Unemployment benefits

Qualifying for unemployment benefit:
Employees and self-employed individuals aged 18-70 are entitled to receive unemployment benefit providing that they have earned  insurance cover and meet the conditions of the Unemployment Insurance Act and the Labour Market Measures Act; these include the following:

  •          Being unemployed.
  •          Being domiciled in Iceland, and being in the country.
  •          Actively seeking employment.
  •          Being fit for work.
  •          Prepared to take any job.
  •          Unemployment Insurance Act


Conditions to maintain the right to unemployment benefits

Documents needed to support your application:

After applying for unemployment benefit online, you have two weeks in which to submit the following documents, as appropriate:

  • A certificate from your last employer
  • Reasons why you lost your job / Notice of termination – This is needed unless you lost your job because of cutbacks/structural changes at the company, or you were only on a temporary employment contract.
  • A certificate of your working capacity (stating what types of work you can do) if you do not have full working capacity.
  • A certificate from your school/university/college stating that you have finished your studies, or when your study periods begin and end.
  • A certificate from your school/university/college stating what proportion of full-time studies you are taking, with your time-table.
  • A certificate from the Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund.
  • Copies of your two last pay-slips (if your job proportion has been reduced).
  • An U1 certificate if you have been working abroad and want to have this work counted in the assessment of your right to receive unemployment benefit. 


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