After reaching a peak of almost 20% in 2010 during the financial crisis, the unemployment rate in Latvia has steadily declined and in 2014 it was 10%.
The unemployment benefit is calculated based on the total length of the social insurance record:
The average contributions salary is calculated on the basis of the salary of the last 12 months, counted from two months before the month in which the person gained unemployed status. If during this period of the time the person has been on parental leave, unpaid leave granted for caring of a child, pregnancy or childbirth leave, the average contributions salary will be calculated based on 12 months prior to the leave period.
Regardless of the length of insurance, the maximum length of receiving the unemployment benefit is nine months. During the first three months the person receives the full amount granted, in the next three months it reduces to 75% of the granted amount, and in the final three months it is 50% of the amount granted originally.
To be eligible to unemployment benefits, a person has to register for receiving unemployed status at the State Employment Agency. In addition, their total social insurance period has to be at least one year, and they need to have paid social insurance contributions for at least 9 out of 12 months before becoming unemployed.
To claim a benefit, you need to submit an application to the State Social Insurance Agency either by visiting a client centre, by mail or electronically (an electronic signature is required). You can either use the document form available on the homepage (in Latvian) or write a free-from request including the following information:
For more information please consult the homepage of the State Social Insurance Agency.
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