Payment of unemployment benefit

The Disbursement (Payment) office of the Directorate of Labour handles the payment of unemployment benefit for the whole of Iceland.

Unemployment benefit is paid out on the first working day of each month, and pay-period is from the first day to the las day of each month. 

  • For example, payment for the 1st of January to the 31. of January is made on the first working day in February.

NB that to be sure of receiving payment every month, you must confirm, in the period 20-25 of the month, that you are still seeking employment. This is done through “My pages” "Mínar síður".

  • If you confirm that you are seeking employment in the period 20-25 of each month, your benefit payment will be made on the first working day of the following month.
  • If you confirm that you are seeking employment between the 26th day of the month and the 3rd day of the next, your benefit payment will be made after the first week of the month.

If you only confirm your are seeking employment in the period after the 3rd day of the following month, then your benefit payment will be made together with the payment after the beginning of the next month.

If you have not received your benefit payment, this may be for one of the reasons below:

  • Did you forget to confirm that you are still looking for work in the period 20 – 25 of last month? - If you confirm between the 25th day of the month and the 3rd day of the next, your benefit payment will be made 7 working days after the first payment. If you confirm after the 3rd day of the month, then you will be paid after the beginning of the next month.
  • Has your application been processed? – Processing applications can sometimes take longer than usual. Sometimes more information or documents are needed and these have to be called for; if they are not submitted before the 20th day of a month then it is not certain that you will be paid benefit at the beginning of the following month.
  • Did you apply within the period for which payment is now being made? – The payment period for unemployment benefit is from 20th of each month to the 19th of the following month.
  • Unemployment benefit is always paid out on the first working day of the month. – If the 1st of the month is a Saturday, payment will only be made on the following Monday.
  • Did you have unused vacation entitlement which you had not disposed of? – You must use up your vacation (paid holiday) from the previous vacation acquisition period before you start drawing unemployment benefit. You can arrange to transfer vacation entitlement that you have earned in the current acquisition period to the next period.  The vacation period is from 1 May to 15 September each year; thus, vacation days which you have earned before 1 May each year must be used in the following vacation period, beginning on 1 May.
  • Have you answered all letters from the Directorate of Labour? – It is important that you answer all letters from the Directorate of Labour: if you fail to do so, the department will take the view that you are no longer looking for work, and you may fail to meet the requirements of the Unemployment Insurance Act, No. 54/2006, in which case payments to you will be stopped until you submit the information required.
 
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