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Unemployment benefits in Denmark

In what situation can I claim?

You can receive unemployment benefit in Denmark if you have been a member of a recognised unemployment insurance fund for at least 1 year, and you are out of work at the same time. For full-time members, a minimum income of DKK 228,348 (DKK 152,232 for part-time members) during the 3 preceding years is required. Only a maximum of DKK 19,029 per month can be included.

Also self-employed can receive unemployment benefit, if they have been member for 1 year, and have had an income from paid work and own business of at least DKK 228,348 during the 3 preceding years. If a person only have income from own business then the DKK 228,348 only needs to have been earned during the last 5 years to meet the income-requirement.

You may be entitled to unemployment benefit even if you have not been a member for 1 year, due to completion of education.

You have to meet specific requirements to be eligible for unemployment benefit: persons may be admitted as members of a voluntary unemployment insurance fund if they are above 18, have less than 2 years prior to retirement age and have residence in Denmark. Persons under the age of 18 can also be admitted if they have completed vocational training of at least 18 months.

An unemployment benefit period gives you entitlement to benefit for 2 years within a maximum period of 3 years.

To obtain entitlement to a new period of unemployment benefit, it is a requirement that you work full time for a minimum of 52 weeks (1,942 hours), if you are insured full-time, or at least 34 weeks (1,258 hours) if you are insured part-time, within a period of 3 years. Each member has a two-year unemployment benefit period with the option of flexible extension by up to one year. The extension of the unemployment benefit period is 1:2. One month’s work gives two extra months of unemployment benefit.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You can receive unemployment benefit in Denmark if you:

  • have been a member of a recognised unemployment insurance fund ("A-kasse") for at least 1 year;
  • have earned/have had an income of at least DKK 228,348 (in 2018) during the last 3 years (in total). Only income earned during membership periods of an A-kasse can be included.
  • As a graduate you don't need to meet these two first requirements. See more about graduates here.
  • have registered at jobcentret (the Public Employment Service); You can also do this online at Jobnet.dk
  • meet the availability requirement; if your unemployment is self-induced there is a waiting period of 3 weeks before you can receive unemployment benefit.

New requirement from January 1, 2019

A new additional requirement will come into effect from January 1, 2019. This states that only people who have stayed in Denmark, Greenland, Faroe Islands or another EU/EEA country in 7 out of the last 8 years can claim Unemployment benefits ("Dagpenge").
At the time of this update (November 2018) the new rule has not yet been finally approved in the Danish Parliament, but probably will. You can follow status and progress here:
https://a-kasser.dk/requirement-of-7-years-of-stay-in-Denmark-or-eea

The new residence requirement will be phased in over 3 years. Therefore the requirement in 2019 is only 5 out of the last 8 years, in 2020 the requirement is 6 out of the last 8 years, and from 2021 the requirement will be full implemented and will be 7 out of the last 8 years.

The new residence requirement must be met the day a person apply for Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge"), beginning from January 1, 2019.

Registration at Jobcentret (Jobnet.dk)

On your first day of unemployment you register yourself on jobnet.dk using your NEMID and sign yourself up as unemployed.

On jobnet.dk you have to register at least one of the areas where you a going to look for work.

You have to check the proposed jobs on jobnet.dk every seventh day.

During the first two weeks of your unemployment you have to create a CV on jobnet.dk and make it available for companies to seek. Your unemployment insurance fund assesses whether you meet the availability requirement, i.e.:

  • you have to be available 30 hours a week as a part-timed insured and 37 hours a week as a full-time insured.

To fulfil the availability requirement you have to:

  • be registered for employment at jobcentret (the Public Employment Service);
  • have a CV, which is approved, on jobnet.dk;
  • reside and stay in Denmark;
  • be able to undertake work at one days’ notice;
  • be actively seeking all available work.

Supplementary benefit

If you start working part-time or are part-time unemployed, you are entitled to receive supplementary benefit. However, you must work less than 160.33 hours in a given month and fulfil the same conditions as for full-time benefits in order to receive supplementary benefit. There is a minimum requirement for payment of 14.8 hours (mindsteudbetalingsreglen) in a given month. If you work more than 145.53 hours a month, you will not receive partial benefits.

You can receive supplementary benefit for a maximum of 30 weeks within a period of 104 weeks.

To be able to receive supplementary benefit, you must meet the other conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit.

Note that your employer has to provide you with a discharge certificate if you are given notice of termination. The discharge certificate means that you can start a new job with more hours at a day's notice.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Unemployment benefits for a wage earner

The amount that can be paid to you in unemployment benefits depends, among other things, on:

  • your previous salary, but no more than 90% of it;
  • whether you are full-time or part-time ensured;
  • whether you have just completed your education, and have not previously been employed (graduate). For graduates the benefit rate also depends on whether you have children you have to provide for;
  • whether you have reached the age of 25.

How much can I receive in unemployment benefits?

The highest unemployment benefit amount ("dagpenge") you can receive are for different member groups the following:

A-kasse member group Max rate
Per month (before tax) in 2018
Max rate
Per year (before tax) in 2018
Full-time insured DKK 18,633 DKK 223,596
Full-time insured graduates (without dependent children), 71,5% DKK 13,323 DKK 159,876
Full-time insured graduates (with dependent children), 82% DKK 15,279 DKK 183,348
Part-time insured DKK 12,422 DKK 149,064
Part-time insured graduates (without dependent children), 71,5% DKK 8,882 DKK 106,584
Part-time insured graduates (with dependent children), 82% DKK 10,186 DKK 122,232
Under 25 year, full-time insured, 50% DKK 9,317 DKK 111,804
Under 25 year, part-time insured, 50% DKK 6,211 DKK 74,532

Unemployment benefits for a self-employed person

The highest unemployment benefit you can receive is DKK 18,633 a month.

How to claim unemployment benefits ("dagpenge")
On the first day of your unemployment you have to register for employment at jobnet.dk. It is a condition for you to receive unemployment benefits, that you register and you stay registered the entire period of your unemployment.

Within two weeks after you become unemployed, you must upload and activate a CV on jobnet.dk and then contact your a-kasse (unemployment insurance fund).

Jargon busters

  • A-kasse: An abbreviation for arbejdsløshedskasse (unemployment insurance fund). If you pay a fixed amount to an unemployment fund every month, you are insured in the event of unemployment. That is to say, you will be paid money if you become unemployed and otherwise meet the conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit.
  • Unemployment benefit: Paid to unemployed persons who are members of an unemployment fund (a-kasse) and at the same time are out of work and available to the labour market. Read more about unemployment benefit.
  • Job centre: Here unemployed persons can obtain help in finding a job, and the administrative staff and job advisers at the job centre can help businesses find new employees. See what job centre you belong to.

Forms you may need to fill in

  • You have to register as a job seeker at the Job Centre. You also have to register as out of work and apply for unemployment benefit at your unemployment insurance fund by filling in a declaration of unemployment.
  • You can obtain a discharge certificate from your unemployment insurance fund.

Know your rights

At the links below you can get information on your legal rights:

The Consolidation Act on Unemployment Insurance, etc. provides information among other things on entitlement to benefit, and how benefit is calculated.

Other laws, executive orders and guidance on unemployment benefit:

  • can be found by entering the search term arbejdsløshedsdagpenge (unemployment benefit) at retsinformation.dk
  • At borger.dk you can obtain information on what the law says: borger.dk
  • A generel guide about A-kasse and Unemployment benefits in Denmark: A-kasser.dk.

Who do you need to contact?

Beskæftigelsesministeriet (Ministry of Employment)
Ved Stranden 8
1061 København K
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72205000
Fax +45 33121378
E-mail: bm@bm.dk

Center for Klager om Arbejdsløshedsforsikring
Bredgade 60
9700 Bønderslev
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72217408
E-mail: ask@ask.dk

Unemployment insurance funds (A-kasser)
You can find a list of unemployment insurance funds here.

Find your job centre, see contact details.

See relevant information on unemployment benefit at borger.dk.

Source:
European Commission and national authorities dealing with unemployment insurance.

This page was last updated on November 15, 2018.

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