A-kasse in Denmark | Guide to unemployment benefits in Denmark
The Danish a-kasse system can be quite confusing if you are coming to Denmark, especially if you come from a country where unemployment benefits does not exist. In this complete guide we will show you how to apply for and claim unemployment benefits in Denmark. We will also show you where to find the cheapest “a-kasser” (which you have to be a member of in order to claim unemployment benefits),
Below you will find a infographic, which will simplyfy and guide you step by step, but basically these are the main points:
- Get a residence and work permit in Denmark.
- Adhere to the “residence requirement”.
- Sign up for an “a-kasse” (unemployment insurance fund) – Se best best choices below.
- Work in Denmark for 12 months.
- Upload CV and list yourself af unemployed at jobnet.dk.
- Be available to the labor market.
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What a-kasse should I choose?
When choosing an a-kasse, you basically need to look at three tings:
- The price
- If they accept your profession
- If they perform well in terms of member satisfaction.
You need to look at the price, because not alle a-kasser cost the same.
Even though all a-kasser will pay you the same amount in unemployment benefits, they do not all have the same membership fees. The reason for this is that you will get difference ad-on services depending on the a-kasse. As an example, one a-kasse can be more expensive than others because they offer special counseling sessions or discount on courses. You should choose an a-kasse, which only provide the services you need, so you don’t pay for something that you don’t need.
Some Danish a-kasser specializes in difference professions and may only accept members within these, while others accept all people not matter what their professions may be.
If you want a specialized a-kasse, you therefore need to look for one within your profession. Otherwise you can choose a “tværfaglig” or “free” a-kasse, where everyone can become a member.
Finally, you need to pick an a-kasse which preform well in terms of member satisfaction. If you choose an a-kasse, where members are generally unsatisfied with the service and counseling they get, you will risk having trouble getting your unemployment benefits when you need them. Therefore, choose an a-kasse where the members are happy with the customer service they are getting.
Below we have created a long list of Danish a-kasser, which will accept you not matter your profession. We have included the monthly price and a customer satisfaction score from Trustpilot as well, so you can choose the best and cheapest a-kasse.
|487,-||4.3 ★||READ MORE|
|468,-||4.1 ★|| READ MORE
|490,-||4 ★||READ MORE|
|514,-||4.3 ★||READ MORE|
|505,-||4.2 ★||READ MORE|
|467,-||3.8 ★||READ MORE|
|498,-||4.6 ★||READ MORE|
|490,-||4.6 ★||READ MORE|
|480,-||4.2 ★||READ MORE|
|505,-||4.6 ★||READ MORE|
|519,-||1.7 ★||READ MORE|
|524,-||3.7 ★||READ MORE|
|502,-||4.6 ★||READ MORE|
|Last data update: 16.08.2021|
Below we will explain the rules and requirements within the Danish a-kasse system in greater detail.
Why become a member of an a-kasse?
As a foreigner, it can be very difficult to navigate through “the Danish Model” for the labor market. What should you do? What should you not do? What are you entitled to and how do you claim it? All these requirements and regulations will be explained in great detail in the following sections to prepare you for your employment in Denmark. Through this article you will better understand how to benefit from the unemployment benefits that exist in Denmark.
You also need to know, that when you are a member of an a-kasse, they are there to guide and assist you through this jungle of what you need to do, requirements, what you are entitle to, and they want to give you as good experience and service as possible. Therefore you can always contact your a-kasse for more information.
When you live in Denmark you become a part of the Danish labor marked, and thus it is a good idea to become familiar with the systems inside the Danish labor marked. In Denmark we have the unemployment insurance system, better known as “a-kasser”. It is an unemployment insurance that functions in the same way as other insurances.
When we work, we have a regular income that we are dependent on. If we lose our job, we might not be able to pay our bills. But if you choose to pay a relatively small amount every month to the unemployment insurance fund, through an a-kasse, then you have the reassurance, that you will still get a part of your salary paid to you every month, that is through the a-kasse until you get a new job. An a-kasse often assist you with holiday-, sickness-, maternity-, and pension funds and payments. The system is a voluntary insurance scheme, where you can choose to join and pay a monthly or quarterly contribution.
If you are not insured by an unemployment insurance, you can be in a very bad position, if your job is terminated and you become unemployed. Most Danes hope that they would never have to use their insurances, but they have them so that they can feel secure during worse-scenario cases. Just like if you sign up for a fire insurance, you never hope your house is going to burn down, but you get the insurance anyway, so that you have a solution in case it really happens.
In the Danish labor market, you also have unions and often the a-kasse and union inside your field, work together. A-kasser takes care of your unemployment insurance payments (dagpenge) and helps you get a job while the unions assist you legally if the labor law has been violated.
Conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefits
In Denmark you can receive the unemployment insurance, “dagpenge”, if you meet a set of requirements. You have to be a member of an a-kasse for at least one year and be registered at your local job center (jobnet.dk) as unemployed to receive a-kasse payments.
If you are full-time insured, you have to be able to report an income for at least 243.996 kr. (2021) within the last 3 years. And it is 162.660 kr. (2021) if you are part-time insured. You can include A- and B-income plus surplus from self-employment.
As self-employed you can earn the right for unemployment insurance if you after tax can report a surplus for at least 243.996 kr. (2021) within the last 5 years and has been a member of an a-kasse and paid contributions for at least 12 months.
Another requirement is that you are available to the labor market, which means that you apply for jobs and stand idle to can take an employment within one day´s notice. You also have to check job posting at least every 7th day on jobnet.dk. You also need to have an adequate and approved CV within 2 weeks after you registered as unemployed at your local job center. Read more about Unemployment Insurance rules in Danish here.
Special student requirements
Under normal circumstances you cannot receive unemployment insurance when you are studying. Though there are certain exceptions like, if you at the same time are willing to work and actively search for employment.
You can still receive unemployment insurance if you attend:
- An education less than 20 hours a week, and if the education is not entitled to SU, even though it is offered as a full-time education.
- Traditional evening classes
- Secondary School (grade 8-10)
- Single subject courses less than 20 hours a week on high school level.
But you cannot participate in a Ph.D.- education part-time, though there are exceptions to the rule. You can always contact your a-kasse for more information.
Most a-kasser have free or very cheap memberships during education. In this way you can be a free member for a year before you complete your education, and this way be entitled to the unemployment insurance if you dont find a job right after you finish your education.
The residence requirement
The residence requirement is that you have to have been staying legally in either Denmark, Greenland, Faroe Islands or in another EU/EEA member stat or Switzerland for 5 out of 12 years in 2019, 6 years in 2020, 7 years in 2021 and 7 years from there on before the 12 months vesting period for unemployment insurance.
How to claim your unemployment benefits?
You have to enroll yourself at the job center the first day you are unemployed. You can either do this over the internet through jobnet.dk or by going there in person.
After you have registered as unemployed at the job center, you will receive a username and password for your own personal page, i.e. “My page” on Jobnet.dk. If you registered yourself as unemployed in person at the job center, you will receive passwords through your e-box, and if you did it through the internet, you will be able make up your own password through the registration process. On “My page” on jobnet.dk you also have to create your CV.
In addition you have to:
- Confirm that you are searching for jobs by checking the jobs posted at least every 7th day
- Register your job searching in the job log.
- Read your “My Plan” with activities that you are obligated to participate in while you are unemployed, and read your appointments with the job center and a-kasse.
You are able to use self-service when you want to unsubscribe yourself, for example when you are back in employment, or when you are on leave or sick. You can also use the service for booking and rebooking your appointments with your job-consultant.
Your unemployment insurance is paid in arrears, on a monthly basis. You need to fill in an unemployment insurance form (Dagpengekort) for every month you need unemployment insurance. The money will usually be transferred to your NemKonto.
What is the current unemployment benefit pay?
Your unemployment insurance from a-kasse can only amount to 90% of the salary you earned before you became unemployed. A-kasse calculate this based on your highest income in 12 months within the last 24 months. Your income calculation excludes labor market contribution (arbejdsmarkedsbidrag. Your own pension and ATP contribution is included in your income calculation.
The maximum amount you can receive if you meet the requirements as full-time insured is 19.322 kr. (2021) and as part-time insured, it is 12.881 kr. (2021).
Usually when you receive unemployment insurance, you will be deducted with “Karens” every 4th month while you are unemployed. The deduction value is one unemployment insurance day. You can avoid this deduction, if you work at least 148 hours as full-time insured and 97 hours as part-time insured, within the 4 months.
For how long can you get unemployment benefits?
If you meet the requirements, you are entitled to receive “dagpenge” (unemployment insurance) for two years in a period of 3 years, known as the “reference period”. This unemployment benefit can also be made up in hours. Which means that you are entitled to 3.848 hours in a period of two years, if you are insured full time, and you are entitled to 3.120 hours, if you are insured part-time.
If you have not used your entitled hours of unemployment insurance within 3 years, it will expire. The reference period can be expanded if you for example have been sick or are on maternity leave.
If you have exhausted your unemployment insurance before the reference period of 3 years have expired, you are entitled to expand the period on the basis of the paid salary hours you have had since you began receiving the unemployment insurance, or on the basis of your B-income. You can expand your unemployment insurance with 2 hours for every paid work hour you had. These extra unemployment insurance hours should be used within the reference period. The highest number of hours you can expand with is 962 hours, which give you the entitlement to expand your unemployment insurance hours with 1.924 hours extra within a period of one and a half year.
If you have exhausted your unemployment insurance you can also requalify for it if you can report at least 1.924 hours of paid work within the last 3 years (full-time insured). And if you report at least 1.258 paid hours you can requalify to be part-time insured.
Another exception to the length of unemployment insurance payments is if you, during the last 8 years, have received unemployment insurance for 4 years, then they will deduct the length with 1 month.
More about a-kasser and unions in Denmark
In Denmark there are many different a-kasser to choose from. You only need to be a member of an a-kasse to be insured for unemployment insurance. You do not have to be member of both an a-kasse and a union. Though many a-kasser in Denmark work together with unions, and you can choose to be a member of both. You can also freely decide which union you want to be a member of. The a-kasse does not have the right to choose your union, even if they are collaborating with one.
Usually there are a-kasser that are specialized inside different fields, and therefore have more knowledge and better deals with employers inside your field. At the same time, these a-kasser can sometimes be more expensive, and you can therefore also choose to become a member of a free a-kasse (tværfaglig) which is not specialized and accept members no matter their profession. Some a-kasser are for employees, while others are for self-employed and freelancers. Some are for higher education, others for the industry, some for nurses, doctors but then again, you can be a member of others even though you are self-employed, employee, freelancer, higher educated, not educated etc.
If you are only a member of an a-kasse, then typically you not given legal support through a union. A-kasser work with the task of paying the unemployment insurance, helping you to get a job through coaching, assisting with job applications and CV, job index etc. Unions help you when the labor law has been violated, for example, when you have been unlawfully terminated, refused holiday by your employer etc. They can also help you with negotiations and often have negotiated general terms of employment through collective agreements inside their work field. This is called the “Danish Model”, where the employer and employee has organizations on both sides that negotiate these collective agreements.
Transferring your benefits from another country? Only EU or EEA and Swiss citizens
You are only eligible to receive unemployment benefits when you have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months. The amount of time that you have been insured in your home country may be recognized if you remember to submit documentation for this to your Danish “A-kasse” within 8 weeks after arrival to Denmark.”
For you to be able to transfer your unemployment insurance from either an EEA member state or Switzerland, you have to be insured in the country you were working in, except if you for example were posted or working at the border.
If you were unemployed within an EEA member state or Switzerland, you can in some cases include your earlier periods of work and unemployment insurance from other countries and therefore be entitled to unemployment insurance in Denmark. As self-employed, these periods have to be after 1st of May 2010. You also have to live up to the requirements of Danish Unemployment Insurance regarding membership of an a-kasse, how much you have worked and how you have worked.
You can apply for transfer of your unemployment insurance from other EEA member states and Switzerland by using this form: PD U1.
There are other rules for you who are posted, working at the border, immigrant, refugee, stateless or accompanying your posted spouse.
You can read more about how it is, when you move to Denmark and how it is to work in Denmark here: Work-in-Denmark
Ensure your salary with a lønsikring
A salary insurance. “lønsikring”, is an insurance you can sign to insure your income even further than the unemployment insurance. This can especially be necessary when you have a higher income and many monthly expenses. Then your unemployment insurance may not cover all your monthly expenses. On Find-a-kasse-priser.dk we have created a salary ensurance calculater where you can set your salary and get prices for insurance of that specific salary from different a-kasse´s. You will find the salaery insurance calculater here.
Use the calculater to find the cheapest insurance that covers the most of your salery.
One of the benefits of being a member of an a-kasse, is that you can sign up for a cheap salary insurance through your chosen a-kasse. Many a-kasser have agreements with different insurance companies, while others do not have any agreement with a salary insurance company. Some salary insurances are made through a union instead.
Typically, a salary insurance covers up to between 80-90% of your salary, which means that you can have about 3000-40.000 kr. extra on top of the unemployment insurance every month. It is very different to how much you are insured every month from different salary insurances. It is therefore a good idea to make sure what your a-kasse offer in terms of salery insurance, before you choose an a-kasse. Below we have create a complete table that shows how many percent the salary insurances from the different a-kasser covers:
|Data senest opdateret: 16.08.2021|
Usually you are not insured more than max. 40.000 a month. The salary insurances can also have different lengths. Normally you can choose how long you want to be insured, when you take out this insurance through your a-kasse or union. Every insurance is made through different insurance companies and therefore have different terms. But usually you can choose between being insured in 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. Some can even insure you for 24 months.
You should also look into the requirements for receiving the specific salary insurance you have chosen. You will not receive any money from your salary insurance if you resign yourself, or if you get fired because of stealing or fraud. Some insurances will only cover you till you are 60 or 65 years old and only ensure you if you are below a certain age.
In the table below you will find the maximum age for getting ensure and the maximum coverage age for the different a-kasser.
Swipe for at se fuld tabel
|Lønsikring fra||Meld dig ind
inden du fylder
indtil du fylder
|65 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|60 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|60 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|60 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|60 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|59 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|59 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|59 år Maks. alder||60 år Dækningsgrænse|
|59 år Maks. alder||63 år Dækningsgrænse|
|58 år Maks. alder||60 år Dækningsgrænse|
|55 år Maks. alder||63 år Dækningsgrænse|
|55 år Maks. alder||65 år Dækningsgrænse|
|Data senest opdateret: 16.08.2021|
Below you find more helpfull links if you are just coming to Denmark:
Transfering to a new a-kasse
If you are already a member of an a-kasse in Denmark and wish to transfer to another, maybe cheeper a-kasse, the process i relatively simple.
All you have to do is to sign up with your new a-kasse, and they will handle the transfer for you. Do not cancel your current a-kasse and the sign up for the new one, as you will risk loosing data this way.
The best way is just to sign up with the new a-kasse and let them know where you previouly where and your member-id here. Then your new a-kasse will handle the rest.
Below we have created test, where you can choose your current a-kasse and see if your are able to get a cheaper solution elsewhere. Try it our here:
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