The effect of grants on unemployment benefits

The effect of grants on unemployment benefits

Receiving a grant and the end of a grant period may have an effect on an artist’s unemployment benefits.

Beginning unemployment after a grant period

Working under a grant intended to cover costs of living and awarded for a period of more than four months is one form of work in one’s own artistic operations that is comparable to entrepreneurship, and the artist may be eligible for unemployment benefits after such work comes to an end.

An artist who is left unemployed after a grant period must register as an unemployed job-seeker at the TE Office. Being eligible for unemployment benefits requires the artist is ready to accept a full-time job.

Working after a grant period can be part-time – if the artist is entitled to adjusted unemployment benefits. The artistic operations are considered full-time work after a grant period when the amount of work required for the operations is so great that it precludes accepting a full-time job. Separate instructions on full- and part-time work can be found in section Whether the artistic work is full- or part-time.

Receiving a grant while unemployed

An artist can be awarded a grant for various purposes during a period of unemployment. A working grant intended for full-time artistic work precludes receiving unemployment benefits. With regard to other grants, the right to unemployment benefits is assessed case-specifically. All grants received should be declared to the TE Office.

If a job-seeker is awarded a grant when unemployed, the job-seeker is considered to have started work on the day the grant was available for withdrawal, unless the applicant proves that an obstacle beyond his or her control prevented commencing work under the grant.

For example, the following can be considered as clarification of a grant period beginning otherwise:

  • The start date for the grant reported by the grant-awarding body;
  • Evidence of disability;
  • A statement by the person responsible for the project, on delay in starting it;
  • A statement on visit dates provided by the person who issued the invitation; or
  • Documentation related to a specific work period to be completed abroad.

Work under a grant is considered to start when the artist notifies that he or she is starting work with the support of a grant.

In cases of more long-term working grants (grants for over four months), however, the grant period is determined by the starting of MYEL insurance liability.

With regard to the start of the grant period and its duration, the notification from the funder is the primary consideration. If the duration of the grant is stated in months in the grant decision, the duration is calculated as full months from the start date of the work.

Alternatively, the applicant may declare the duration of the grant period by using other notification on the duration of the insurance period, received from the pension-insurance institution. If the grant period has not been indicated in the financing or insurance decision, the grant period is assessed by dividing the grant awarded by the number of months of the artist grant (EUR 1,692.45/month as of 1 February 2016).

Arts Promotion Centre Finland confirms the amount of the artist grants each year. In practice, the monthly amount of the grant may be greater than the amount of the tax-exempt grant, but the duration is taken into consideration only on the basis of the notification provided by the grant-awarding body.

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