Home Working Labor Law Unemployment benefits in Portugal
Last update on June 09, 2021

If you’re unfortunate enough to lose your job, here is some information on the rules and regulations on unemployment benefits in Portugal.

If you were working in Portugal and lost your job, you can claim unemployment benefits in Portugal.

Unemployment insurance

Involuntary employment may provide entitlement to the following benefits:

  • Unemployment benefit;
  • Social unemployment benefit
  • Partial unemployment benefit

Working professionals with coverage from the welfare system can claim unemployment benefits. In order to receive unemployment benefits, register with the Job Center within 90 days of becoming unemployed.

You may apply for the benefit on the enrolment form, at the Job Centre, or online via the Social Security Portal. You can claim unemployment benefits if you work 450 days in the two years before unemployment.

Social unemployment benefit

You can claim the initial social unemployment benefit if you worked 180 days in the year before unemployment. The benefit is also awarded, at a later date, to those still unemployed when the unemployment benefit expires.

The benefit goes only to workers whose family income per capita doesn’t exceed 80% of the IAS Social Support Index. This is a reference value that updates annually.

Partial unemployment benefit pays if the worker is receiving unemployment benefit and begins a part-time job and the wage from that job is less than the unemployment benefit. The working time must be between 20% and 75% of normal full-time working hours.

Unemployment benefits are available for between nine and 38 months. This depends on the employee’s age and the number of years of contributions registered.

Social unemployment benefits can be awarded for the same period, except when it follows unemployment benefits. In such cases, it reduces by half.

Partial unemployment benefit

Partial unemployment benefit pays from the time the part-time job begins until the end of the initial unemployment benefit.

The subsídio de desemprego (unemployment benefit) corresponds to 65% of the average daily income received in the previous year. It starts from the second month prior to the one in which you became unemployed; this calculation includes benefits received for official holidays and Christmas. However, it cannot be less than the Indexante dos Apoios Sociais – IAS (Social Support Index) except where the payments concerned are below this level or greater than three times the IAS.

The subsídio social de desemprego (social unemployment benefit) may be 80% (without dependents) or 100% (with dependents) of the IAS. If the benefit exceeds the amount of the reference pay (average pay in the six months prior to the second month before unemployment), however, only the value of that payment is awarded.

The subsídio de desemprego parcial (partial unemployment benefit) corresponds to the difference between the unemployment benefit the employee was receiving plus 35%, and the pay for the new part-time job.