Family benefits

Introduction

When you have children in Denmark, you may qualify for various grants for your children. These grants are called family benefits. Family benefits are administered by Udbetaling Danmark - Public Benefits Administration.

Here you can read a brief description of the various types of family benefits.

Child and youth benefit, also known as the ‘child cheque’ (or family allowance) is a payment that you receive for each of your children until they reach the age of 18. The amount you receive depends on the age of your child, how long you have been earning the right to Danish family benefits, your income and the income of any spouse.

Child benefits are paid quarterly in advance. When your child reaches the age of 15, you will receive a youth benefit instead of a child benefit. Youth benefits are paid every month in arrears.

Child and youth benefits are generally paid to the mother’s NemKonto. If the child only lives with the father, it is paid to the father. If there is joint custody and the child stays with both parents, the child or youth benefit is paid to the parent with whom the child lives most of the time. If the parents have joint custody, it is paid to the parent at whose address the child is registered.

Child allowance is a payment paid in special circumstances if:

  • you are single
  • you have twins - or triples, quadruplets, etc.
  • you are a pensioner
  • you are taking an education
  • the father of your child is unknown
  • one or both parents are dead
  • you have adopted a child.

The size of the child allowance depends on your situation.

You can watch a short video here about when you are seen as single or cohabiting in relation to child allowance for single parents.

Child support is an amount that you can receive if you live together with your child but not together with your child’s other parent. The other parent is the one who must pay that amount to you.

There are different rules for when you can receive family benefits.

Among other things, it depends on whether you are cohabiting with your child’s other parent, how many parents you have, your income and how long you have lived or worked in Denmark.

If you are living Then you may qualify for receiving
together with your child’s other parents

child and youth benefits

child allowance

adoption grants

together with another partner/spouse 

child and youth benefits

child support

children’s allowance

adoption grants

only together with your child

child and youth benefits

child support

child allowance

You have the right to child and youth benefits if:

  • your child is under 18
  • your child lives in Denmark
  • you live in Denmark
  • the person who has custody of the child is fully liable for tax in Denmark
  • your child has not been placed in a foster home or is otherwise a ward of the state
  • you have lived or worked in Denmark, the Faroe Islands or Greenland for at least six of the last 10 years or earned the right to family benefits in other EU/EEA countries or Switzerland.

Read the rules for when you qualify for receiving child and youth benefits as a foreigner under “What are the rules for foreigners for receiving child benefits?”.

If you want to learn more about child and youth benefits, you can read more on the Danish page on borget.dk:

Certain different conditions have to be met in order to receive a child allowance.

You can receive a child allowance if:

  • your child is resident in Denmark
  • your child is unmarried
  • your child has not been placed in a foster home or is otherwise a ward of the state
  • you are resident in Denmark.

In addition, there are some conditions that will need to be met in terms of your situation:

Grant You can receive a child allowance if:
Child allowance for singles
  • you are a single parent
  • you are unmarried, or you have left your spouse due to disagreements
  • you or your child are Danish citizens or you have been a resident of Denmark for at least one year

Child allowance if you have twins - or triplets, quadruplets, etc.

  • your children live together
  • you or your children are Danish citizens or you have had a permanent address in Denmark for at least one year
Child allowance if you are a pensioner
  • you and/or the child’s other parent are old-age pensioners or have been awarded a disability pension based on the rules that applied before 1 January 2003
  • your child is under the age of 18you or your child are Danish citizens
  • a child support payment cannot be determined for the child
Child allowance if you are retired and paying child support
  • you are an old-age pensioner or on a disability pension based on the rules that applied before 1 January 2003
  • you are paying child support after a ruling from the State Administration
  • your child is under the age of 18
  • you, your child or the child’s other parent are Danish citizens
Child allowance for parents in education
  • you are in the process of taking a state study grants (SU) entitled education or an education that will entitle you to be accepted into an unemployment insurance fund
  • you, as a single parent, do not receive a provider supplement for your state study grants
  • your child lives with you
  • your child, you or the child’s other parent are Danish citizens
Child allowance for parents taking an internship/traineeship
  • you are in the midst of a schooling or internship/traineeship period with a salary/trainee benefit and
  • you are a sole provider or cohabiting/married to someone who is also taking a state study grant entitled education or who receives education benefits from the municipality
  • your child lives with you
Child allowance in the event of paternity cases or an unknown father
  • the father’s identity cannot be established, or there is an ongoing paternity case being processed by the State Administration or the courts
  • you have been artificially inseminated with the assistance of a donor

In order to be entitled to receive the full benefit, you have must lived or worked in Denmark for at least six years in the last 10 years. This is called the ‘principle of qualification’. If you have received child allowance payments before 1 January 2018, and if you are still entitled to them, you will instead be subject to a qualification period of 2 years. This means that you must have lived or worked in Denmark for at least two years within the past 10 years.

Child allowance when one or both parents are deceased

Udbetaling Danmark will automatically pay a special child allowance if one or both of the child’s parents are deceased. If both parents are deceased, the child allowance will be paid to the one providing for the child.

If you would like to know more about the different kinds of child allowances, you can read more about them on the Danish page at borger.dk:

You can receive child support payments if you live together with your child but not together with the child’s other parent. You can also receive a contribution if you support the child in some other fashion. The other parent is the one who must pay that amount to you. The general rule is that you, as parents, should agree upon the contribution yourselves.

If you cannot agree on the contribution, you can have the State Administration decide on the contribution. You must contact the State Administration to get that assistance.

If you have a plan for sharing the kids and you also share the expenses for the child’s upkeep between you, there will not normally be allocated child support payments. If you want to know more about child support payments, you can read more on the Danish page at borger.dk:

If you are a foreigner and work in Denmark, you may apply for child benefits if you:

  • share custody of the child
  • can document that you are related to the child
  • are a citizen in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein, if your child does not live in Denmark.

In addition, you must have worked or lived in Denmark for a certain period within the past 10 years.

Below, you can see an overview of how much you are entitled to receive, depending on how long you have lived or worked in Denmark, in Greenland or on the Faroe Islands.

Total period in which you have lived or worked in Denmark (within the past 10 years) Percentage of the benefit which you are entitled to receive
6 months 8.3 pct.
1 year 16.7 pct.
1.5 years 25 pct.
2 years 33.3 pct.
2.5 years 41.7 pct.
3 years 50 pct.
3.5 years 58.3 pct.
4 years 66.7 pct.
4.5 years 75 pct.
5 years 83.3 pct.
5.5 years 91.7 pct.
6 years 100 pct.

You can also include periods during which you have accrued family benefit rights by living in or working in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. You can do so if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. However, Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration – first need to verify your information with the authorities in the country in which you have lived or worked before the periods can be included.

If you are a citizen in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein and want to know more about your rights when living or working in Denmark, you have to contact the authorities in your home country.

Were you entitled to receive child benefits before 1 January 2018?

If you received child benefits before 1 January 2018 and if you are still entitled to receive child benefits, you are subject to a two-year qualification requirement. This means that you must have lived or worked in Denmark for at least two years within the past 10 years.

Below, you can see the percentage you are entitled to receive, depending on how long you have lived or worked in Denmark, in Greenland or on the Faroe Islands within the past 10 years.

  • 6 months in order to have earned 25 per cent of the total benefit
  • 1 year in order to have earned 50 per cent of the total benefit
  • 1.5 years in order to have earned 75 per cent of the total benefit
  • 2 years in order to have earned the total benefit.

How do I apply?

When working in Denmark, families with children are eligible for receiving child benefits. If your child does not live in Denmark, you have to apply for the benefit yourself.

If you are a citizen in an EU/EEA country

When you apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen, you must use various documentation. Below, you can see which documents you need in order to apply.

Infographic on which documents you need in order to apply

If you log in using NemID, you only have to attach the relevant documentation. You can save your application along the way, if you like.

If you do not have NemID

If you do not have NemID, you must use a form for declaration and consent. You can find the form you need to use here:

You must print the form, sign it and scan it to your computer. When you apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen without NemID, you must attach:

  • Form for declaration and consent
  • Employment contract
  • Birth certificate for children.

You can apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen without NemID here:

If you need help or have questions you can contact Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.

If you are not a citizen in an EU/EEA country

If you are not a citizen in an EU/EEA country, you can apply for the benefit by contacting Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.

Please be aware not to send sensitive personal information such as your civil registration (CPR) number to Udbetaling Danmark via email because email is not a secure communication channel. If you need to send sensitive personal information, you must send a letter to Udbetaling Danmark, Kongens Vænge 8, DK-3400 Hillerød.

When am I a citizen in an EU/EEA country?

You are EU/EEA citizen if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:

  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Austria.

Some types of child allowances are paid out automatically if you meet the conditions for the allowance and if you and the child/children live in Denmark. This applies to:

  • Child allowance if you have twins - or triplets, quadruplets, etc.
  • Child allowance if you are a pensioner
  • Child allowance when one or both parents are deceased
  • Grants, if you are a single parent and have adopted a child

The child allowance that you need to apply for are:

If you are a single parent:

If you are retired and paying child support:

If you are taking an internship/traineeship or in education:

If you have a paternity case or the father is unknown:

If you have adopted a child and you are not a single parent:

More information

If you live in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland with your family and work in Denmark

If you live in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and work exclusively in Denmark, you will in general be covered by the Danish social security system. This means that you will have the right to family benefits from Denmark if you meet the other conditions listed above.

If the child's other parent works in the country where you live, you should receive family benefits in that country. If Danish family benefits are higher than the benefits in the country where you live, Denmark will pay the difference. If the Danish benefit is lower than in the country where you are living, you will not receive family benefits from Denmark.

If you live in Denmark and work in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland

If you live in Denmark and work exclusively in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you will in general be covered by the social security system in the country where you work. As a rule, this means that you have the right to family benefits from the country where you work. You should contact the authorities in the country where you work to ask them to advise you about the rules.

If the child's other parent works in Denmark, you should receive Danish family benefits. If family benefits from the country where you work are higher than the benefits in Denmark, the other country will pay the difference. If the benefit from the other country is lower than in Denmark, you will not receive family benefits form the other country.

If you live in Denmark and receive a pension from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland

If you live in Denmark and receive a pension from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, and the child's other parent is not working in Denmark, you do not have the right to Danish family benefits. This is because you are not covered by the Danish social security system. You must instead contact the authorities in the country from which you receive your pension.

If you move abroad

If you move abroad, you will no longer have the right to Danish child and youth benefit.

Read more about family benefits in EU countries:

Remember to notify Udbetaling Danmark of changes

When you receive family benefits, you have a duty to let Udbetaling Danmark know about any changes. This means that you must immediately notify Udbetaling Danmark if your circumstances change and if the change has an impact on the benefits you are receiving.

You need to notify Udbetaling Danmark if there changes to your circumstances that might impact your family benefits. It can be if, for example:

  • your are no longer a single parent
  • you want to stop receiving one or more of your family benefits
  • you are moving to another address, or people are moving to/from your address
  • you are no longer a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • your contribution has changed
  • your child’s paternity case has been settled
  • you or your common-law partner/spouse end your studies or internship/traineeship before the scheduled time• your income has changed
  • your child completes his/her education (if you are receiving an education allowance)
  • you or your child’s other parent stop working in Denmark
  • you start working in a country other than Denmark
  • your child moves to another country
  • your child gets married.

If you do not notify Udbetaling Danmark when your situation changes, you risk having to pay money back.

Udbetaling Danmark sends its letters in Danish

When you receive family benefits, you will receive letters from Udbetaling Danmark, for example, about the amount you are being paid.

As a general rule, all letters from Udbetaling Danmark are sent in Danish. Therefore, it may be a good idea to have a friend or acquaintance translate the letters if you have trouble understanding Danish. You are also always welcome to call Udbetaling Danmark if you have any questions.

If someone else is going to contact Udbetaling Danmark on your behalf, you first need to provide that person with a power of attorney. This also applies even if you are cohabiting and the other person just needs to speak to Udbetaling Danmark about the case.

If you are contacting Udbetaling Danmark on behalf of someone else, you first need to have a power of attorney.

For those of you who receive family benefits

Here you can digitally provide another person with a power of attorney to act on your behalf when contacting Udbetaling Danmark. For example, this might be to discuss your case, receive information about your case or to assume full responsibility for the case. You can provide a power of attorney for family benefits or for several other areas that Udbetaling Danmark deals with. The power of attorney does not provide access to digital self-service functions.

For those of you who will be helping someone else

If the person who wants to provide you with a power of attorney does not have NemID, you can use a written power of attorney. The form can be filled out on the screen or by hand, and it needs to be signed by the person giving you the power of attorney.

If you have a written letter of attorney from someone receiving family benefits, you can send the signed letter of attorney digitally. If you are using a mobile phone, you can take a picture of the letter of attorney and attach it. The power of attorney does not provide access to digital self-service functions.

You can also send the letter of attorney by post to Udbetaling Danmark, Kongens Vænge 8, 3400 Hillerød. Please note that it may take up to a week before Udbetaling Danmark receives the letter of attorney by post.

If you want to know more about powers of attorney for family benefits, you can read more on the Danish page on borger.dk:

If you have received more in family benefits than you are entitled to, for example because your situation has changed, you should first return this money to Udbetaling Danmark.

If you have to pay money back to Udbetaling Danmark, Family benefits, this may be for one of the following reasons:

  • your and/or your spouse’s income has changed
  • you have become single, got married or started cohabiting
  • you are no longer entitled to receive family benefits from Denmark.

How to pay back money to Udbetaling Danmark

If you have received too much in family benefits, you will receive a letter from Udbetaling Danmark explaining what you have to pay back and why. If you have received this letter, you can pay the entire amount in one lump sum by transferring the money to Udbetaling Danmark’s bank account:

How to pay back child and youth benefits (child and youth benefits):

  • Bank: Danske Bank
  • SWIFT: DABADKKK
  • IBAN no.: DK850216406171966
  • Remember to state your civil registration number.

How to pay back your child allowance (child allowance):

  • Bank: Danske Bank
  • SWIFT: DABADKKK
  • IBAN no.: DK2902164069171907
  • Remember to state your civil registration number.

How to pay back child and youth benefits (child and youth benefits) if you are an EU/EEC citizen:

  • Bank: Danske Bank
  • SWIFT: DABADKKK
  • IBAN no.: DK6502164069175236
  • Remember to state your civil registration number.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark, Family benefits