Requirements for Unemployment benefits

In Denmark, you must apply for unemployment benefits if you become unemployed.
The first thing you must do is to register as a job seeker (unemployed) on your first day of unemployment.
You can do this at your local job centre or online on jobnet.dk.
Secondly you must fill out a document called "ledighedserklæring" in your A-kasse's online self-service (requires login).
You can also download the document and send it to the A-kasse.
In this way you have performed the first important steps to begin to receive "dagpenge".

You will get an answer from the A-kasse within few days, where they tell they have accepted your application for "dagpenge" or maybe need some extra information. You will be approved for "dagpenge" from the day you were registered as unemployed at Jobnet.dk

You must be actively seeking employment and willing to accept offers of employment when you are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits.

Conditions for entitlement

  • You must have been member of an unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse) for at least one year.
  • You can take work with one day's notice. This requires that there are no factual or legal obstacles for you to legally take work.
    For foreign nationals, this means that the person must have the right to reside and work in Denmark. Read more about this below.
  • You must have earned/have had a gross income of at least DKK 246,924 (amount applicable in 2022) during the last 3 years (in total) for full-time insured or DKK 164,616 if you are part-time insured. This requirement is called "Indkomstkravet".
However about the last requirement - to have earned DKK 246,924 - you must be aware that only income obtained during membership periods of an A-kasse can be included.
And regardless of what your monthly income is, you can only count a maximum of DKK 20,577 per month.
This means that regardless of how high salary you have, you always need to have been working for at least 1 year for being eligible for Unemployment benefits ("Dagpenge"). 12x20,577=246,924.

If you earn less than DKK 20,577 in some months it means that it will take longer time for you to qualify for Unemployment benefits, because it will take more than 12 months to reach the income requirement of DKK 246,924.

The income requirement only affects first time unemployed. If you have been unemployed before and need to earn a new unemployment benefit period, the income requirement is replaced by an employment requirement (in danish: "Beskæftigelseskravet"), which means that you must work 1.924 hours before you can start a new 2 years period with benefits ("dagpenge").

Special rules for graduates

People who have just finished their education can use their degree to count as employment/income. 1 month of education is equivalent to meeting the income requirement for 1 month. This means that 1 month of education is equal to DKK 20,577.
Read more in our section for Graduates.
Thus, if you join immediately after finishing your education (or have been free member as a student, and now change status to graduate), you automatically meet the income criteria. As mentioned above, the normal "salaried" person who looses his/her job, must have had a minimum income during the last 3 years, for being eligible for Unemployment benefits. But this does not apply for graduates.


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Main topics about A-kasse

Transferring periods of work and insurance from another EEA Country As an EU citizen you can transfer acquired rights from Unemployment Insurance between EU contries. Be aware that there are some requirements and deadlines that are important to meet. And you have to use a PD U1 Form. Read more here..
Transferring unemployment benefits Under certain conditions you can go to another EU country to look for work and continue to receive your unemployment benefits from the country where you became unemployed. And you have to use a PD U2 Form. Read more here..
Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge") Remember you have to be member of an A-kasse for 1 year before you can claim Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge"). And you must meet the income-requirement. Read more here..
International graduates Graduates in Denmark can get Unemployment benefits from the first day after graduation, if they have been member as student of an A-kasse for at least 1 year. Read more...
Residence Card If you are a non-EU citizen you must have a residence Card which allows you to take any job with one day notice. This is because you must be available for the labor market for being eligible for unemployment benefits ("dagpenge").
Membership fee In Denmark many people are member of both A-kasse and trade Union. Especially for the Union membership there are significant difference in price for membership.