Benefits and Allowances in Denmark

Information about the types of social security and welfare benefits paid in Denmark, and who is eligible…

Most residents in Denmark receive payments of some kind from the public sector. These payments may be in the form of tax refunds, child subsidies, pensions, student loans, unemployment benefits, housing support or social welfare payments, and they are all paid into an Easy Account (NemKonto). Everybody in Denmark - private citizens and companies alike - must specifically designate a bank account which is already in use to be their Easy Account.

Maternity Benefit

Parents have the right to a total of 52 weeks leave with maternity subsistence allowance. The mother is entitled to four weeks' maternity leave (barselsorloven) prior to giving birth and 14 weeks after; the father is entitled to two weeks' leave after the birth; and the remaining time can be divided according to individual wishes.

Public sector employees receive full salary during maternity leave. Private sector employees are entitled to a minimum level of maternity benefit, which is subject to negotiation with the employer. Parents who are not entitled to paid maternity leave from their workplace can receive maternity maintenance from their municipal office in their place of residence. In order to claim this payment, the local municipality should be contacted no later than eight weeks after the birth.

Maternity benefits are paid monthly into the NemKonto account  

Child and Youth Allowance

Parents who are tax resident in Denmark receive child and youth allowance (børne- og ungeydelsen, also called børnecheck). This is paid automatically every three months into a NemKonto account (an account specifically designated to receive payments from the public sector). The amount paid depends on the child's age and is paid until the child is 17.

To find out about eligibility and how to claim for child allowances, contact the local authority (kommune).

  • SKAT (Tax office) has more on child and youth allowances benefits (in Danish)

Holiday Pay

Everyone working in Denmark is entitled to five weeks paid holiday in a "holiday year" which is from 1 May to 30 April. If the employee has only been employed for a short time, 2.08 holiday days are earned per month of employment. The holiday pay is automatically paid in to the NemKonto account.

Holiday pay is paid either through a Holiday Account (FerieKonto) or by the employer if they are covered by an independent Holiday Account scheme. If enrolled in NemSMS, notification is sent when VacationKonto pays the holiday allowance.

Sickness Benefit

Under the Danish Sickness Benefit Act, sickness benefits are paid to the employee for the first 14 days of the employee's absence. After 14 days, the sickness benefits are paid by the local authority. The employee receives 90 percent of their salary or a maximum of DKK 3,016 per week. The employee cannot receive sickness benefits for more than one year.

Denmark's Citizen's website has more on how to apply for sickness benefits (sygedagepenge)

More is also available from the Labour Authority website (in Danish).

Disability Benefits

Services and benefits for people with disabilities are financed by local authorities. A home help can also be provided if the local authority considers it necessary. Local authorities also offer personal assistance schemes and socio-pedagogical support for those who need it. Reimbursement of extra costs may be granted depending on the specific situation (this can include extra transport, or help with day-to-day tasks within the home).

Individuals who cannot support themselves financially due to a disability are entitled to a maintenance benefit from the Danish State. This disability pension is available to those aged 18 to 65 whose ability to work is permanently reduced. Applications for a disability pension are made at the local municipality office. The local authority then assesses whether a person is entitled to the pension.