Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Social assistance

In what situation can I claim?

You can apply for social assistance (kontanthjælp) if you have experienced a change in your social conditions (because of, for example, unemployment, illness or divorce) and you are no longer able to support yourself and your family.

What conditions do I need to meet?

It is a prerequisite that you have experienced changes in your social conditions.

You cannot receive the benefit if you have other means of supporting yourself. You are for instance receiving unemployment benefit or have assets you can sell or your spouse can provide for you and your family.

You have to make yourself available to the labour market and apply for jobs and attend the courses and other activities that the job centre provides for you. If you do not have an education you will have to clarify your educational goal together with the job centre.

The job centre will decide whether you are ready for job/education or if you have health, social or other problems to such a degree that you should follow other activities that can bring you closer to the labour market.

A deduction or reduction will be made from your social assistance if you do not comply with the requirements which your job centre sets for you in relation to looking for a job and attending the activities you are asked to perform.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The amount that can be paid to you in social assistance depends, among other things, on whether you:

  • have reached the age of 30;
  • have educational qualifications, if you are below the age of 30;
  • have children you have to provide for;
  • can be provided for by your spouse or cohabiting partner;
  • have had residence in Denmark for a combined period of seven years within the previous eight years.

You can see the various rates, and what you can receive in social assistance, in the tables below.

As a recipient of social assistance you may also claim housing supplement (særlig støtte) which is a supplement based on the recipient’s need to cover severe expenses for family support or housing.

Cap on social assistance and housing allowances and the work requirement

  • The cap on social assistance and housing allowances

For all recipients of social assistance there is a cap on the total amount of housing supplement (særlig støtte) and housing benefit (boligstøtte) that you are entitled to receive. Recipients of social assistance who live in certain special housing due to disability are exempted from the cap.

  • Work requirement

If you are a recipient of social assistance, to secure your availability to the labour market, you must fulfil a work requirement (225-timersreglen), meaning that you have to work at least 225 hours a year to be entitled to full social assistance. You are exempted from this requirement, if your capacity for work is reduced to such a degree that you are not able to work at least 225 hours a year.

How much can I receive in social assistance if I’m at least 30 years old or have an education (kontanthjælp)?

  • Living at home/living away

Below the age of 25, living at home/away

DKK 3,509 per month/DKK 7,272 per month

Aged 25-29 and living at home/away

DKK 3,509 per month/DKK 7,272 per month

Aged 30 or over, providing for children

DKK 14,993 per month

Aged 30 or over, others

DKK 11,282 per month

  • As provider/pregnant/liable for maintenance

Single providers, below the age of 30

DKK 14,331 per month

Providers

DKK 10,026 per month

Below the age of 30, pregnant (passed 12th week of pregnancy)

DKK 11,282 per month

Below the age of 30, liable for maintenance, maximum allowance incl. supplements

DKK 14,993 per month

  • For mental illness

Below the age of 30, with mental illness, duty to provide for family

DKK 14,993 per month

Below the age of 30, with mental illness, living away

DKK 11,282 per month

  • As lump-sum allowance

Over the age of 25, and living away below the age of 25 (max.)

DKK 7,272 per month

Living at home below the age of 25 (max.)

DKK 3,502 per month

  • As allowance to certain groups of persons

Reached age of voluntary early retirement, not earned pension entitlement

DKK 9,570 per month

Child support amount, not earned pension entitlement

DKK 3,032 per month

You can receive a monthly activity supplement to your social assistance if you are not ready for job or education.

If you are under 30 years old and have no education/training (uddannelseshjælp)

  • Living at home/away

Below the age of 25 and living at home/away

DKK 2,664 per month/DKK 6,182 per month

Aged 25-29 and living at home/away

DKK 2,664 per month/DKK 6,182 per month

  • As provider/pregnant/child support obligation

Single provider

DKK 12,364 per month

Provider living with a partner

DKK 8,653 per month

Pregnant (passed 12th week of pregnancy)

DKK 11,282 per month

Have child support obligation max. assistance incl. supplements

DKK 14,993 per month

  • For mental illness

With mental illness, duty to provide for children

DKK 14,993 per month

With mental illness, living away

DKK 11,282 per month

Note that you can receive a monthly activity supplement if you are not ready for educational training.

When will my social assistance be paid?

Your local authority will calculate and pay social assistance monthly. The money will be deposited in your NemKonto account and will be available at the end of the month. Please note that the benefits are liable to tax.

You can appeal against a decision on social assistance and education allowance. Read more about how to appeal.

Jargon busters

  • Borger.dk is your portal to the public sector. Here you can get more information about child benefit;
  • NemKonto (Easy Account) is an ordinary bank account which you have opened beforehand. You can choose for yourself which of your bank accounts is to be your NemKonto. The public authorities pay to this account;
  • Job centre: Here case officers and employment advisers help unemployed persons in getting a job, and assist businesses in finding new employees. Find your job centre, see contact details.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

At the links below you can obtain information on your legal rights. They do not refer to European Commission websites and therefore do not represent the views of the Commission:

  • Consolidation Act on active social policy including social assistance and training allowance;
  • Guidance on rates, including social assistance and training allowance;
  • Act amending the Active Employment Effort Act.

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

See relevant information at borger.dk. You can also obtain assistance with self-service at borger.dk by phoning 1881 or +45 70101881.

If it is not possible for you to use the online self-service facility, you can obtain assistance in your local authority's citizen service. Find your local authority's Citizen Service.

Find your job centre, see contact details.

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