Unemployment and unemployment benefits

If you become unemployed at the end of your doctoral studies, you should register with Arbetsförmedlingen, the workforce agency. This ensures that you remain insured for sick leave, parental leave, and retain other forms of social security. 

You should not, in most circumstances, run out of financing, and thus of salary, before you have defended your thesis. If you fear that it might happen that you run out of financing, you should consider the causes that have delayed your education and check if you should apply for prolongation due to them. If you do end up unemployed while still working on your thesis, you should still register with Arbetsförmedlingen.

Everyone working in Sweden is covered by unemployment insurance and there is a default state pay-out. You can become a member of a voluntary unemployment fund (A-kassa) and have a significantly larger insurance pay-out than the state default. The most common such voluntary fund for researchers is Akademikernas A-kassa, but if you are employed outside the university sector you should check with your trade union what the right A-kassa is for you. You need to have been a member of the fund, contributing a monthly fee, for 12 months before you are eligible for insurance pay-outs. You also need to have been working for at least 50% of full time for at least 6 months during the last 12 months. As a member of an A-kassa, you receive payments based on your salary – this is called income-based benefit. If you are not a member of an A-kassa you can still be eligible for unemployment insurance but at the basic rate. You need to be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen to access the insurance pay-outs, either the default ones or the A-kassa ones. More information about unemployment insurance in general is found at Arbetsförmedlingen.

If you have been a member of a trade union for more than 12 months, you may also qualify for income insurance (Inkomstförsäkringen) through the union. In most cases, this insurance is a top-up of your A-kassa benefits, meaning that you need to qualify for A-kassa in order to receive the income insurance. You should check your trade union’s website or ask your representative for more details.
Another thing to consider if you become unemployed is Trygghetsstiftelsen, the Job Security Agency, which offers some help to government employees who find themselves out of work. If you have been employed by a public institution, such as a university, you may qualify for help, such as job seeker activities, job coaching and recruitment service. You can also receive financial support.