Unemployment insurance in Denmark

In Denmark, you can find a voluntary unemployment insurance system that will provide financial assistance, while you’re looking for a new job. This article will discuss the benefits, requirements, and application process for unemployment insurance in Denmark.

Overview of unemployment insurance in Denmark

The unemployment insurance fund is optional and available to those who wish to increase their level of coverage, but you will have to purchase it for yourself through a membership fee.

Unemployment insurance in Denmark is administered by the Danish unemployment insurance fund, known as an A-kasse. An A-kasse is a private organization that provides unemployment insurance to its members. Denmark has many A-kasse organizations - each with its eligibility criteria and benefits.

Unemployment insurance funds provide financial assistance to eligible workers who have lost their jobs - allowing them to cover basic expenses while searching for a new job.

In addition to financial assistance, unemployment insurance provides access to training programs to help individuals gain new skills. This could be language courses, vocational training, and professional development courses.

Furthermore, some unemployment insurance funds also offer job search assistance to help individuals with ways to find new employment. This can include assistance with job applications, CV writing, and interview preparation.

Amount and length of unemployment insurance

The amount of unemployment insurance benefits are calculated as a percentage of the worker’s previous income. The maximum benefit amount is around DKK 23.449 (as of May 2023, before taxes) for a full-time insured individual. The duration of benefits can range from 6 months up to 2 years, depending on your age and previous employment period.

Additional benefits for workers in Denmark

Aside from the unemployment insurance system, working in Denmark has other benefits. Here are a few examples:

  1. Labor laws
    Denmark has labor laws aimed at protecting workers’ rights. These laws include prohibition against discrimination, limits and regulations on working hours, and holiday rules, depending on the collective agreement
  2. Generous parental leave
    Denmark has been listed as having one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. For example, parents can take up to 52 weeks of parental leave.
  3. Social welfare
    Denmark has a comprehensive social welfare system that supports all its citizens, including free healthcare and education.This means that workers can feel secure and protected. 

Read more in our guide to working in Denmark.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits in Denmark

To be eligible for unemployment insurance in Denmark, a worker must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Workers in Denmark must be members of an unemployment insurance fund to be eligible for benefits. There are different unemployment insurance funds in Denmark, each fund covering workers in specific industries. You can find a list of the different unemployment insurance funds here.
  • You must be a Danish citizen or a foreign national who has been working in Denmark and is legally residing in the country.
  • You must have been a member of a recognized insurance fund for at least 1 year.
  • You must have worked for a certain number of hours (1,924 hours and a minimum of 52 weeks) of work in the past 3 years to qualify for a new period of unemployment insurance.
  • You must have lost your job involuntarily and be actively seeking new employment.
  • Register as unemployed at Jobcentret.

The requirements listed above have been retrieved from the European Commission. Find more information here.

If you meet the requirements, you can receive unemployment benefits for up to two years. The amount of benefits will typically be a maximum of 90% of your previous earnings.

It’s important to note that the specific eligibility requirements may vary depending on the individual fund, so confirming your eligibility with your specific fund is important.

Job search requirements

To continue receiving unemployment insurance in Denmark, you must actively search for work. But, the specific job search requirements may differ according to the specific unemployment insurance fund - and your individual situation.

Also, there is a difference in the number of applications required by each unemployment insurance fund.You need to meet the job search requirements to ensure your benefits are not suspended.

So, to avoid any problems with your availability assessment, meet the requirements for the number of job applications that are usually listed in the “requirements for job search” section of the unemployment insurance fund.

Suspension of benefits

Your benefits may be suspended if you fail to meet the job search requirements, if you refuse suitable job offers, or travel outside of Denmark for more than two weeks. During the suspension period, you will not receive any benefits. The specific details may vary.

To resume receiving benefits, you must rectify the violation after a certain suspension period which will depend on the specific circumstance and the unemployment insurance fund.

How to apply for unemployment insurance

You can apply for unemployment insurance through your A-kasse - but firstly, you will need to register yourself on , using your MitID. 

Here, you must provide documentation of your previous employment, including your salary and the number of hours you worked to determine your eligibility and the amount of benefits you are entitled to receive. You must also create a CV and register one of the areas you’re looking for work in.

After you have submitted your application, the A-kasse will review your information and notify you of their decision.

Unemployment insurance for students and graduates

Other rules apply to be eligible for an unemployment insurance fund as a student. This will secure your unemployment benefits from the day that you graduate - usually not depending on a minimum of hours worked.

It might be a requirement that you have been a member for at least a year and have completed an education, depending on the unemployment insurance that you have signed up for.

The member fee is usually lower while studying. After graduating, you generally have a 2 week deadline for signing up for unemployment benefits.

Read more about unemployment insurance as a graduate here .

Get a Danish bank account to receive unemployment benefits

Lunar is a Danish, award-winning digital bank. If you become a user, you can open a free Danish bank account that includes a digital card as well as an easy-to-use banking app. That way, you’ll be able to receive unemployment benefits if the time comes that you need the support.

With MitID, the sign-up process is easy and 100% digital. And if you’re approved, we can offer you an account within days instead of months.

Last updated August 16, 2023. We’ve collected general information. Please note, that there may be specific circumstances that you need to be aware of.