The Great Guide to Unemployment Benefits

© Dennis Morton

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Rules for graduates, the 2-week rule, and no-benefit months. The matter of unemployment insurance is littered with a variety of concepts and rules that are often difficult to grasp. Get familiar with terms like these in our guide to unemployment insurance.

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Try MA's online self-study programme, in which the most important unemployment benefit rules are covered in just five minutes – and you can also test yourself.

You are entited to receive unemployment benefits if you are an EU citizens and a member of an unemployment insurance fund (in Danish an ‘A-kasse’).

Graduate rates

If you have children under the age of 18, as a new graduate, you'll receive 82% of the maximum unemployment benefit amount, corresponding to 15,868 DKK.

If you do not have children under the age of 18, your benefit rate will be 71.5% of the maximum, or 13,836 DKK per month.
Both amounts are before tax.

When is your course of study complete?

Your course of study is considered complete as of the day you receive your final grades and have passed your exams.

If you receive a diploma, the date on it can always be considered the date you completed your course of study.

Advanced approval

If you complete your course of study by submitting a thesis that does not require a defence, you can register as unemployed as soon as the day after your counsellor and reviewer have signed an advanced approval.

The Danish residency rule

To receive the graduate unemployment benefit rate, you must have resided and been present in Denmark immediately before, and no later than two weeks after your education.

There is no requirement to have resided and been present in Denmark during your studies, but before two weeks have passed from the time you finish your studies, you must fulfil both conditions again.

The 2-week rule and no-benefit months

In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must have registered with an unemployment insurance fund no later than two weeks after finishing your education. There is an obligatory no-benefit month, meaning that you will first receive unemployment benefits one month after finishing your education.

If you have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least one year before graduating, you can skip the initial month of no benefits.

Read more about the rules (in Danish)

For how long can I receive unemployment benefits?

You can receive unemployment benefits for a total of two years within a three-year period.

However, you can also extend your benefit period if you've used up the two years of benefits you're entitled to, but you haven't worked enough hours to earn it all back. If you received hourly wages while not employed in a salaried position, you can exchange those working hours for benefits at a ratio of 1:2.

That is, your right to unemployment benefits is extended by two hours for each hour you worked while not employed in a salaried position.

The PD U2 certificate

A PD U2 certificate allows you to continue receiving benefits while abroad to another EEA country for up to three months, if you're actively seeking employment abroad.

You can apply for a PD U2 certificate using the Unemployment Benefits in Another EEA Country form.

Read more (in Danish)

Your student job

If you don't want to keep your student job once you've completed your education, you must leave that job before you receive your final grade. It's important that you leave the job before you graduate. Otherwise, you'll be subject to a 111-hour quarantine period, during which you will not be entitled to unemployment benefits.

You don't necessarily need to give up your job to be entitled to unemployment benefits if you work less than 145 hours a month. Often, it can be an advantage to continue working part-time while looking for a full-time job. And, in many cases, you'll be able to receive supplementary benefits if you work less than 145 hours a month.

The conditions for receiving supplementary benefits include actively seeking a full-time job and having your employer waive any termination notice otherwise required from you, either as part of your contract or by signing a waiver.

Read more about the waiver (in Danish)

From the graduate rate to the maximum rate

If you receive employment for at least three months, you’ll have a new benefit rate calculated should you become unemployed again. If you earned at least 23,371 kr. per month on average, then you are entitled to the maximum unemployment benefit rate of 19,351 kr. per month.

You can begin receiving unemployment benefits at a new rate no earlier than after six months after you became entitled to unemployment benefits as a recent graduate.

Contact the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund

You can contact MA if you need advice about unemployment benefits

Become a member

Sign up with the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund today and guarantee your right to unemployment benefits.