Social Security in Denmark

Denmark continues to be among countries with the best quality of life in the world. Politically and economically speaking, Denmark is considered stable without dramatic fluctuations that would harm citizens’ quality of life and expats. If you’ve ever wondered about social security in Denmark, then you came to the right place. Scroll down to learn more about this subject.


A person can receive unemployment benefits in Denmark if they’ve been a member of a recognized unemployment insurance fund for at least a year, and they are out of work at the same time. 

To claim unemployment benefits, it’s necessary to meet certain eligibility criteria, besides membership in recognized unemployment insurance. They are:

  • Have resided in Denmark or another EU/EFA country or Switzerland for five years within the last 12 years
  • Being registered at the Public Employment Service called jobcentre 
  • Fulfilling the employment requirement (working 52 weeks full-time or 34 weeks part-time within three years)
  • Meeting the availability requirement (if the unemployment is self-induced you need to wait three weeks before claiming benefit)

The amount of unemployment benefit paid to the wage earner depends on various factors including the previous salary (no more than 90% of it), whether it was full-time or part-time insurance, whether a person has reached the age of 25, and if they have completed their education or training. 

The highest unemployment benefit you can receive is DKK 18,866 a month for full-time insured and DKK 12,577 per month for part-time insured. The highest benefit for self-employed is DKK 18,866. 

The unemployment benefit period gives the entitlement to benefit for two years, within a maximum period of three years.


When it comes to family, various social security schemes are available in Denmark, including child benefits, child care, and maternity benefit.

Child and youth benefits, or family allowance, depending on the child’s age and the spouse’s income. Various criteria need to be met to get child benefits, especially if parents are divorced. 

When it comes to childcare, in Denmark, the guaranteed daycare availability ensures that all children are enrolled in daycare facilities from 26 weeks until school age. The crucial eligibility criterion is Danish residency, but residents EU countries who work in Denmark have the same benefits as citizens of this country.

As far as maternity benefit is concerned, you can claim this benefit for pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption if you are a salary earner or self-employed. Unemployed women who are members of the unemployment insurance fund can also get maternity benefits.


The entitlement to public healthcare in Denmark depends on whether you’re a resident of Denmark, some other EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or you’re temporarily in Denmark. If you’re a resident of Denmark or EU/EEA/Switzerland, you’re entitled to all public healthcare benefits. On the other hand, if you’re in the country temporarily, you are eligible for medically-necessary benefits only. Residents can show valid ID cards while non-residents of Denmark need a yellow health insurance card.

When discussing health, it’s also important to mention the sickness benefit that supports persons who are unable to work due to illness. You are allowed to have received sickness benefits for up to 22 weeks within the last nine calendar months. 


You can receive a public old-age pension when you reach the public retirement age and meet certain conditions. It’s useful to mention that the age at which a person can withdraw from the labor market changes frequently. The retirement age is 65, gradually rising to 67 in a period between 2019 and 2022 and then to 68 by 2030.

The pension in Denmark includes earnings-tested basic pension and income-tested supplemental pension. 

When discussing pensions, it’s also useful to address:

  • Disability pension – paid to persons 18 years or older with significant limits in their working capacity.
  • Survivor pension – paid when one spouse or cohabiting partner dies, and both spouses received a disability or old-age pensions. 

Denmark has a strong social security system whose measures and benefits extend from child benefits to pensions. Various family-related plans are available, thus making it easier for residents to retain their quality of life in Denmark. All plans have a list of criteria that need to be met, so it’s important to get informed about specific requirements before you claim.

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