Request the unemployment benefit

Unemployment benefit is a cash benefit granted to unemployed persons to make up for the lack of earnings caused by the involuntary loss of their employment.

Only persons who have become involuntarily unemployed and who fulfil the other eligibility conditions are entitled to unemployment benefit.

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If you are receiving unemployment benefit and, in the meantime, you are going to start working, you may be entitled to partial unemployment benefit.

If you do not meet the conditions for receiving unemployment benefit, you may be entitled to an unemployment allowance.

If you have already received all the unemployment benefits to which you were entitled, you may also be entitled to the subsequent unemployment allowance.

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Who can request the unemployment benefit?

When can you request the unemployment benefit?

You must claim unemployment benefit within 90 calendar days of the date on which you became unemployed.

If you make your claim after 90 days, the time during which you will be entitled to the benefit will be reduced by the time corresponding to the delay.

There are situations in which this 90-day period may be suspended, such as illness or imprisonment. See the Social Security Portal for more information.

What are the documents and requirements to request the unemployment benefit?

  • To claim unemployment benefit, you must meet the following requirements:

    • be living in Portugal
    • have had a job with an employment contract
    • be involuntarily unemployed
    • have the ability and willingness to work
    • be registered with the job centre in your area of residence
    • have the required qualifying period – 360 days of paid employment in the 24 months preceding the date on which you became unemployed.

    You must submit the following documents:

    • Unemployment declaration Mod.RP5044-DGSS, which can be delivered:
      • in paper form, in person at the job centre, or
      • through Segurança Social Direta, by the employer* with the prior authorisation of the person (the employer must provide the person with the corresponding proof);
    • If the employer terminates the employment contract with just cause
      • proof of legal action (document issued by the court as proof of the employee's legal action) against the employer;
    • If the employee terminates the employment contract with just cause
      • proof of legal action against the employer, if the person concerned invokes just cause for termination of the contract and the employer has invoked another reason, in the Mod.RP5044-DGSS declaration for voluntary unemployment;
    • If the worker suspends the contract due to late payment of wages
      • late payment declaration Mod.GD18-DGSS
      • proof of communication to the employer and to the Working Conditions Authority (ACT) (in this case, unemployment declaration Mod.RP5044-DGSS should not be submitted);
    • If you are a migrant worker from the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who resides in and claims benefit from Portugal
      • U1 form – Statement of periods to be taken into account when granting unemployment benefit. This form can only be issued at district centres of the Social Security Institute (mainland Portugal), the Social Security Institute of Madeira and the Social Security Institute of the Azores.

    * If the employer cannot or refuses to provide the declaration to the person, it is the responsibility of the Working Conditions Authority (ACT) to issue it within 30 days of the date of request.

How request the unemployment benefit?

In person

Before claiming unemployment benefit, you must register with the job centre closest to where you live. You can register with the job centre online, but the benefit must be applied for in person at that centre.

If, within a period of 90 consecutive days from the date on which you became unemployed, you are unable to work due to illness, another person may register for you on your behalf.

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