Applying for unemployment benefits when self-employed

Self-employed persons registered as jobseekers with ADEM and residing in Luxembourg may, under certain conditions, receive unemployment benefits.

Full unemployment benefits may be claimed by self-employed workers who had to discontinue their activity:

  • because of economic and financial difficulties
  • for medical reasons
  • due to the actions of a third party
  • for reasons of force majeure.

Prerequisites

In order to be entitled to full unemployment benefits, the self-employed resident must:

  • be aged between 16 and 64 years
  • be fit for work, available on the job market and ready to accept any appropriate job
  • be registered with ADEM and file an application for full unemployment benefits
  • have been affiliated for at least 2 years with the social security institutions in Luxembourg
  • have worked as a self-employed person for at least 6 months before filing a claim for unemployment benefits with the ADEM.

How to procede

Once registered as a jobseeker with ADEM, the applicant must report to ADEM's 'Unemployment Benefits Department' within 2 weeks. The relevant agent at ADEM will provide the jobseekers with a number of forms to fill in, in particular:

  • an application form for unemployment benefits
  • a declaration of income.

Depending on the specific situation of the applicant, ADEM may request further documents. Once the documents are gathered, ADEM will examine the application for unemployment benefits and will handle the case from that point forward.

Filing an application for full unemployment benefits

Once registered as a jobseeker with the ADEM, the applicant must report to the Full Unemployment Benefit Department at the ADEM within 2 weeks.

The relevant agent at ADEM will provide the jobseeker with a number of forms to fill in, in particular:

  • a full unemployment benefits application form;
  • a declaration of income.

Supporting documents

Depending on the specific situation of the applicant the agent may request the following: 

  • a detailed explanatory letter outlining the reasons for stopping the activities indicated in the application, and indicating the nature of the business, the business name and address;
  • proof that the authorisation of trade / business permit have been put on hold (acknowledgement of receipt from the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS));
  • a document providing proof of the cancellation of the ministerial approval (e.g. childminder);
  • proof of de-enrolment with the CCSS;
  • a copy of the constitutional documents / statutes (including latest amendments);
  • a balance sheet of the previous financial year;
  • a certificate from the CCSS of contributions paid during the last 2 years (payment certificate);
  • an income certificate from the CCSS for the last 2 years;
  • a CCSS account statement / annual adjustment for the previous year;
  • where applicable, a copy of the lease contract or of the termination of the lease;
  • if applicable, a copy of the deed of sale of the business assets;
  • in the event of termination of the activity for health reasons: a detailed and recent medical certificate;
  • if applicable, a copy of the bankruptcy judgement (or newspaper publication);
  • if applicable, a copy of the cessation of payments filing (bankruptcy);
  • if applicable, a copy of the bailiff's writ of foreclosure/enforcement;
  • if applicable, a copy of the cooperation contract;
  • if applicable, a copy of the cancellation of the cooperation contract.

Once all these documents have been gathered, the relevant agent at the ADEM will examine the application for full unemployment benefit, and will handle the case from that point forward.

 

Amounts of benefits

In case of admission to full unemployment benefits, a former self-employed person is entitled to:

  • a benefit corresponding to 80% of the  income used, for the past two financial years, as the earning base subject to contributions to the pension fund, provided the person has met the obligation to pay social contributions, or
  • 80% of the social minium wage for unskilled workers if the person has not fulfilled their obligations to pay social security contributions.

The benefit can amount to 85% if the unemployed person has one or more dependent children.

Attention: Unemployment benefits cannot be higher than 2.5 times the social minimum wage. That cap is lowered as the benefit continues to be paid over time.

 

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