Unemployment Benefits in Hungary

Information about the types of unemployment benefits payable in Hungary, and the criteria for claiming them...

There are two types of unemployment benefits that may be claimed in Hungary; job seeker’s allowance (álláskeresési járadék) and job seeker’s assistance before pension (nyugdíj el?tti álláskeresési segély).

Job Seeker's Allowance

The payment of job seeker’s allowance is based on 60 percent of the claimant’s average salary over the previous four years, but it is capped and cannot be more than the official minimum wage. Job seeker's allowance can be received for a minimum of 36 and a maximum of 90 days. For every 10 days the claimant worked in the previous five years they are entitled to one day of allowance. Anyone who worked for 360 days in the previous five years would therefore be entitled to 36 days.

To be eligible to apply for job seeker’s allowance the claimant must be:

  • Registered as a job seeker
  • Able and willing to work
  • Not employed or invoicing as a sole trader
  • Not a full time student
  • Not on disability allowance
  • Not receiving old age pension

They must also agree to co-operate with the National Employment Service (Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat – NFSZ). This means that the job seeker has to report at a NFSZ office, take part in training courses, accept any job deemed suitable, and actively search for employment.

A job is considered suitable if:

  • The job seeker's health allows them to do it
  • The salary is equal to or more than the job seeker's allowance (if the job seeker is receiving allowance)
  • The commute between the proposed job and the job seeker's home takes no more than three hours a day by public transport (or two hours a day in the case of women or single fathers who have children under ten)

Documents required

To request job seeker's allowance the following documents are needed:

  • ID card (Személyi igazolvány)
  • Address card (Lakcímkártya)
  • Health Insurance card (TAJ kártya)
  • Tax card (Adó igazolvány)
  • School certificates, degrees and diplomas

If after 90 days the job seeker is still unemployed they can apply for unemployment benefit (foglalkoztatást helyettesít? támogatás) which is 80 percent of the minimum pension.

Job Seeker's Assistance Before Pension

This benefit is payable to job seekers who apply within five years of becoming eligible for old age pension, and is payable for the entire period until they reach the applicable retirement age. The benefit amounts to 40 percent of the monthly minimum wage and is payable if the claimant:

  • Is registered as a job seeker
  • Has received job seeker's allowance for at least 45 days
  • Fulfils the necessary requirements for an old age pension
  • Is not receiving sick pay or disability benefits
  • Is not registered as a sole trader
  • Wants to work, but is unable to find employment, and the relevant office of the National Employment Service is unable to offer a suitable job