Unemployment benefit rules and regulations

There are a number of conditions that must be met before you are eligible for and can receive unemployment benefits. Below you can read more about the rules, depending on whether you are an employee, self-employed or newly graduated.

Who is eligible for unemployment benefits in Denmark?

I am an employee
  • Membership of an a-kasse

You must have been a member of an a-kasse for a minimum of 1 year without interruption.

  • Income demand

The day you want to receive benefits, you must have a minimum registered income accumulated over the past three years of 233.376,00 kr. (in 2019).

A maximum of 19.448,00 kr. can be included pr. month (in 2019), and the income must be registered during a simultaneous a-kasse membership period. The job must be on ordinary salary and employment terms – typically terms of the collective agreement – and must not be financially supported by the state.

The following can be included in the income demand:

Salaried work:
A-income which has been reported to the Income Register.
B-income, of which labor market contributions are paid and which have not been included in a company's profits.

Self-employment:
The company's taxable profits and the A income paid to you.
Note: The income can only be included when the annual tax return has been completed and it will be included at 1/12 per. month. This means that more than one year may pass from your enrollment in an a-kasse until you are entitled to unemployment benefit.

  • Hour demand

If you are to resume the right to a new 2-year benefit period, the resumption is based on the number of hours you have been paid for.

Within the past three years, you must have had 1,924 hours of work (equivalent to 52 weeks of full-time work).

The work must be within a period when you have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund.

All salaried hours can be included in the 1,924 hours. The work must, however, be on ordinary salary and employment terms, see above under "Income Demand".

You should therefore contact us if your salary is low. If the work is not on ordinary salary and employment terms, it cannot be counted in the 1,924 hours, nor can the salary be used for calculating an unemployment benefit rate.

  • Residency requirement

From January 1, 2019, you must meet a residency requirement in order to be entitled to unemployment benefits. This means that you must have been a legal resident in Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) or another EU / EEA country or Switzerland for 5 years within the last 12 years. In the year 2020, the requirement is 6 years within 12 years and in the year 2021, when the residence requirement is finally phased in, the requirement will be 7 years within 12 years.

Staying in an EU / EEA country or Switzerland can only count towards the fulfillment of the residency requirement if you are a citizen of an EU / EEA country or Switzerland or if you have been a refugee or a stateless person. If you have resided in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, your stay may count towards fulfilling the residency requirement regardless of citizenship.

The residency requirement must be fulfilled at the time when you apply for unemployment benefits or have resumed the right to unemployment benefits.

There are a number of exceptions to the legislation, where stays outside Denmark (incl. Greenland and the Faroe Islands), EU / EEA countries and Switzerland can be equated with residence in Denmark, and thus count towards fulfilling the residency requirement. If you would like further information or would like to receive individual guidance on the
fulfillment of the residency requirement, you are welcome to contact us. To this end, we must point out that we need your consent for us to obtain information about residence registration in the CPR register. The consent is necessary in order for Ase to determine the fulfillment of the residency requirement.

  • Registration at the job center

You must register as unemployed at your local job center from the first day of your unemployment.

  • Quarantine

If you are deemed to be responsible for the fact that you are made redundant or if you have been given a notice of termination that is too short, you will be given three weeks' quarantine, where you cannot receive unemployment benefits.

If you already have a prior quarantine within the last 12 months, you will lose your right to unemployment benefits.

  • Availability

You must be able to work full-time as an employee. You must seek and apply for work yourself and you must be ready to accept the job that the job center may offer you.

  • Calculation of unemployment benefits

When you become unemployed, you generally get the equivalent of 90 % of your previous salary in unemployment benefits. However, you cannot receive any more than the maximum daily allowance rate, which is 18,866 kr. per month in 2019.

This means that you must have earned an average of 22,785 kr. or more for 12 months within 24 months in order to be eligible for the maximum unemployment benefit rate (2019 figure).

Your daily benefit rate is calculated on the basis of the 12 months with the highest income in the last 24 months.

  • Independent activity/self-employment

If you have an independent activity/sideline in addition to your main occupation as an employee, we will ask you to provide us with additional information in connection with your application for unemployment benefits or early retirement benefits.

Self-employment may affect your right to unemployment benefit or early retirement benefit.

In special cases, this may mean that you are not entitled to unemployment benefits/early retirement benefits at all.

See more about your options in Ase's brochure: "Aktiviteter som selvstændig samtidig med dagpenge” on ase.dk

 

Are you in doubt?
As a starting point, the rules we have outlined here apply, but there may be exceptions. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact us if you have questions or are in any doubt.

I am self-employed
  • Membership of an a-kasse

You must have been a member of an a-kasse for a minimum of 1 year without interruption.

  • Income demand

The day you want to receive benefits, you must have a minimum registered income accumulated over the past three years of 233.376,00 kr. (in 2019). A maximum of 19.448,00 kr. can be included pr. month (in 2019), and the income must be registered during a simultaneous a-kasse membership period.

The job must be on ordinary salary and employment terms – typically terms of the collective agreement – and must not be financially supported by the state.

The following can be included in the income demand:

Salaried work:
A-income which has been reported to the Income Register.
B-income, of which labor market contributions are paid and which have not been included in a company's profits.


Self-employment:
The company's taxable profits and the A income paid to you.
Note: The income can only be included when the annual tax return has been completed and it will be included at 1/12 per. month. This means that more than one year may pass from your enrollment in an a-kasse until you are entitled to unemployment benefit.

  • Residency requirement

From January 1, 2019, you must meet a residency requirement in order to be entitled to unemployment benefits. This means that you must have been a legal resident in Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) or another EU / EEA country or Switzerland for 5 years within the last 12 years. In the year 2020, the requirement is 6 years within 12 years and in the year 2021, when the residency requirement is finally phased in, the requirement will be 7 years within 12 years.

Staying in an EU / EEA country or Switzerland can only count towards the fulfillment of the residency requirement if you are a citizen of an EU / EEA country or Switzerland or if you have been a refugee or a stateless person. If you have resided in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, your stay may count towards fulfilling the residency requirement regardless of citizenship.

The residency requirement must be fulfilled at the time when you apply for unemployment benefits or have resumed the right to unemployment benefits.

There are a number of exceptions to the legislation, where stays outside Denmark (incl. Greenland and the Faroe Islands), EU / EEA countries and Switzerland can be equated with residence in Denmark, and thus count towards fulfilling the residency requirement. If you would like further information or would like to receive individual guidance on the fulfillment of the residency requirement, you are welcome to contact us. To this end, we must point out that we need your consent for us to obtain information about residence registration in the CPR register. The consent is necessary in order for Ase to determine the fulfillment of the residence demand.

  • Cessation of business

You must document that you have permanently ceased your own business activities. There are special rules for what is required to document final cessation.

  • Registration at the job center

You must register as unemployed at your local job center from the first day of your unemployment.

  • Quarantine

As a general rule, you are entitled to unemployment benefits 3 weeks after your business has ceased. If your company has ceased due to bankruptcy, suspension of payments or forced action, you are already entitled to unemployment benefits after 1 week.

  • Willing to work

You must be able to work full-time as an employee. You must seek and apply for work yourself, and you must be willing to accept a job if offered to you by the job center.

  • Calculation of unemployment benefits

Your unemployment benefits will be calculated according to the rules for calculating unemployment benefits. However, you will receive a maximum of 18,866 kr. before tax per month (2019).

  • Co-working spouse

If you are employed as a co-working spouse, you must be aware that special rules apply if you have to apply for unemployment benefits.

If you do not own all or part of the company, and if you have a taxable salary agreement with your spouse, where you receive an ordinary salary under normal employment terms and conditions, you will be considered as an employee, employed by your spouse.

  • Independent activity/self-employment

If you have another independent activity in addition to your main business as selfemployed/co-working spouse, we will ask you to provide us with additional information in connection with your application for unemployment benefits or early retirement.

Self-employment may affect your right to unemployment benefits or early retirement benefit.

In special cases, this may mean that you are not entitled to unemployment benefits/early retirement benefits at all.

Read more about your options in Ase's brochure: "Aktiviteter som selvstændig samtidig med dagpenge” on ase.dk

 

Are you in doubt?
As a starting point, the rules we have outlined here apply, but there may be exceptions. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact us if you have questions or are in any doubt.

Sickness allowance for self-employed
From experience, we know that many new self-employed people would like to know something about sickness benefits. We refer to https://www.ase.dk/faa-svar/sygdom/jeg-vil-soege-sygedagpenge for further information on the subject. If you have any questions, please contact your municipality, which manages the sickness benefit scheme.
I am a graduate
  • Membership of an a-kasse

As a graduate you can achieve a special right to unemployment benefits after just one month.

  • Registration at the Job Center

You must register your unemployment at your local Job Center in the first day after completing your education.

If you want to apply for unemployment benefits, please contact us and ask for a set of unemployment papers.

  • Willing to work

You must be able to work full-time as an employee. You must seek and apply for work yourself, and you must be willing to accept a job if offered to you by the job center.

  • Calculation of unemployment benefits

As a graduate you are entitled to fixed graduate rate of either 82% or 71,5% of the maximum benefit rate. The rate depends on whether you have parental responsibilities or not.

  • Independent activity/self-employment

If you have independent activity or if you are self-employed, we will ask you to provide us with additional information in connection with your application for unemployment benefits or early retirement.

Self-employment may affect your right to unemployment benefits or early retirement benefit.

In special cases, this may mean that you are not entitled to unemployment benefits/early retirement benefits at all.

We recommend that you read our leaflets on www.ase.dk.

Leaflets

At virksomhedsguiden.dk you can also find a lot of information about operating a self-employed company.

Virksomhedsguiden.dk

  • Residency requirement

From January 1, 2019, you must meet a residency requirement in order to be entitled to unemployment benefits. This means that you must have been a legal resident in Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) or another EU / EEA country or Switzerland for 5 years within the last 12 years. In the year 2020, the requirement is 6 years within 12 years and in the year 2021, when the residency requirement is finally phased in, the requirement will be 7 years within 12 years.

Staying in an EU / EEA country or Switzerland can only count towards the fulfillment of the residency requirement if you are a citizen of an EU / EEA country or Switzerland or if you have been a refugee or a stateless person. If you have resided in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, your stay may count towards fulfilling the residency requirement regardless of citizenship.

The residency requirement must be fulfilled at the time when you apply for unemployment benefits or have resumed the right to unemployment benefits.

There are a number of exceptions to the legislation, where stays outside Denmark (incl. Greenland and the Faroe Islands), EU / EEA countries and Switzerland can be equated with residence in Denmark, and thus count towards fulfilling the residency requirement. If you would like further information or would like to receive individual guidance on the fulfillment of the residency requirement, you are welcome to contact us. To this end, we must point out that we need your consent for us to obtain information about residence registration in the CPR register. The consent is necessary in order for Ase to determine the fulfillment of the residency requirement.

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