Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Care of close relatives

In what situation can I claim?

  • If you have a connection to the labour market and have a close relative who is disabled or seriously ill;
  • If you care for a close relative who wishes to die in their own home.

Note that salary earners, etc. are entitled to leave in connection with a caregiving relationship. Questions concerning entitlement to absence from work must be addressed to the Ministry of Employment.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Certain conditions have to be met, but they depend on the situation concerned.

Situation 1: You are caring for a close relative with a disability or serious illness

In this case you will be employed by the local authority in which your close relative lives.

The conditions to be met to be employed by the local authority which assists include:

  • that the alternative to care in the home is 24-hour accommodation outside the home;
  • that the need for care is equivalent to full-time work;
  • that you and the sick person agree on the caregiving relationship;
  • that the local authority assesses that you can cope with the task or
  • that you have a connection to the labour market.

Situation 2: You are caring for a dying person

To receive carer's allowance, the following conditions, among others, must be met:

  • A doctor has assessed that the dying person has a short time left to live, usually 2 to 6 months. You and your relative or a closely related person are agreed on the nursing and caring task;
  • The nursing can be provided in your or your relative's home.

You must contact the local authority where your close relative or closely related person would like to stay for his/her last days.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The benefits you can claim depends on the specific situation.

Situation 1: You have a relative with a disability or serious illness

  • You will enter into a contract of employment with the local authority where your close relative lives, and in which the more detailed conditions are described, for example the duration of the period;
  • If the employment is terminated before the contract comes to an end, you are entitled to receive salary from the local authority for 1 month after the end of the month in which the contract ceases. This does not apply, however, if you have other means of support;
  • You have an opportunity to apply for leave, of up to 6 months, to care for your close relative. You can then submit a new application to have the period of care extended by up to 3 months;
  • By agreement with your employer, you can divide the care up into shorter periods of 3 months;
  • In 2018 you will receive a salary of DKK 22,504 per month. You cannot, however, receive an amount greater than what is paid to you by your employer. Please note also that you retain your right to unemployment benefit, holiday pay and so on;
  • It is possible to share the care between several persons. This does not mean that more is paid in total, but that the benefit is shared between the persons concerned.

Read more about respite or relief, when you are caring for a relative who is sick.

Situation 2: You wish to care for a dying person

  • If you are entitled to carer's allowance it continues to apply, even if your close relative is temporarily hospitalised;
  • If you have been paid salary during your leave, your employer can receive a reimbursement equivalent to the carer's allowance. Remember that you must inform your employer that you are going to take leave at the same time that you apply to the local authority for the carer's allowance;
  • The carer's allowance cannot exceed your income to date. Care allowance is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of sickness benefit to which you will be entitled in the case of illness. If you are not entitled to sickness benefit, you will be paid a basic amount of DKK 15,492 a month full-time;
  • The carer's allowance will in principle not be increased even if there are several of you who share the nursing task;
  • Even if you lose your work income or are outside the labour market, and for example are a pensioner, student or similar, you can be paid a carer's allowance;
  • You are not entitled to retirement pension or other social benefits such as housing benefit while you are receiving care allowance for caring for your close relative;
  • You are entitled to receive carer's allowance until the care relationship ceases. If the cessation is due to the close relative having died, you can receive allowance for 14 days after the death;
  • You have to pay tax on the carer's allowance.

Please note that dying persons can receive free, temporary home care and assistance, including paid medication and medical devices. This is described in Section 122 of the Social Services Act, care of close relatives.

Jargon busters

  • Carer's allowance is an amount that can be received to care for a close relative who is dying;
  • Sickness benefit is granted as economic support for people who are unable to work because of their own sickness. Read more about sickness benefit.

Forms you may need to fill in

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:

European Commission publications and website:

Who do you need to contact?

Børne- og Socialministeriet (Ministry for Children and Social Affairs)
Holmens Kanal 22
1060 København K
Tel. +45 33929300
E-mail: sm@sm.dk

Ministeriet for Sundheds og Ældreministeriet (Ministry of Health)
Holbergsgade 6
1057 København K
Tel. +45 72269000
E-mail: sum@sum.dk

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

Find general information on Borger.dk

Phone 1881 or +45 70101881.

Telephone answering hours are 8 am to 10 pm Mondays to Fridays and 8 am to 6 pm Fridays.

Get more information on leave to care for sick and dying persons.

The local authority in which your dependant lives. Find the local authority's Citizen Service.

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