1. Register immediately as an unemployed jobseeker at the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office).

2. If you meet the so-called work requirement set for employees or entrepreneurs, you are entitled to a basic unemployment allowance.
If you do not meet the requirement, you may receive a means-tested labour market subsidy. 
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3. Read these instructions on unemployment security for artists.

4. Ask the Artists’ Association of Finland for assistance in applying for unemployment benefits.


Unemployed jobseekers who are actively seeking full-time employment are entitled to unemployment benefits.

You must inform the TE Office that you are seeking and prepared to accept a full-time job. You are not entitled to receive unemployment allowance prior to the day your registration is received at the TE Office. It cannot be paid retroactively.

Continuing with some artistic activities does not necessarily mean that you are ineligible for unemployment benefits. In such cases, the TE Office will decide if your artistic activities prevent you from accepting a full-time job. You have the right to maintain your professional skills as an artist even if you are receiving unemployment benefits.

You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if the TE Office decides that your artistic activities constitute full-time work. If your artistic activities equate to part-time work, you may still be eligible for an unemployment benefit adjusted for your other income.

The amount you earn from your artistic activities is not relevant when your availability for a full-time job is assessed. This is because even unprofitable activities can take up enough of your time for you not to be available to accept a full-time job.

If you become unemployed, you do not have to give up your studio, any equipment or tools you need to maintain your professional skills or your collection of works. You may still apply for grants and exhibitions while receiving unemployment benefits. However, you must always notify your TE Office of any grants you receive or artwork sales you make. If you receive grants, and are therefore required to take out MYEL pension insurance, this does not necessarily mean that you are considered self-employed .

Artists who are required to take out YEL pension insurance are considered self-employed under the rules governing unemployment security. Instructions on how to get YEL insurance: Pension insurance scheme for entrepreneurs (YEL)

Instructions on the How to make a living as a visual artist website are based on the provisions in the Finnish Unemployment Security Act and established practices by the employment and economic development authorities.

KELA (Social Insurance Institution of Finland)
Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland (TYJ)