Unemployment Insurance Fund (A-kasse) and Unemployment Benefits (Dagpenge)

Who can become member of an unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse)?

To become a member of an A-kasse you must have residence permit in Denmark and be between 18 and until 2 years before retirement age.

Employees, self-employed, as well as students and graduates can join an A-kasse.

It is free for students – also under the IGU programme – to be a member of an A-kasse, and at the same time it gives an economic advantage to sign up already during the study time (read more here).

How much can you get in unemployment benefits?

If you are a member of an A-kasse, you can get unemployment benefits (in Danish: "dagpenge"), if you lose your job, or if you are without job after completing your education.

The amount you get in dagpenge is higher than social security benefits (kontanthjælp). You can get up to a maximum of DKK 20,359 per month.

You may have the option of getting a supplement on top of the highest benefit amount for the first 3 months, so that in the first 3 months you can get up to DKK 24,199 per month. Read about the supplement.

The benefit amount for new graduates is lower and depends on whether you have dependent children and whether you are under or over 30 years of age.

How long can you receive unemployment benefit?

You can receive dagpenge for a period of 2 years. New graduates, however, only for 1 year.

How much does membership of an A-kasse cost?

The price for membership varies between approximately DKK 480-550 per month. The amount is fully deductible in taxes.

You can see an overview of all A-kasser here.

Requirements for being eligible for dagpenge:

• You must have been member of an A-kasse for at least one year

• You must have earned/have had an income of at least DKK 263,232 before taxes (2024) during the last 3 years (in total). Income from job with any kind of public wage subsidies, for instance job with "løntilskud" cannot be used to fulfill the income-requirement.

• You must be registered as a job seeker at your local job centre or on jobnet.dk

• You must be available for the labour market. This means you must be able to start a job with 1 day's notice (this is possible if you have residence permit).

Read more about the requirements for being eligible for dagpenge.

Special rules for new graduates:

In order to get dagpenge as a recent graduate, you must meet the following conditions:

• Have completed an education of at least 18 months duration, including for example an IGU programme.

• Have residence in Denmark immediately before the start of the education and again no later than 2 weeks after the end of the education.

• Meet a language requirement or affiliation requirement. Graduates must either have passed the test in "Dansk 2" or a Danish test at a similar or higher level, or fulfill an affiliation requirement (work for 600 hours within 12 months during the last 24 months). Read more about the language requirement.

In order to get these special rights in the A-kasse as a newly educated, it is important to apply for admission into an A-kasse at the latest two weeks after your date of graduation.

Read more about A-kasse for graduates.

Does it affect your application for permanent residence, etc.?

Dagpenge is not a social allowance like kontanthjælp and self-sufficiency and return benefit, and this is of great importance when applying for permanent residence, citizenship or family reunification. However, periods of more than 4 months on dagpenge affects citizenship applications (read more her, in Danish only).

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