worked more than 50 per cent of your normal working hours for six weeks or longer (60 per cent if you are laid off from the fishing industry). You will be notified about this in a separate decision.
  • You have a decision on unemployment benefit up to a specific date.

Read more about losing entitlement to unemployment benefit.

If your unemployment benefit is stopped and you are still unemployed, you can reapply for unemployment benefit. It is your responsibility to keep track of whether your unemployment benefit has been stopped.

If your unemployment benefit is stopped and you are still unemployed, you can apply for resumption of unemployment benefit.

If you stop receiving unemployment benefit on or after 1 July 2019

If your unemployment benefit is stopped on or after 1 July and you are still unemployed, it is important that you reapply for unemployment benefit immediately. You will not receive unemployment benefit in the period between the day on which the benefit was stopped and the day on which you submitted a new application.

What happens when your unemployment benefit period is nearing its end?

If you are still unemployed when your unemployment benefit period is over after 52 or 104 weeks, you can reapply for unemployment benefit. You must again fulfil the conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit. This means, among other things, that your working hours must be reduced again. You ought to submit a new application for unemployment benefit at the latest on the day after your current unemployment benefit period ends, to prevent you from losing days of unemployment benefit.

If you are unsure how you will manage financially when your unemployment benefit period ends, contact NAV for help and advice.