Health system & Social security

Health system

Everybody who is a permanent resident in Denmark can use the Danish healthcare system freely. Most examinations and treatments are free of charge. All permanent residents will receive a national health insurance card from their local authority. The card works as an identity card and must be presented at all visits to doctors, emergency rooms and hospitals.


Getting a health card:


It is possible to pay for extra health insurance and for private clinics and hospitals.


All people who are resident in Denmark choose a specific general practitioner (GP) they can contact if they fall ill. GPs deal with much more than disease, for example vaccination and birth control. A GP can also help you prevent disease caused by obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, etc. Sometimes a GP may ask you questions that may surprise you. That is because the GP would like you to think about what you can do yourself to avoid becoming ill. In Denmark, as in many other countries, each individual is considered responsible for looking after his or her own health.


Alarm 112 is an alarm centre you call if you need an ambulance, for example if a person suddenly falls very ill or becomes unconscious. You should also call 112 in the case of an accident or if somebody is seriously injured.


Social security


Unemployment benefits in Denmark

The first thing you need to do in order to apply for unemployment benefits is to register as a jobseeker at your local job centre. You will submit a declaration of unemployment to your insurance fund. You must actively seek employment and be prepared to accept job offers as long as you are unemployed and receiving benefits.

In order to be eligible for such benefits, you need to have had a minimum of 52 weeks in employment within the last three years, as well as having been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least one year.

Any time spent in unemployment in other EU/EEA countries can be included when calculating your eligibility for unemployment benefits, though you will need to document this on your E301 form which you can get from the insurance company in the foreign country.

The benefits received can be up to a maximum of 90% of the member’s income from their previous job, and are paid out around every three or four weeks. All members are entitled to receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of four years in total, and membership automatically ends when a member reaches the age of 65.

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.

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.

Age of child EURO/DKK per year EURO/DKK per Quarter
0-2 2384/17880 596/4470
3-6 1886/14148 472/3537
7-14 1485/11136 372/2784
15-17 1485/11136 124/928 per month





In Denmark you receive state pension from the state of Denmark, but a lot of people choose to deposit money to a pension company so they have a little extra when they get old. In some cases you employer deposits money for your pension, but that depends on your contact and terms of employment.
State pension: You may be entitled to state pension when you reach the state pension age (67/68). If you are a wage earner, your employer will as a rule see to it that part of your wage is paid into a pension scheme.
ATP Livslang Pension (ATP lifelong pension): is a pension scheme enforced by law. ATP secures that you get extra pension besides your state pension. ATP is automatically paid to you when you reach the pension age. 
Furthermore, you have the possibility to set up an individual pension scheme. For that you need a private pension company.
There are a lot of those private pension companies in Denmark and Copenhagen, and they are often connected to a bank.

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