Survivor benefits

You can apply for survivor benefits after your spouse if your income is under a certain amount

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You can apply for survivor benefits if your spouse or cohabitant passes away and you:

  • have been living together in Denmark or an EU / EEA country or Switzerland for the past three years before your spouse or cohabitant passed away
  • are covered by Danish social security
  • are a pensioner who receives medical care covered by the Danish social security
  • are a co-insured family member, who together with your now deceased spouse, receives medical assistance covered by the Danish social security
  • do not receive or have previously received survivors’ pension, ie. you have not received your spouse's or cohabitant's early or state pension for three months after his or hers death
  • earn less than DKK 391.889 (2021) per year including wealth supplement.

You can receive a maximum of DKK 15,234 (2021) in survivor benefits. The benefit is paid out as a lump sum and you must pay tax of the amount.

Below you can see how much you can receive in 2021 depending on your yearly income and asset supplement: 

In this table you find the amount for survivor benefits depending on your yearly income.
Yearly income incl. asset supplement in DKK Survivor benefit in DKK 
 Under 250,810 15,234
 Between 250,810 – 266,485 13,710
 Between 266,486 – 282,160 12,188
 Between 282,161 – 297,835 10,663
 Between 297,836 – 313,510 9,138
 Between 313,511 – 329,185 7,619
 Between 329,186 – 344,860 6,092
 Between 344,861 – 360,535 4,572
 Between 360,536 – 376,210 3,047
 Between 376,211 – 391,888 1,525
 391,889 or more 0

How Udbetaling Danmark calculates your yearly income

Your yearly income is based on the income that you had the month before your spouse or cohabitant passed away. The yearly income includes your personal income, positive net capital income, asset supplement and any payments related to the death of your spouse or cohabitant.

What is capital income?

Capital income includes:

  • all types of interest income and interest expenses
  • rental income for rooms rented from own house or apartment
  • profits and losses on bonds or ship shares Net capital income is positive capital income minus negative capital income.

Asset supplements

If you have assets over the value of DKK 156,753 (2021) then Udbetaling Danmark will calculate a asset supplement of 30 percent of the property that exceeds the amount. The asset supplement is added to your yearly income. The calculation of the supplement includes:

  • deposit in the bank
  • mortgage deeds and market value of bonds and shares
  • cash
  • value of a car
  • property value
  • value of shares in cooperative housing associations
  • debt to mortgage banks, banks, etc.

The case processing time limit is 4 weeks.

The case processing time limit period begins the same day Udbetaling Danmark receives your application.

You can help ensure that your application is processed as soon as possible by:

  • Attaching the required documentation
  • Ensuring that your information in the National Register of Persons (CPR) is correct.

If you are not satisfied with how Udbetaling Danmark has dealt with your case, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark, Survivor benefits. Sometimes misunderstandings can occur and can easily be resolved with a verbal explanation. 

If you disagree with a decision

You may file a complaint about a decision from Udbetaling Danmark if you disagree with it. A decision can for example be classified as the amount you receive in Survivor benefits – or any other decision that Udbetaling Denmark makes in your case. You will always receive a letter from Udbetaling Denmark, in which the decision will be stated along with a complaint guide.

Udbetaling Danmark must receive your complaint no later than four weeks after your receipt of the decision. They will then assess the matter again.

If Udbetaling Danmark reject your complaint, they will forward it to the National Social Appeals Board. The National Social Appeals Board is an independent state institution and the highest complaint board for Udbetaling Danmark amongst others.

Complaints about other matters

Udbetaling Danmark will also consider complaints received about other matters in your case and investigate whether there is anything that should have been done differently. You will always receive an answer to your complaint.

How to file a complaint

You can file a complaint by calling Udbetaling Danmark or sending your complaint to Udbetaling Danmark, Survivor benefits, preferably marked ‘Klage over Efterlevelseshjælp’. See contact information at the bottom of the page.  

Contact Udbetaling Danmark, Efterlevelseshjælp

Last updated: 17 December 2020