Guide for unemployment insurance in Denmark

Af Mette Stensballe opdateret d. 14-10-2021

You might have heard about how low Denmark’s unemployment rate is, and you’ve probably heard about the country’s fantastic unemployment benefits. Unemployment funds save people time, energy, and effort, especially so with the most recent pandemic. They’re not like other social benefits; to receive unemployment insurance, you have to proactively seek it out before you find yourself unemployed. There can be a lot of options, rules, and requirements, and it can be difficult to follow, but we’re here to help answer all your questions.

So let’s start from the beginning; what exactly is an unemployment fund? 

An unemployment fund is a type of private insurance that you pay a monthly fee towards in order to have unemployment benefits and a reasonable income if you experience a job loss or can’t find a job after graduation. These funds are often referred to as “a-kasser”, in Danish. All Danish unemployment funds are owned by private organisations, and there are a total of 22 unemployment insurance funds that operate in Denmark. See the list of some of the unemployment funds in Denmark below.

Unemployment fund Open to Price per month Sign up online
Akademikernes a kasse Anyone DKK 467  Sign up here
CA a kasse  Business DKK 505 Sign up here
FOA a kasse Some professions DKK 519  Sign up here
Det faglige hus a kasse Anyone DKK 487  Sign up here
3F a kasse Some professions DKK 524 Sign up here
Krifa a kasse Anyone DKK 505 Sign up here
ase a kasse Anyone DKK 514 Sign up here
FTF a kasse Anyone DKK 468 Sign up here
Ledernes a kasse Leaders DKK 480  Sign up here
Min a kasse Anyone DKK 490 Sign up here
Frie a kasse Anyone DKK 498 Sign up here
Business Danmark a kasse
Sales and Marketing DKK 490 Sign up here
Magistrenes a kasse
Anyone DKK 502 Sign up here

What are the benefits of having an unemployment fund?

Being a foreigner, it can be difficult to navigate the labour market. When you’re a member of an unemployment fund, they are available to guide you with requirements, what you are entitled to, and how to collect your claims on your unemployment insurance. 

There are so many benefits that can come from owning unemployment insurance. Here are a few:

·    Financial security

·    Peace of mind 

·    Personal advice on career choices, social events and courses

·    Available for recently graduated students

·    Often connected to and work with unions

What’s required from me to get unemployment insurance?

There’s not much required of you to get unemployment insurance. You can sign up if:

unemployment insurance


What is the difference between full-time and part-time unemployment insurance?

If you want full-time insurance, you have to work more than 30 hours a week on average and be able to apply for full-time work. When you are full-time insured, your monthly premium will be higher, but consequently, so will the payout. 

If you want part-time insurance, you have to work 30 hours a week or less, and you will only have to apply for part-time jobs (up to 30 hours a week.) 

How can I receive Denmark’s unemployment benefits?

Not just anyone can claim unemployment benefit; you need to make sure you meet all the requirements before you can collect.

receive unemployment benefits

To apply for an unemployment insurance fund, you have to meet certain income requirements before collecting. Those vary if you have full-time or part-time insurance.

For full-time, you have to have earned a gross income of at least DKK 243,996 over the last 3 years. For part-time, the gross income is DKK 162,660 over the last 3 years. Despite what your monthly income is, you can count a maximum of 20,333 per month. If you earn less, it will take more time than 1 year before you are eligible to collect. You have to meet the minimum income requirement and the minimum 1-year membership requirement.

What are Denmark’s unemployment Benefits like for 2021?

The amount that you’ll receive depends on quite a few things; whether you are part-time or full-time insured, what job you have, whether you have just graduated, with or without children, whether or not you have reached the age of 25, if you work for a company or are self-employed, and what A-kasse you belong to. Right now, you can receive a maximum of DKK19,332 per month if you are full-time insured and 12,881 per month if you are part-time insured.

You are also only entitled to unemployment benefits for up to 2 years, within a 3-year period calculated by working hours (3,848 hours full-time and 3,120 hours part-time). It’s also possible to extend the 3 years if you were on maternity leave or were grievously ill. 

Usually, unemployment insurance funds partner with unions, so you might be asked to sign up with a union by your A-kasse. Unions will help you legally when your working rights have been infringed upon. For example, a union could help you if you’ve been illegally terminated, not given proper working conditions, refused holiday time or pay, etc.

They can also help you with negotiations for your work contracts. Regardless of whether you decide to join a union with your unemployment fund or not, it’s important to know your rights. You are free to choose whether or not you want to be a part of a union. If you end up deciding that you don’t want to join a union with your A-kasse, it will not affect your benefits.