Unemployment Insurance in EU->Denmark

Unemployment insurance in Denmark

Type of scheme

How to join? Denmark has only voluntary unemployment insurance. You must yourself apply for membership in one of the 22 Unemployment Insurance Funds ("A-kasse").
Some of the 22 A-kasser are only for certain professions - the rest (10 A-kasser) are interdisciplinary and accepts anyone as new members.

Contribution: The voluntary Insurance Scheme is financed in part by membership fees paid by members of the Unemployment Insurance Funds ("A-kasser"). However, the Scheme is also financed in large extent by the danish state.

Who is covered? All employees, self-employed and new graduates.

Benefit amount: Earnings-related. Supplements to the normal benefit rate are - under certain conditions - given in the first 3 months to loyal members (see below).

Requirements for entitlement

In order to be entitled to unemployment benefit ("dagpenge"), you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have been member of an A-kasse for at least 1 year.
  • You have had a gross income of at least DKK 263,232 (amount applicable in 2024) in total for the last 3 years.
  • You must be registered with the local public (Jobcenter), by meeting up personally or register online at
  • You are free to work in Denmark (if you are a non-EU citizen you need a general work permit which is not limited to a certain job).
  • You must actively look for job and be able to accept job offers with one day notice.

Are there special rules for new graduates?

Yes. If you have completed an higher education, you can apply for unemployment benefits (with a lower rate) as a graduate. Graduates do not need to meet the membership period and income requirement - however graduates must meet a language or affiliate requirement. Read more in this article.

The benefit rate for new graduates depend on age (over or under 30 years old) and whether the person have at least one child or not.

Determination of benefit

Your Unemployment benefits ("Dagpenge") may not exceed 90 per cent of your previous salary and can never be higher than the maximum rate. As of January 1, 2023 the maximum rate is DKK 19,728 per month for a full-time insured member.

Effective from 1 May 2023, it has been possible for loyal A-kasse members (have been an uninterrupted member of A-kasse for at least 4 years up to unemployment) to get a supplement to the unemployment benefits for the first 3 months.
In this way the maximum benefit rate can be increased from DKK 19,728 up to DKK 23,449 in the first 3 months. Read more in this article.

The basis for calculating how much you can get in benefits is your best 12 months with income within the last 24 months.
If you have not had 12 months with income in the last 24 months, your A-kasse will calculate your benefits on basis of all months with income within the 24-month period.

There is no minimum amount.

Apart from the possibility of getting a higher amount in the first 3 months for some groups, the amount will be the same throughout the full period with unemployment benefits (see below).

Tax treatment

Benefit is taxable.

Benefit duration

As a general rule, a member has a right to unemployment benefits for a maximum of two years in total within a 3 year period.

It is possible to extend the period for which you can get unemployment benefits up to 3 years. This is done by working.
Every 1 hour of work gives you 2 hours more of benefits in the last end. Or in other words - one months work gives two extra months of unemployment benefit.

Aggregation of insurance periods from other EU/EEA countries

Denmark has as one of few EU/EEA countries (together with Finland and Belgium) a work requirement before you can use periods of insurance and work from another EEA country to meet the danish requirements for unemployment benefits.

You must apply for membership of an Danish A-kasse within 8 weeks after you ceased to be insured in another EEA country, and within the 8 weeks you must begin work in Denmark and work for at least 296 hours over 12 weeks / 3 months.

If you do this, periods of insurance and work from another EEA country which are confirmed in a PD U1 document or exchanged electronically by the authorities via EESSI in SED U002 will be used by the Danish A-kasse to assess whether you meet the requirement of 1 year membership and the income requirement.

In case of using PD U1 / SED U002 the Unemployment benefit is calculated on the basis of income you have had while working in Denmark.

If you have been member of a danish A-kasse within the last 5 years you do not need to work in Denmark before you can use PD U1 /SED U002.

How to apply for unemployment benefit

  • You must register as unemployed on, and
  • Contact your A-kasse and apply for benefit or visit the A-kasse's website to fill in the required information.

If you do not meet the requirements

Individuals who do not meet the above mentioned requirements for unemployment benefits, may have the option to apply for Social Assistance (Kontanthjælp).

Danish words

Unemployment insurance = arbejdsløshedsforsikring

Unemployment insurance fund = arbejdsløshedskasse ("A-kasse").

Unemployment benefit = dagpenge.

This page was last updated on December 5, 2023.

Danish unemployment benefits in EU context

  • Transferring periods of work and insurance from another EEA CountryAs an EU citizen you can transfer acquired rights from Unemployment Insurance between Denmark and other EU/EEA contries and vice versa. Be aware that there may be some requirements and deadlines that are important to meet. And you have to use a PD U1 Form or the countries involved must be able to exchange the information via EESSI. Read more here..
  • Transferring unemployment benefitsIf you are an EU citizen you can under certain conditions go to another EU country to look for work and continue to receive your unemployment benefits from Denmark. And you have to use a PD U2 Form. Read more here..
  • Unemployment benefits coverageAccording to OECD Denmark has a net replacement of previous in-work income of 78 percent after 2 months unemployment. For all EEA countries the coverage is between 33 to 91 percent. Read more here..
  • Have residence in another EU country but work in Denmark?EU citizens working in Denmark must as a generel rule be insured against unemployment in Denmark. Be aware that unemployment insurance is voluntary in Denmark, and requires that one become member of an Unemployment Insurance Fund ("A-kasse"). However workers in Denmark may be insured by the country of residence if they are posted to Denmark or work in two or more EU/EEA countries at a time. In these situations you can not your self decide where to have unemployment Insurance, but you (or your employer) must apply for a PD A1 document which states in which country you are covered by social security, including Unemployment Insurance. Special rule also apply for cross-border workers ("frontier workers").
  • Third-country Nationals working in DenmarkNON-EEA citizens can become member of an Unemployment Insurance Fund ("A-kasse") in Denmark. Due to the fact that Denmark has an "opt-out" to the Regulation 1231/2010 which extends Regulation 883/2004 to nationals of third countries its not possible for third-country Nationals to use the EU Coordination rules when moving between Denmark and another EU/EEA country. However when moving between the Nordic countries third-country Nationals can use the aggregation rule according to the Nordic Convention on Social Security. In order to get Unemployment benefits you must have a permanent residence/working permit that entitles you to work in Denmark.