Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Sickness benefit

In what situation can I claim?

Sickness benefit is intended to support persons with a connection to the labour market who are unable to work because of their own illness.

It is a short-term benefit as you are allowed in principle to have received sickness benefit for up to 22 weeks within the last 9 full calendar months.

In some situations you may be entitled to an extended period of sickness benefit after the 22 weeks.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You can receive sickness benefit if you meet the following conditions:

  • you are unable to work because of your own illness, or if you have been injured;
  • you live in Denmark, or are covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/04 on the coordination of social security systems;
  • you pay tax on your income;
  • you meet specified requirements on a connection to the labour market (employment).

The rules on how much you can be paid in sickness benefit, who pays, and how to receive payment, depend on whether you are:

  • a salary-earner (including full-time, part-time employees, etc.);
  • unemployed member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse);
  • self-employed.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

What can you receive in sickness benefit?

  1. As a salary-earner

Your sickness benefit is calculated on the basis of the weekly hours and the average hourly pay you have achieved for the last 3 months prior to your sickness. However, it cannot be more than DKK 4,245 (2018 level) per week.

The maximum amount you can receive per hour is the maximum amount of sickness benefit (DKK 4,300) divided by the normal contractual number of hours worked per week (37 hours). You can therefore receive a maximum of DKK 116.22 per hour.

If you are a part-time employee, your sickness benefit is calculated on the basis of your number of hours of work per working day, and your current hourly income, but limited by the maximum hourly rate of DKK 116.22.

If you are a salary-earner with unknown hours of work, with a fixed job rotation and shift working and with variable earnings, special rules apply which can be explained by the local authority.

  1. As an unemployed member of an unemployment insurance fund

If you are unemployed and a member of an unemployment insurance fund, you will receive the same amount in sickness benefit as you would have received in unemployment benefit.

  1. As a self-employed person

If you are self-employed, your benefit is calculated on the basis of your earnings from work in the business.

Who pays your sickness benefit, and when are you entitled to it?

  1. If you are a salary-earner

It is your employer and/or the local authority that pays the sickness benefit to you if you are in work and become ill.

From the first day of absence to the 30th day of sick leave inclusive it is your employer who pays sickness benefit to you. Please note, however, that you must have worked at least 74 hours for your employer in the last 8 weeks prior to the sickness absence, and that you do not receive full pay during sick leave. Remember that you must call your employer and report your absence due to sickness, no later than 2 hours after your appointment, unless otherwise agreed at your place of work.

The local authority will pay sickness benefit to you if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • you have been employed for at least 240 hours within the last six completed calendar months prior to the first day of absence, in at least 5 of these months you have been employed for at least 40 hours in each month and you are not entitled to sick pay from your employer for the same period; you would have been entitled to unemployment benefit or a replacement benefit, if you had been unable to work;
  • you would have been entitled to temporary labour-market benefit if you had not been unable to work;
  • you have completed a programme of vocational training lasting at least 18 months within the last month;
  • you are a trainee in a paid work placement as part of your education (regulated by or in accordance with the law);
  • you are employed in a flexijob (fleksjob). 
  1. If you are unemployed and a member of an unemployment insurance fund

The unemployment insurance fund pays your sickness benefit during the first 14 days of sickness. After this period, the sickness benefit will be paid by the local authority.

Please note that as an unemployed person you must report your absence due to sickness, on jobnet on the first day of sickness.

  1. If you are a self-employed person

It is the local authority that pays your benefit if you are a self-employed person or co-working spouse.

To receive sickness benefit, it is a requirement that:

  • you have undertaken self-employed activity to a substantial extent for at least 6 months in the last 12 months, including the last month prior to the absence;
  • you have been working in your own business for at least half of normal contractual weekly hours of work, i.e. 18.5 hours.

If you have previously been a salary-earner, and have been working as a self-employed for less than 6 months, the previous employment as a salary-earner, can be counted in order to meet the requirement of working hours.

You are entitled to sickness benefit from the local authority after 2 weeks of sickness. If you wish to avail yourself of sickness benefit earlier, you can take out a sickness benefit insurance.

How is your sickness benefit paid?

  1. As a salary-earner

To enable you to receive sickness benefit, your employee must provide information in NemRefusion. If you receive pay during your illness, your employer can apply for reimbursement from the local authority equivalent to the amount you could receive in sickness benefit. This is also done through NemRefusion. In both cases you will receive a notification letter in your digital mailbox (e-boks). Request for sickness benefits must then be made digitally in Mit Sygefravær within 8 days of the dispatch of the notification letter and submit to the local authority.

  1. As an unemployed person and member of an unemployment insurance fund

After you have reported sickness on jobnet on the first day of sickness, your unemployment fund will report it to NemRefusion. You will then receive a notification letter in your digital mailbox (e-boks). Request for sickness benefits must then be made digitally in Mit Sygefravær within 8 days of the dispatch of the notification letter which you must fill in and submit to the local authority.

  1. As a self-employed person

If you are a self-employed person, it is the local authority that pays your sickness benefit. As a self-employed person you must apply for sickness benefit yourself via NemRefusion. The time limit for requesting sickness benefit from the local authority is no later than 3 weeks after the first day of absence.

If you have taken out sickness benefit insurance, you must have notified your absence no later than 1 week after the entitlement to sickness benefit has come into effect.

Jargon busters

  • A-kasse is an abbreviation for arbejdsløshedskasse (unemployment insurance fund). If you pay a fixed amount to an unemployment insurance fund every month you are insured in the event of unemployment. This means that benefit can be paid to you if you become unemployed and meet a number of conditions, including having worked to a particular extent prior to unemployment.
  • Self-assessment is a return to the tax authority stating how much has been earned in the previous year and how much tax is due to be paid.
  • Jobnet among other things offers a job bank, a CV bank and information pages for all job-seekers and employers throughout Denmark.
  • NemRefusion gives businesses, self-employed persons and unemployment funds access to notification and request for reimbursement of sickness and maternity benefits.
  • Mit Sygefravær provides employees digital access to their sickness case. As a rule the employee is obliged to use Mit Sygefravær.
  • E-boks is a digital mailbox, where you receive mail from public authorities.

Forms you may need to fill in

You can find relevant forms as an employer or self-employed person at http://www.nemrefusion.dk/.

Know your rights

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

  • In the Sickness Benefit Act you can find information on the fundamental conditions to be met for sickness benefit.
  • The Executive Order on Sickness Benefit contains rules on sickness benefit in special cases.
  • Guidance on sickness benefit provides you with specific explanations based on the Sickness Benefit Act and the Executive Order:

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

Your job centre.

See relevant information at Borger.dk.

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