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".
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.