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Apply for membership of an unemployment fund - special rule for new graduates

If you do not immediately have a job after finishing your education you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits.

You want to search for job in another EEA country? Read more here..

How much money will you get?
The amount you get depends on whether you have dependent children or not. You have dependent children, if you have the obligation to contribute to a child (or children) under 18 years who are staying in Denmark. Are you EU / EEA citizen, you are considered also as a parent if the child resides in an EU / EEA country. Stepchildren do not count in this context.
If you have dependent children you can get DKK 15,470 pr. month in Unemployment benefits. If you don't have dependent children - then you can get DKK 13,489 pr. month.

You can join the a-kasse if:
-You had a permanent address in Denmark no later than one day before the start of your education.
-You are in Denmark no later than 14 days (including weekends) after you end your education, i.e. you must apply for membership within two weeks (14 days) of completing your education.

Does it matter if you are EEA citizen or a non-EEA citizen?

All students/graduates (EU or non-EU) can become member of an danish A-kasse

You can no matter if you are EEA or non-EEA student join the unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse) after the same rules as Danish students, for instance you can get free membership of an A-kasse (student membership) for up to 5 years. This will give you access to use some (or all) of the member benefits that the A-kasse offers.
In relation to whether you are entitled to unemployment benefit ("Dagpenge") after graduation there CAN be difference depending on whether you are an EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA citizen.
This is the case regarding:

  • requirement for stay in Denmark or another EU/EEA country for 5 out of the last 12 years (This will apply starting from 1 January 2019), and the
  • requirement for work-permit

We will address these two requirements further in the following.

New residence requirement from January 1, 2019

In December 2018, the danish Parliament adopted a new law that sets a further requirement for all A-kasse members (danish citizens, EU/EEA citizens, non EU citizens, graduates) for being eligible for unemployment benefits. In the future only people who have stayed in Denmark, Greenland or Faroe Islands in 7 out of the last 12 years can claim Unemployment benefits ("Dagpenge").
Periods with stay in other EU/EEA countries or Switzerland can be included according to the EU-legislation.
The new requirement will be phased in over three years, therefore the requirement will only be 5 out of the last 12 years if you graduate in 2019, and 6 out of the last 12 years if you graduate in 2020. If you graduate in 2021 or later, the requirement will be 7 out of the last 12 years.

Read more in our special article addressing this.

Work permit

To get benefits you must have right to work full time in Denmark after graduation

EU citizens can apply for benefits
With an EU residency you are allowed (without need for work permit) to stay in Denmark and search for job, after you finish your education. In this job-seek period you can apply for unemployment benefits in Denmark if you are unemployed after you have finished your education.

Non-EU citizens needs work-permit
If you have a student residence permit (only non-EU/EAA citizens) in order to participate in and complete higher education in Denmark, you also have a residence permit for 6 additional months after the end of the study. The scheme will provide one opportunity to seek work in Denmark after graduation.

As mentioned above also non-EAA students can be member of an danish A-kasse. However it is important that you understand that international students (coming from other than EEA countries) will not have the same right to get unemployment benefits as danish or EEA-students.
As a non-EEA citizen you are only entitled to benefits if you have a work permit that gives you right to work FULL-time.
The work permit can not be limited to a certain job or a certain amount of hours. A work permit that you have applied for and gotten for a specific job is not sufficient. Neither is a "Student work permit". The 20 hours restriction also apply in the 6 months additional job-seeking period.

Although you are allowed to work full-time in the months june, july and august, it is not allowed with your study-visa to receive Unemployment benefits.
Read our special article concerning non-EEA graduates rights to unemployment benefits.

The 2-week deadline is fixed

If you join an unemployment fund within two weeks of your date of graduation, you will be regarded as a new graduate.
If you do not join an unemployment fund within two weeks, you will only be able to receive benefit once you have been a member of the fund for one year and meet the income requirement (have had an income of at least DKK 233,376 during the last 3 years in total). The 2-week deadline is laid down by the law, and the unemployment funds are not able to make dispensations.
Therefore be aware: this 2-week deadline is extremely important.

It is a good idea to apply to an unemployment fund before you finish your study.
Normally you can apply for membership after the rules for new graduates up to 6 months before ending study.
You will not be charged for membership before you have graduated.
If you do that you will have fulfilled the 2-week rule, but in that case contact your a-kasse when you have graduated and tell them that you are now graduated and want to have the benefits as a new graduate.

What does it cost?

You can check the prises in our comparison of prices.

How to apply for membership?

Everything is done online. Use links shown below or just click on links/logos around our
site, and you will be directed to online application form at the A-kasse's website.
If you are not directed directly to online application form, then at the A-kasse website choose
menu often called "Bliv medlem" or "Tilmeld dig her".
If possible choose membership type for new graduates (in danish "medlem som nyuddannet"
or "medlem som dimittend"). If not possible to choose, just remember to mention in
your application form that you are applying for membership under the special rules for new graduates.
After have filled out the online application form you will receive mail-confirmation from the A-kasse.

Which A-kasse should you choose?

You will get exactly the same (financial) benefits no matter what A-kasse you choose to become member of.
Your unemployment benefits is payed/secured by the Danish State.
Besides you financial benefits you should consider how the A-kasse can help you in other ways.
This is the case especially if you have plans to stay in Denmark to find job etc.

We have been investigating which member benefits (relevant for graduates) some of the most popular A-kasser for graduates offers their members. For full info use link "Read more..".

A-kasse Complaints
per 100
unemployed
members
Cooperate
with:
Offers
Lønsikring*
Jobseekers
meet
Companies
Workshops/
Network events
Open for
Anyone?
Read more 2,8Mercuri Urval and JobindexYesYesYesYes
Sign Up
with FTFa
Read more 1,4NoYesNoNoYes
Sign Up
with Min A-kasse
Read more 2,6NoYesNoYesYes
Sign Up
with MA A-kasse
Read more 1,0JobindexYesYesYesYes
Sign Up
with CA A-kasse
Read more 2,8NoYesYesYesAcademics
Not recom-
mended

*Lønsikring = possible to buy additional insurance. With lønsikring you can be covered for up to 90% of your salary.


In Denmark you are free to choose which fund (A-kasse) you wish to belong to, but many people choose the fund that is traditionally associated with their degree course. The funds that students most often choose are:


MA A-kasse - A general A-kasse for people with high education. Covers many different studies/degrees, but specializing in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, IT, communications, health, psychology and pedagogy.


Min A-kasse - is open for anyone, regardless of education. Because of their tight cooperation with PROSA (the Union for IT professionals) "Min A-kasse" has many members among people who studies or are educated within IT. Has high member satisfaction and few complaints.


CA A-kasse - Mostly for "business-graduates", but is open for everyone regardless of education.
CA covers many diciplines within business, but specializing in Management, Finance, Communication, HR etc.


FTFa is the choice for many graduates from "Academy Profession Programmes" or "Professional Bachelor Programmes".
FTFa work together with about 60 different professional organisations and/or Unions and therefore they cover many different professional fields.


Akademikernes A-kasse. Traditionally for graduates within engineering, law and economic. Many of the members work in the public sector. Akademikernes is the cheapest A-kasse for academics (people with education from University or similar level of institution).

  

Sources and more info:
SDU (University of Southern Denmark)
Studyindenmark.dk
CA A-kasse