Sickness benefits for an unemployed member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse)

If you are unable to work due to your own illness or if you have suffered an incapacitating injury, you may be entitled to sickness benefits

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Sickness benefits is intended to support persons with a connection to the labour market who are unable to work due to their own illness. The rules on sickness benefits are regulates in the sickness benefit act (in Danish: sygedagpengeloven). 

It is a short-term benefit. In principle, you can receive sickness benefits for up to 22 weeks within the last nine full calendar months. Before the end of the period of 22 weeks, the municipality will revaluate your right to sickness benefits. If you meet certain criteria, you may be entitled to an extended period of sickness benefits. 

You can receive sickness benefit if you meet the following conditions:

  • you are unable to work because of your own illness, or if you have been injured
  • you live in Denmark, or are covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/04 on the coordination of social security systems
  • you pay Danish tax on your income
  • you meet specified requirements on a connection to the labour market (employment).

Furthermore, to be entitled to sickness benefits as an unemployed person you must:

  • have the right to unemployment benefit from an unemployment insurance fund, if you had not been ill, or
  • have completed a commercial programme of study, which lasted at least 18 months, within the last month before the absence.

You will receive the same amount in sickness benefit as you would have received in unemployment benefit.

Maximum sickness benefit is DKK 4,550 (2023) and DDK 4.695 (2024) per week and maximum DKK 122,97 (2023) and DKK 126,89 (2024) per hour.

Start Inform your unemployment insurance fund about your sickness on

Your unemployment insurance fund have to pay your sickness benefits the first two weeks of your absence. In order to obtain sickness benefits, you must report sick on the first day of your illness. You do this by using the digital self-services, or by contacting the job centre or your unemployment insurance fund.

If you do not report your illness on time, you do not have the right to sickness benefit before you have registered your absence/illness. However, in some cases, where there is a valid reason for the late report, you may have the right to sickness benefit from the start. A valid reason could be that due to health reasons, for instance a hospital stay.

If your illness last more than 2 weeks, you can get sickness benefits from the municipality. 

After the first 2 weeks, your unemployment insurance fund will have to submit a notification of your illness via Nemrefusion. After this, you will receive an information letter as Digital Post in your digital mailbox accompanied by relevant forms that you have to fill out online. You must complete the forms online by the deadline specified in the information letter.

You can find the relevant forms by following the link in the information letter or in Mit Sygefravær. If your unemployment insurance fund does not submit the notification in NemRefusion, you will not receive an information letter in your digital mailbox. In this situation, you will need to contact your municipality of residence yourself. You will need to apply for sickness benefits no later than 3 weeks after the first 2 weeks of sickness. In order to access your Digital Post, and MitSygefravær, it is necessary to log on with the digital signature, MitID.

Start Access your sickness benefit case in ’Mit Sygefravær'

If you receive sickness benefits from the municipality, they will continuously follow up on your sickness case in order to help you maintain your job and connection to the labour market. 

You are obliged to participate in the municipality’s follow up and offer of services. 

You are also obliged to inform the municipality about any changes in your situation which affects your right to sickness benefit, for instance if your sickness no longer prevents you from resuming work, either part- or full time.  

You can inform your municipality of residence on changes in your situation, for instance by phone, email or digitally in MitSygefravær. 

Your payment of sickness benefit ceases when:

  • You are no longer unable to work due to your own illness
  • When you have received sickness benefit for more than 22 weeks within the last nine full calendar months, unless you meet certain criteria for an extended period of sickness benefits   

You can lose your right to sickness benefit, if:

  • Without reasonable grounds, you do not participate in the municipality’s follow-up on your sickness and offers of services
  • You do not meet your obligation to report or document your absence due to illness
  • You delay the recovery process.

If you do not agree with the municipality’s decision regarding your sickness benefit case, you can file a complaint to the municipality within 4 weeks after the decision. The municipality then reassesses your complaint within 4 weeks after receiving your complaint. 

If the municipality maintains its decision, the municipality will send your complaint to the appeal body, Ankestyrelsen. 

Last updated: 04 January 2024