If you are applying for unemployment benefits after completing a PhD, the same rules apply as for those who have been studying towards for instance a Bachelor’s degree. This means that you must either have definitely completed or definitively withdrawn from your PhD-studies in order to be entitled unemployment benefit.
When am I considered unemployed?
You must either have definitely completed or definitively withdrawn from your studies in order to be considered unemployed. How your PhD has been financed is not important when it comes to whether or not you are considered unemployed. The important thing is that you have ended your studies.
According to the unemployment insurance you are no longer studying/a PhD-student
- when your studies are completed or
- when you definitively have withdrawn from your studies
In the case of PhD-studies we consider the studies completed when the thesis is submitted for printing. From this date, you can apply for unemployment benefit.
There is a special form for PhD-studies, called Forskarutbildning. Both you and your facilitator need to fill in the form.
What about a study break?
It is not uncommon for PhD-students to intentionally or unintentionally have a break in their studies. In order to be considered unemployed and entitled to unemployment benefit, you must withdraw from your research studies. The withdrawal must be definite.
If only the public defense of the thesis is left
When your thesis is complete, you could be entitled to unemployment benefit even if the public defense of your thesis is left to be done.
We can consider the studies completed when the thesis is submitted for printing or when only minor editorial changes remains. From this date, you can apply for unemployment benefit. You mark the day that you publically defend your thesis as “förhindrad” in the kassakort.
PhD employment as basis for benefit
If you have been employed as a PhD and received a monthly salary, your work is considered a regular employment and we can base the unemployment benefit on that work. This means that if you have been employed as a PhD during your entire research studies, your time as a PhD will not be seen as studies but as work according to the unemployment Insurance.
Time during which you have received “utbildningsbidrag” from the university, is always regarded as studies while the work (“undervisningstimmar”) that the “utbildningsbidrag” usually is combined with can be the basis for unemployment benefit if the work is at least 80 hours per month.
If your research studies have been financed through a scholarship or education grant, neither the time nor the money can be the basis for unemployment benefit. If you have studied fulltime however, the time will be disregarded when we calculate your unemployment benefit. This means that the unemployment benefit can be based on the work you had before your fulltime studies.
Part-time PhD – not allowed
It is not possible to continue the PhD studies part-time and receive unemployment benefit. You must either have definitely completed or definitively withdrawn from your studies in order to be considered unemployed.