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UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

2016

What do we need to know about eligibility for unemployment benefits?

  • Access to unemployment benefits have the individuals who have made the due contributions to the fund "Unemployment" for at least nine months from the last 15 months before the termination of the insurance and who:
  1. have registered as unemployed at the Employment Agency;
  2. are not eligible for old-age or early retirement pension in Bulgaria, or old-age pension in another country or receive old age and insurance record pension at a reduced amount under Art. 68a or a professional pension under Art. 168 of the Social Insurance Code SIC;
  3. are not employed with a job, which is a subject to compulsory insurance under the Social Insurance Code with the exception of persons under Art. 114a §1 of the Labour Code (having an employment contract for short-term seasonal agricultural work for one day), or the legislation of another country.

Recognised insurance periods are:

  1. paid and unpaid leave for child-raising;
  2. paid and unpaid leave for temporary disability, pregnancy and maternity, as well as paid leave for adoption of a 2-5 year old child;
  3. unpaid leave up to 30 working days per calendar year;
  4. recognized for insurance experience under the legislation of another state within an international agreement in which Bulgaria is a party.

What are the needed documents for unemployment benefits to be eligible?

  • Unemployment benefits, under the circumstances pointed in Art. 54a, § 1 of the Social Insurance Code are granted after a Request in a form (Application №1 of the Ordinance for Granting and Payment of Unemployment Benefits), to which the following are attached:

-           ID document (for reference);

-           original for reference and a copy of a document certifying termination of employment;

-           documents certifying employment service and/or state service, and/or insurable service, and/or service, accepted under an international agreement in the social security field to which Bulgaria is a party.

  • Unemployment benefits, under the circumstances pointed in Art. 230 and 231 of the Defence and Armed Forces Act of the Republic of Bulgaria are granted after a Request in a form (Application №3 of the Ordinance for Granting and Payment of Unemployment Benefits), to which the following are attached:

-           ID document (for reference);

-           original for reference and a copy of a document certifying termination of employment;

-           a certificate signed by the Commander of the military unit, at which the military servant was moved, including the date of movement and/or the time period for international operation (mission) participation;

-           copy of a Marriage Certificate

-           original (for reference) and a copy of a certificate of current/permanent address of persons
(wives/spouses of the soldiers/military officials who had followed them in their
move to another location).

  • The Request and the attached documents are to be submitted personally at a chosen by the individual local office of the National Social Security Institute.

What is the data based on which, the unemployment benefits are granted and calculated?

  • The granting, calculation, modifying, refusal, suspension, termination, renewal and restoring of the unemployment benefits is done on the basis of social security data, insurable income and the contributions for the State Social Security Fund, The Teachers' Pension Fund, Health Insurance Fund, Supplementary Obligatory Pension Insurance Funds and the contributions to the fund “Granted claims of employees” and the number of days of the insured, which the insurers, the insurance funds, the self-insured and the employers submit periodically to the National Revenue Agency and on the basis of the statements made in the documents submitted by individuals for granting of benefits.

What are the time limits the unemployment benefits to be paid?

  • The benefit is paid from the date of the final termination of the insurance if:
  1. the application is submitted within three months from that date;
  2. the person has been registered as unemployed at the Employment Agency within 7 days from that date.
  • If without a valid reason the application is submitted after this three-month period, the benefit will be payable from the date of the application for the specified period, reduced with the delay.
  • If the application is submitted within the 3-month period, but the person has registered as unemployed with the Employment Agency after the pointed 7-day deadline, the benefit will be payable from the date of the application for the specified period, reduced with the delay.

What is the amount of the unemployment benefit?

  • The daily unemployment benefit is 60 % from the average daily wage or the average daily income on which they were paid and due insurance contributions made to fund "Unemployment" in the last 24 calendar months preceding the month of the termination of the insurance and cannot be less than the minimum daily amount of the unemployment benefit.
  • The monthly amount of money for the unemployment benefit is defined as described above when the daily amount is multiplied by the number of the working days in the month to which it relates.

The minimum daily amount of the unemployment benefit is determined annually with the Budget of the State Social Insurance Act. For 2016 it is 7.20 BGN.

  • The unemployed individuals whose job contracts have been terminated at their request or with their consent or due to their fault behavior based on Art. 325, items 1 and 2, Art. 326 and 330 of the Labor Code, Art. 103, § 1, item 1, 2 and 5, Art. 105 and 107, § 1, items 1-4 of the Civil Service Law, art. 162, items 1 and 6, Art. 163 and Art. 165, items 2 and 3 of the Defence and Armed Forces Act of the Republic of Bulgaria, Art. 226, § 1, item 4, 6, 8 and 16 of the Ministry of Interior Act and art. 165, § 1, items 2, 3 and 5 and Art. 271, items 2, 3 and 5 of the Judiciary Act or other laws, get the minimum amount of unemployment benefits for a period of 4 months.
  • The unemployed becomes eligible for the unemployment benefit before the expiration of the three-year period from the previous right for compensation with unemployment benefits, receive the minimum amount for a period of 4 months.
  • The persons employed part-time during the period of getting the benefit and receiving salary less than the minimum wage established in the country have the right to get unemployment benefits in the amount of 50 % of the benefit for the remaining period.
  • When the period of 24 calendar months, which is determined by the average daily wage or average insurable income includes time accounted for retirement without due contributions made, or the person was not insured against unemployment for the calculation of the insurance income the following will be considered accordingly:
  1. for the time used as paid or unpaid leave for parental care, unpaid leave for temporary disability and maternity and unpaid leave up to 30 working days per calendar year – the average daily minimum wage established in the country for that period;
  2. for the duration of paid leave for temporary disability and for pregnancy and maternity, as well as for paid leave for adoption of a 2-5 year old child  - the income defined for the employed from which the unemployment benefit is set;
  3. for the time, recognized for insurance under the legislation of another state under an international treaty to which Bulgaria is a party – the average daily minimum wage established in the country for that period;
  4. for the time during which a person was not insured against unemployment – the average daily minimum wage established in the country for that period.

How long the unemployment benefits are going to be paid?

  • The period for which the unemployment benefit allowed pursuant to Art. 54a of the Social Insurance Code is paid depends on the length of the insurance time and is between 4 and 12 months, as shown in the table below.
  • For insurance service time when determining the period for payment of the benefit, the service till Jan. 1st, 2002 (under the Labour Code) or other particular laws and the time after that date, in which the individuals were insured against unemployment is to be taken into account.
    • Insurance Time (years)

      Period of Payment the Benefit (months)

      up to 3

      4

      from 3 to 5

      6

      from 5 to 10

      8

      from 10 to 15

      9

      from 15 to 20

      10

      from 20 to 25

      11

      over 25

      12

    • How are the unemployment benefits paid?

      • Unemployment benefits are paid monthly to eligible persons through a bank transfer in
        a declared by them personal current or savings unlimited bank account
        during the month following that for which they are due.
      • When changing the bank account, within 7 working days, the person must submit a new declaration form in accordance with Annex № 5.

      When does the payment of unemployment benefits stop?

      • The payment of the unemployment benefit is suspended for the period during which the person receives benefits for temporary disability or benefits to stay out of work according to a legislation act.
      • The unemployed is obliged to declare to the respective local office of NSSI the occurrence and the termination of such circumstances within 7 working days.
      • The payment is renewed from the date of the elimination of the grounds for suspension for the remaining days of the period set.
      • The officials entrusted with the management of the unemployment insurance, or other official appointed by the Head of the local unit of the Institute, stops the payment of unemployment benefits when evidence that could lead to an order for denial or termination of the benefit is presented.

      In what cases the payment of unemployment benefits can be terminated?

      • The payment of the unemployment benefit is terminated when:
      1. the unemployed starts work for which he/she is a subject to compulsory insurance under the Social Insurance Code with the exception of persons under Art. 114a §1 of the Labour Code (having an employment contract for short-term seasonal agricultural work for one day);
      2. the registration at the Employment Agency is suspended;
      3. he/she is given the right to retirement pension for old age or early retirement pension in the Republic of Bulgaria, or old-age pension in another country;
      4. death of the unemployed.
      • The individual is obliged to declare to the respective local office of the National Social Security Institute the facts in the above items 1, 2 and 3 within 7 days.
      • If during the receipt of the benefit a person begins work (under the compulsory insurance of art. 4 of SIC), which is terminated after less than nine months, the payment of the benefit is renewed for the remaining time from the date of the termination period, if the person's registration in the Employment Agency is made within 7 working days of the termination of the employment. If the registration is made after this period without a serious reason, the payment of the benefit is to be renewed from the date of the new registration for the remaining time from the date of the termination period, reduced by the delay.

      Are there cases when the upright received unemployment benefits are to be reimbursed?

      • Paid unemployment benefits are reimbursed by the individuals whose dismissal is determined as illegal and he/she is restored to work, for the period of the received unemployment benefit under Art. 225, § 1 from the Labor Code, Art. 104, § 1 from the Civil Service Law, art. 172, § 1 from the Defence and Armed Forces Act of the Republic of Bulgaria, Art. 237 § 1 from the Ministry of Interior Affairs Act and art. 226 from the Judiciary Act.
      • Within a 7-day period of the payment of the benefit for illegal dismissal, the insurer must submit copies of the judgment and payment documents in the respective local office of the National Social Security Institute.
      • The individuals reimburse the paid unemployment benefits for the period in which they were granted an old-age pension or early retirement pension in the Republic of Bulgaria or old-age pension in another country, or receive old age and insurance record pension at a reduced amount under Art. 68a or a professional pension under Art. 168, and for the period during which they have received benefits for temporary disability, pregnancy and maternity or benefit for staying without a job according to a legislative act.
      • For the reimbursement of the paid amounts, the competent official from the local NSSI’s office or the official appointed for the management of the unemployment benefits in the local office of NSSI or other official endue by the management of the local office, issues an order for forced execution under the Tax Procedure Code.
      • For the reimbursement of the paid amounts, the competent official from the local NSSI’s office, issues an order for forced execution under the Tax Procedure Code.

      What is the procedure for granting, payment, modification, suspension or termination of unemployment benefits?

      • Unemployment benefits are granted, modified, refused, suspended, terminated, renewed and restored by means of an order issued by the competent official from the local NSSI’s office or other official appointed by the Head of the local office of the National Social Security Institute. This official is due to announce his decision in a written document within 14 days after the request is made or the change of the circumstances.
      • The effective order may be amended or revoked by the authority which issued it when:
        1. new relevant documents are presented as evidence for determination the right, the amount and the period of the unemployment benefit;
      • 2. the unemployment benefit was improperly granted or wrongly denied.

      *************************************************************

      For more information, use the appropriate sections in the website the

      National Social Security Institute (nssi.bg),
      or contact the relevant local office of the Institute. 

      Last update: 13.01.2016

Ø  The individuals reimburse the paid unemployment benefits for the period in which they were granted an old-age pension or early retirement pension in the Republic of Bulgaria or old-age pension in another country, or receive old age and insurance record pension at a reduced amount under Art. 68a or a professional pension under Art. 168, and for the period during which they have received benefits for temporary disability, pregnancy and maternity or benefit for staying without a job according to a legislative act.

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