It is possible for your entitlement to unemployment benefit to expire before you are able to re-enter the labour market. Below we describe what you need to consider if your entitlement to unemployment benefit expires and what support measures you can still access. If your entitlement to unemployment benefit expires after the age of 60, you also need to consider the regulations on transition benefits for unemployed persons.
Expiry of unemployment benefit – what next?
When your entitlement to unemployment benefit expires, you can still use the counselling and placement services at the regional employment centres (RAVs) even if you no longer receive a daily allowance. The RAV can continue to advise you and help you with your job search.
We would also advise you – if you haven’t already done so – to contact private employment services directly. You will find a list of authorised private employment agencies at Members - Association of Recruitment Agencies – swissstaffing.
We would also encourage you to activate and make use of your own personal network as many job changes are initiated through personal relationships. These days, many vacancies are also filled via the hidden job market, in other words, a job vacancy is never even advertised but is filled through speculative applications.
If you are mobile, it may also be worth searching for vacancies in the databases of Switzer-land’s neighbouring countries. The European cooperation network of employment services EURES offers a central portal with around a million jobs throughout Europe. There may be something there for you! If you have questions, you can find further information and the contact details of the EURES counsellors in Switzerland at Looking for work in the EU/EFTA.
After your entitlement to unemployment benefit expires, you can still make use of labour mar-ket measures – under certain conditions – until the end of the current qualifying period. You can find further information at Labour market measures or ask your RAV counsellor.
Report the following circumstances to your last unemployment insurance fund:
If you lose your entitlement to unemployment benefit during the two-year qualifying period for drawing benefits and during this qualifying period, you:
- turn 25 (the maximum daily allowance entitlement increases to CHF 260 or CHF 400 de-pending on your contribution period);
- turn 55 and have paid contributions for 22 months (the maximum daily allowance entitle-ment increases to CHF 520);
- are under 25 and become liable for maintenance (the maximum daily allowance entitle-ment increases depending on the length of your contribution period to CHF 260 or CHF 400);
- are over 25, have paid contributions for 22 months and have been awarded a disability pension that corresponds to a degree of invalidity of at least 40% (the maximum daily al-lowance entitlement increases to CHF 520).
Unemployed persons who are entitled to daily allowances are insured against accidents with Suva. The accident insurance cover with Suva ends 31 days after the entitlement to unemployment benefit ends. However, Suva gives you the option of extending the insurance cover before the 31-day period has expired for up to six months by special agreement against payment of a premium. If you do not find a job during these six months or if you do not make use of this interim insurance option, you must notify your health insurance fund.
Suva’s accident cover is much more extensive than that of the health insurance funds. While the health insurance funds only cover medical expenses, Suva also pays for daily allowances and benefits and does not require policyholders to share in medical expenses (deductible) (cf. Unemployment info service).
When your entitlement to unemployment benefits expires, the OASI insurance contributions are no longer deducted by the unemployment insurance fund. Missing contribution years can lead to a reduction in your OASI pension. Once you have lost your entitlement to unemployment insurance, you are deemed non-gainfully employed and must notify the OASI compensation office in the canton where you live or its branch in the commune where you live.
It is mandatory for persons who draw daily unemployment insurance benefits that exceed CHF 81.20 to be insured for the risks of death and disability with the Substitute Occupational Benefit Institution OPA. If your entitlement to unemployment benefits expires, you will remain insured through the OPA for one month. If you previously started a new pension scheme relationship, the new occupational pension scheme is responsible. If you remained insured with your previous pension fund during the period of unemployment, your pension fund Is responsible for providing information.
After you reach the end of your entitlement to daily allowances, the Unemployment Insurance no longer pays a supplement for family allowances. The cantonal OASI compensation offices can provide information on family allowances. You will find further information on Family allowances on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO). This website also provides information on means-tested benefits for parents whose income is not sufficient to cover their living costs.
If you find yourself in a financially precarious situation, you can register for social assistance in the commune where you live. Further information is available from your local authority or at Schweizerische Konferenz für Sozialhilfe SKOS (German, French and Italian only).
Transition benefits for older unemployed persons
Persons who are 60 or over when their entitlement to unemployment benefit expires and no longer have sufficient income, can receive transition benefits until retirement, provided:
- they have been covered by the old age and survivors’ insurance (OASI) scheme in Switzerland for at least 20 years, including at least five years after the age of 50;
- they earned at least CHF 21,510 a year during this period of 20 years or more;
- they do not have assets worth in excess of CHF 50,000 (single persons) or CHF 100,000 (married couples) (excluding owner-occupied property);
- they are resident in Switzerland or an EU or EFTA member state; and
- their admissible expenses exceed their eligible income.
The transition benefits cover the costs of general subsistence, housing and health insurance. Income and a portion of assets are deducted. Transition benefits also reimburse incurred sickness and disability costs amounting to a maximum of CHF 5,000 for single people or CHF 10,000 for married couples. The maximum annual amount of transition benefits is CHF 44,123 (single people) and CHF 66,184 (married couples).
You will find details on entitlement and calculation of transition benefits on the Transition benefits page of the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO).
If you would like to apply for transition benefits, you need to contact the competent implementing body. This is usually the compensation office in the canton where you live.