Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Unemployment benefit

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 223,596 (DKK 152,232 for part-time members) during the 3 preceding years is required. Only a maximum of DKK 18,633 per month can be included.

A self-employed member needs to prove self-employment to a substantial extent for at least 52 weeks during the 3 preceding years. 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 for at least 1 year;
  • have registered at jobcentret (the Public Employment Service);
  • fulfil the employment requirement;
  • meet the availability requirement; if your unemployment is self-induced there is a waiting period of 3 weeks before you can receive unemployment benefit.

Registration at Jobcentret

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.

If you are a self-employed person and run your business as your main employment, you cannot receive supplementary benefit.

Unemployment benefit during holiday

Please note that you may be entitled to receive unemployment benefit during holiday. You are entitled to holiday benefit if, at the time you take holiday, you:

  • meet the requirements to receive unemployment benefits, except the availability requirements;
  • entitlement to unemployment benefits;
  • have exhausted your right to holiday payment;
  • have residence in Denmark or in another EEA country according to Art. 65 of Regulation 883/2004, and you are physically in Denmark or the other EEA country at the beginning of the holiday.

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 or training, and haven’t previously been employed;
  • whether you have just completed your education or training, and have not previously been employed, and 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 you can receive is:

  • DKK 18,633 a month for a full-time ensured;
  • DKK 12,422 a month for a part-time ensured.

If you have just completed your education or training:

  • DKK 13,323 a month for a full-time ensured;
  • DKK 8,882 a month for a part-time ensured.

If you have just completed your education or training and are providing for a child:

  • DKK 15,279 a month for a full-time ensured;
  • DKK 10,186 a month for a part-time ensured.

If you are under the age of 25:

  • DKK 9,317 a month for a full-time ensured;
  • DKK 6,211 a month for a part-time ensured.

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

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 is 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 is paid to unemployed persons who are members of an unemployment insurance 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. They do not refer to European Commission websites and therefore do not represent the views of the Commission:

  • 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.

European Commission publications and website:

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 72 21 74 08
E-mail: ask@ask.dk

Unemployment insurance funds

You can find a list of unemployment insurance funds here.

Find your job centre.

See relevant information on unemployment benefit at borger.dk.

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