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Unemployment Benefits in Bogotá

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The unemployment rate in Colombia was of 9.46% in April of 2018, according to Banco de la República de Colombia, the country's national bank. The rate is among the highest in Latin America, and soars every January due to the practice of hiring employees on a contract basis ending in December. However, the employment rate ranges only between 57-60%, with the rest of the population not working, or working under informal arrangements.


Colombia has started offering unemployment benefits in 2013, however they are minimal, amounting to the equivalent of 1-1.5 minimum salaries, i.e. approximately 250-300 usd, split over a period of six months in installments of around 50 usd.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits (subsidio de desempleo) one needs to meet the following criteria:

  • be unemployed and actively seeking work
  • must have been affiliated with a Caja de Compensación Familiar (a private entity managing unemployment benefits and other social security plans) for at least one year during the past three years
  • be head of the household
  • be responsible for financially supporting children under 18, disabled siblings or parents

How to Claim a Benefit

Once the criteria have been met, the person should register his or her CV with the Public Employment Service, file an application with the Caja de Compensación Familiar, attaching a copy of the ID, termination of the work contract and proof of registry with the employment agency. The request may be granted or not, depending on the assessed need.

This benefit can only be received once.

Update 20/08/2018


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