Unemployment benefits in Norway

Norske dagpenger ved arbeidsledighet
Here you can read about the regulations for receiving unemployment benefits if you are unemployed or laid off in Norway.

Unemployment benefits are intended to partially compensate for loss of income when you become unemployed. If you become unemployed, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. If you have lived in one Nordic country and worked in another, or if you move between two Nordic countries, you should check carefully the regulations that apply. 

In Norway, it is the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) that is responsible for unemployment benefits when you become unemployed. 

Unemployment and membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden, sosialforsikring)  

In Norway you are automatically insured against unemployment though membership of the National Insurance Scheme when you start working and living in Norway. In other Nordic countries, you must actively apply to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse) to be insured against unemployment.

In Norway, there is no individual requirement for specific insurance against unemployment, unlike several other EEA countries. In practice, this means that all documented periods of employment in other EEA countries will be included to satisfy the requirement for a minimum income, and the periods will also be included when your unemployment benefits are calculated.

In which country do you apply for unemployment benefits?

You generally apply for unemployment benefits in the country in which you live. If you have worked in several countries, contact the social insurance authority in the country in which you live to find out where you have your social insurance rights.

If you live in another EEA country, you can, under certain conditions, receive Norwegian unemployment benefits while you are looking for work in that country.

If you have earned unemployment benefit rights, and are planning to move to another EEA country, you can take these rights with you. You do this by applying for a PD U1 certificate from NAV. PD U1 shows the unemployment benefit rights you have earned in Norway. The PD U1 certificate from Norway is only used when applying for unemployment benefits in another EEA country. If you do not plan to apply for unemployment benefits after working in Norway, you do not need to apply for the PD U1 form.

You can also look for work in Norway with unemployment benefits from another EEA country for 3 (or 6) months with a PD U2 certificate from another EEA country.

Work and insurance periods earned in the past three consecutive calendar years from another EEA country can, on certain conditions, entitle you to unemployment benefit rights in Norway if you have the PD U1 certificate from another EEA country.

Are you entitled to Norwegian unemployment benefits?

For entitlement to Norwegian unemployment benefits, you must satisfy a number of criteria. Firstly, your working hours must be reduced by at least 50%, and you must have had a certain minimum income. You must also be registered as a jobseeker, and submit an employment status form to NAV every 14th day, in order to receive unemployment benefits. In general, you must live and be resident in Norway, but you can take earned rights abroad. See more about this further down the page.   

Students and school pupils are generally not entitled to unemployment benefits.

How do you apply for unemployment benefits in Norway?

You must register on the NAV website as a jobseeker, after which you can apply. It is important that you provide NAV with all the necessary documentation.

If you have worked and been insured against unemployment in another EEA country, under certain conditions the insurance periods from the countries can be combined. You must then submit a PD U1 certificate from the country in which you worked.

If you are responsible for losing your job, for example if you are fired, you may be given a longer waiting time of 12 weeks. However, you should apply from the first day of unemployment, as the period begins from the date you apply.

How can you look for a job abroad with Norwegian unemployment benefits?

If certain conditions are satisfied, you may receive Norwegian unemployment benefits for up to three months while you are looking for a job in another EEA country. You do this by applying for a PD U2 certificate from NAV. The PD U2 certificate proves that you are permitted to export Norwegian unemployment benefits to another EEA country for up to three months.

Unemployment benefits if you have been laid off

If you are laid off from your job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. A layoff is not the same as being fired. In a layoff, you are temporarily exempt from your obligation to go to work, while the employer is exempt from the obligation to pay your wages during this period. However, the work relationship between employee and employer remains, and it is assumed that the layoff is temporary. If it is not temporary, the employee must be given notice.

A layoff must always have factual grounds relating to the company, and not to the employee.

When you are laid off, you are entitled to unemployment benefits if you satisfy the usual conditions for unemployment benefits described above. In addition, the layoff must be caused by a lack of work or other conditions beyond your employer’s control.

If you are laid off, you should contact NAV so that you can give them the necessary documentation.

Who should you contact if you have questions? 

Contact NAV if you have questions about unemployment benefits in the event of unemployment or layoff. 

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