New to the unemployment benefit system?

Your guide to the most important aspects


We explain the rules …

… and you can focus on what is important: finding a job

You are without a job and maybe a bit worried: Where will you find work? What will happen to your personal finances?  And what about all those rules?

Fear not! With this online guide, you will learn the most important rules, leaving you free to do what is most important: finding a job.

Lastly, many of the terms are quite specific, and we have therefore also used the Danish word in cases where we think you need to be aware of the Danish terms used. For example, “unemployment benefits” are called dagpenge in Danish.

Enjoy the ride.

PS:  If you are ever unsure of anything, feel free to call or write us.

First you register as unemployed at

If not, do it now!

You only receive unemployment benefits from the date you first register as unemployed at
Therefore, you should register on your first day of unemployment – not before, not after.

Now you need to create a CV and fill out two forms

You do this at and in the self-service section of MA’s website

You must create your CV at within two weeks (and always before your introductory interview with MA) – as soon as possible, in fact. Remember to fill-in your contact information (mobile or email). To find where to fill it in, simply click your name at the top right corner of the screen (next to the log-out button).

Also, you need to fill out the forms Krav til jobsøgning (or “requirements for your job search”) and Min plan (or “My plan”) – you will find both in the self-service section of MA’s website under the tab “Job og møder. It is important that you fill out both forms, as we depend on it during the interview.


How to receive unemployment benefits

You must send in a ledighedserklæring once in the beginning – and a dagpengekort every month

When you register as unemployed at, you will be reminded to fill out a ledighedserklæring – an initial request for dagpenge (unemployment benefits).

Additionally, at the end of every month you have to fill in and submit a dagpengekort (unemployment benefits card) – your benefits will then be paid out on the last weekday of the month.

Learn more:

How much will I receive in benefits?


The central principle of the unemployment benefit system


In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must always be “available for work” – in other words, your dagpenge depends on you actively applying for jobs.

You should obviously be looking for work within your professional field, but you must also be flexible, in terms of both profession and geography. Furthermore, your job hunting should be realistic.

This means that you must be competent to perform the jobs you apply for, that you must be available for any work you could potentially undertake, and that you must do what you can to find work.

How to demonstrate your availability

It may seem inflexible – but it is not up for debate

Learn more

What counts – and does not count – when assessing your availability

  1. Apply for multiple jobs – every week. Of these, at least one must be for a solicited, full-time job in Denmark – every week. Also, look for unsolicited positions and engage your personal and professional network. Do not limit your scope, neither professionally nor geographically. This applies even if you are working part-time or doing an internship.

  2. Log your job hunting every week in the” joblog” – either at the self-service section of MA’s website or at Any registration in the log at one site will be visible at the other site.
  3. Upload at least one application and one CV to the job log – each month.
  4. Your “availability” will be assessed based on your “krav til jobsøgning”, “min plan” and your job log.

What MA can offer you

Take advantage of MA’s many offers and let us inspire you

  • At MA, we specialise in your particular field. For that reason, we regularly invite speakers from relevant businesses, educational institutions and organisations to come and share their insight into their work environment, culture, trends and job openings.


  • We frequently arrange outside visits with businesses and attend work fairs – all to give you the opportunity to meet your possible future employers.


  • We offer a range of workshops to provide you with tools and insight for your job-hunting strategy.


  • Furthermore, we offer individual career interviews (or karrieresamtaler) where together we can devise your best strategy going forward. You can also get feedback on your applications and CVs.


  • Through your membership with us, you can also join networks with likeminded members of MA to provide you with advice and support.


  • The calendar is updated weekly, and you can sign up for events through our website.


These are your rights – and duties

You have the right – and duty – to be “activated” at least once during your unemployment period. Activation could involve courses for writing better applications, virksomhedspraktik (company internships) and løntilskud (“wage subsidy jobs”, i.e. ordinary jobs subsidised for a period by public funds).

You have to be activated within a total of six months of unemployment, at the latest. However, you could in principle be activated from your first day of unemployment and all throughout. You may also choose to arrange your own activation, even multiple times.

Use your activation proactively and consider what might bring you closer to a job. Do you lack experience? Specific skills? A wider network? Or perhaps just insight into a new field? Use us for feedback.

Meetings and interviews

How often must you meet with MA or the jobcenter?


If you live in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus or Odense and have become unemployed on the 1st of January 2020 or after, click the button to the left (test cities).

Everyone else should click the button to the right (other cities).


Holidays and illness

Always register the information at

You must register holidays and illness at – we will be notified automatically here at MA.

You must register as ill on the first day of your illness. Your holiday must be registered at least 14 days in advance.

If the holiday is less than 14 days away, contact your jobcenter or anden aktør (“secondary operator”) – be aware, that your holiday might not be approved.

Supplementary benefits

If you work less than full time

You can receive supplerende dagpenge (“supplementary benefits”) if you work less than full time. For instance, if you work 20 hours, MA can top-up (i.e. supplement) your benefits with an extra 17 hours of unemployment benefits, up to the standard full-time week of 37 hours. However, there are a few conditions.

You have to remain registered as unemployed with; you must be available to assume work with a day’s notice, and you must be actively looking for full-time employment.

You can only receive supplementary benefits if you can quit your part-time job without giving notice. If you are bound by contract to give notice, you must secure a signed frigørelsesattest (“notice waiver”) from your employer. You can print the frigørelsesattest from our website.

You can receive supplementary benefits for a total of 30 weeks. If there is less than 14.8 hours left in a month for us to pay out, the remaining amount is lost.


Other opportunities


While receiving unemployment benefits, you can go abroad, expand your professional network and improve your competencies.


Benefits overview

Check the overview to monitor your spending of benefits

You can monitor your use of unemployment benefits when you log on to MA’s self-service section or to – a counter gives you continuous updates on the remaining total. However, it only starts updating AFTER your ledighedserklæring (a request for benefits) has been approved AND you have received your first payment of benefits.

You are entitled to two years of benefits (equivalent to 3.848 hours in total or 160.33 hours per month).

You only “spend” the hours for which you receive benefits – so that if you for instance work three days in one week, and receive unemployment benefits for two days, you will only “spend” 14.8 hours of the month’s 160.33 hours.

Mandatory test!

You are now an expert – but as an a-kasse, we are still required by law to make sure that you understand the rules. So, spend a few minutes taking the test – and do not forget to book your welcome meeting immediately afterwards if prompted.

Thank you.

Start test

Question 1 of 9

Once you have been approved for benefits (and in order to actually receive benefits) you need to...

Question 2 of 9

What must you do before the welcome meeting at MA?



Question 3 of 9

How many jobs must you apply for when receiving unemployment benefits?

Question 4 of 9

If, in a given week, you have already applied for one full-time, solicited job in Denmark, then…

Question 5 of 9

How often must you update the job log?

Question 6 of 9

Activation – when is the deadline?

Question 7 of 9

Does MA have any special offers while you are unemployed?

Question 8 of 9

For how long can you receive supplementary benefits?

Question 9 of 9

How should you give notice about illness or holidays?

You got out of 9 correct

Check here to see the correct answers



1. Sådan gør du

My plan

What is it?

Min plan (or “My plan”) contains your own strategy for finding a job: how you plan to go about it, and a list of any help you might need.

Krav til jobsøgning

What is it?

Krav til jobsøgning (or “requirements for your job search”) is your agreement with MA. This is a form where you fill in the types of jobs you intend to pursue and in which geographical area.



What is it?

A ledighedserklæring is your initial request for unemployment benefits and can be found in the self-service section of MA’s website under the tab “Dagpenge”.

You must choose between lønmodtager (wage earner), nyuddannet (recent graduate) and værnepligtig (military conscript). Self-employed people need to fill out a different type of ledighedserklæring, which is found in the same section.

We will notify you as soon as your request for benefits has been granted.


What is it?

In order to receive dagpenge, you need to submit a dagpengekort (or “unemployment benefits card”) each month.

The dagpengekort will be available in the self-service section of our website from the sixth-to-last weekday of the month. You will receive an e-mail when the card becomes available (and a text message, if you have enabled this option in the self-service section under “Post -> Indstillinger”).

On the card, you must tell us if you have worked any hours during the month in question, whether you have been ill or perhaps taken a vacation.

A deadline?

If you submit your card no later than the following weekday after it was first made available (and provided it has been filled out correctly), we will pay out your benefits on the last weekday of the month. Should you submit it later, we will pay out as soon as possible.

However, you cannot wait forever: Your dagpengekort needs to be submitted within a month and ten days. Here is an example: For the month of March 2020, you need to submit your card no later than the 10th of May 2020 in order to receive benefits for March 2020. Otherwise, your benefits for March 2020 will be lost.

Learn more:

Unemployment benefits card in brief

How to fill out your unemployment benefits card

Dates and deadlines

Karantæne (penalty) and self-inflicted unemployment

What does it mean?

If you quit your job without a valid reason, your unemployment will be considered self-inflicted, and you will receive a three-week karantæne (or penalty) without benefits.

You can also get a penalty if you refuse work assigned by the jobcenter, or if you refuse (or break of) “activation” (such as internships, courses etc.).

Furthermore, you can be given a penalty if you fail to provide MA with accurate information, which might affect your rights as an unemployment benefits recipient.

If you receive two penalties for self-inflicted unemployment within 12 months, you will lose your eligibility for benefits.

When you start a job

What to do?

If you are starting a new job in less than six weeks, you should notify your jobcenter (or MA, provided that you live in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Odense or Aarhus AND you registered as unemployed AFTER 1st of January 2020).

With less than six weeks until the start of your new job, you no longer have to apply for jobs or show up for meetings at MA or the jobcenter.

You must also present a signed contract or agreement with your new employer.

The events calendar

See all the available events

Choose a city in the events calendar at our website and sign up.

Members’ network

Gain access to a members’ network through MA

There are two types of members’ networks at MA:

One type has a common professional or field-specific scope, such as “communications”, “the pharmaceutical industry”, “green tech” etc. These networks are created by our members’ own initiative. At our website, you can see which networks are currently active.

A second type is arranged across professional boundaries and with no regard to educational background. They exist to allow interested members to inspire and support each other in the job-hunting process. These networks are started regularly by MA – keep an eye at our events calendar to see when the next one might start up.

Company internship

What is it?

A company internship allows you to try out a profession that might interest you. You can sample other fields, expand your network and perhaps get your foot in the door with a particular organisation.

A company internship can last up to four weeks and can start from the first day of unemployment. There is no limit to the number of internships you can have, although in general it should always be with a different company.

You cannot have an internship in the company you just left – even if it was a løntilskudsjob (“wage subsidy job”). However, you can do it in reverse order – that is, follow up an internship with a løntilskudsjob.

When in a company internship, you must still be actively looking for a job and in accordance with the usual rules. When working as an intern, rådighedssamtaler (or “availability assessments”) can be done over the phone.

Wage subsidy job – løntilskud

What is it?

A løntilskudsjob (or ”wage subsidy job”) is an ordinary job where your wages are subsidized with public funds. It can broaden your professional network and give you hands-on experience.  To be eligible for a løntilskudsjob, you must have received unemployment benefits for at least 962 hours (or 26 weeks).

However, there are three exceptions: 1) You are above the age of fifty 2) You are a single parent 3) You are a recent graduate with a disability. If any of these apply, you may enter into a wage subsidy job from the first day of benefits.

You can be in a løntilskudsjob for up to four months in a public organisation and up to six months in a private organisation.

As with any form of activation, løntilskudsjobs must be arranged with your jobcenter / “secondary operator” (or “anden aktør”) and included with “My Plan”.

When in a løntilskudsjob, you must still be actively looking for a job and according to the usual rules. When working in a løntilskudsjob, rådighedssamtaler (or “availability assessments”) can be done over the phone.

You live in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus or Odense Kommune

How often must you meet with MA or the jobcenter?

The Danish Parliament has decided to conduct an experiment in four different cities (Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus and Odense): In these four “test cities”, a group of different a-kasser (unemployment benefits funds) – amongst them MA as the only academic ­a-kasse – will have exclusive contact with their unemployed members for the first three months.

This means that you only have to attend meetings with MA, not the jobcenter, for the first three months of unemployment.

Introductory interview
After you register as unemployed at, we will call you in for an introductory interview within 14 days. Ahead of this interview, it is important that you complete the online guide that you are currently reading.

You must upload an application and a CV in the job log. To ensure you get a head start, we will at the interview use as much time as possible to discuss avenues for a job as well as your application + CV

Do not forget: When called for a meeting, you have to book the time slot yourself. Therefore, you should pay attention to any communication from MA in the self-service section or from the jobcenter in your e-Boks.

Meeting overview

1st month1st-3rd month4th-6th month7th-24th month
MAIntroductory interviewAvailability assessmentAvailability assessmentAvailability assessments as needed
Jobcenter1 meeting a month1 meeting every 3 months
MA + JobcenterJoint meetingJoint meetingJoint meeting after 16 months - intensified effort

You do NOT live in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Aarhus or Odense Kommune

…OR you have become unemployed before January 1st 2020 – how often must you meet with MA or the jobcenter?

After you register as unemployed at, we will call you in for an introductory interview within 14 days. Ahead of this interview, it is important that you complete the online guide that you are currently reading.

You must upload an application and a CV in the job log. To ensure you a head start, we will at the interview use as much time as possible to discuss avenues for a job as well as your application + CV.

Do not forget: When called for a meeting, you have to book the time slot yourself. Therefore, you should pay attention to any communication from MA in the self-service section or from the jobcenter in your e-Boks.

Meeting overview

1st month1st - 3rd month4th - 6th month7th - 24th month
MAIntroductory interviewAvailability assessmentAvailability assessmentAvailability assessments as needed
Jobcenter1 meeting a month1 meeting a month1 meeting every three months
MA + JobcenterJoint meetingJoint meeting after 16 months - intensified effort


What you need to do?

  • If you are unemployed, register your holiday at at least 14 days before it starts.
  • Apply for feriedagpenge (“vacation benefits”) at the self-service section of MA’s website. They are not paid out automatically.
  • Also at the self-service section, you can see how many days with feriedagpenge you have had and how many there are left.
  • We pay your feriedagpenge directly into your bank account. You can see the payment specification at the self-service section.

Learn more at our website.


What you need to do

If you get ill, your dagpenge (unemployment benefits) will be exchanged for sygedagpenge (illness benefits). You do not have to apply for jobs or attend meetings while you are ill.

What you need to know – and what you need to do

  • Report as ill on the first day of illness at – you will only receive illness benefits from that first day. We will be notified automatically and will not call you in for meetings etc.
  • You cannot report an illness retroactively. In other words, you cannot fail to meet with us or your jobcenter if you have not already reported as ill.
  • Once you are no longer ill, you must report this at
  • Learn more at our website.

Freelancing and being self-employed

You can work while still receiving benefits – you can work for wages or for a fee as a freelancer.

In addition, there are many ways to be self-employed. Before you start, we recommend that you check our website to see which way best suits you. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Job hunting and job interviews abroad

  • Under certain conditions, you are allowed to move within the EEA* (plus Switzerland and The Faeroe Islands) and look for jobs for up to three months – all while bringing your Danish unemployment benefits with you. You need permission from MA before you leave. While abroad, you must be registered as unemployed in that particular country and follow any local rules for availability.
  • If you travel abroad for a specific job interview, you can still receive benefits. However, you must be able to verify the date of the interview, and you have to return to Denmark within five weekdays. You must send us the documents – and inform us of the travel dates – before you leave. Do not forget to notify your jobcenter.
  • Before you leave, you should contact us to check formalities.

Learn more at our website.

*The countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) are EU + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Voluntary, unpaid work

What are my options?

You can perform volunteering work without limit as long as it cannot be compared to traditional paid work.

The unemployment benefits system is designed to keep recipients from performing tasks, which would ordinarily be considered wage work.

Therefore, check with MA before you volunteer your time.

Learn more at our website.


Taking courses while on benefits

What are my options?

As a rule, you cannot pursue further education (like elective university courses) while on unemployment benefits. The political consensus is that the unemployment system should not compete with the SU-system (the system paying living grants for students). However, there are other ways to further educate yourself while on benefits.

Check the website to learn more about your options. The rules governing this particular topic are complicated, so make sure to contact us before signing up for courses etc.

At the self-service section of our website, you will find a form (“Efteruddannelse på dagpenge AK020”) – fill this out before starting your course. That way you do not risk losing your benefits while taking the course.

Other avenues

Check MA’s job databases to find a list of relevant job databases, international job openings and further help for the self-employed. is the academic CV-database, where consultants from the a-kasse and the jobcenter can seek out  candidates for an open position. Please add your CV to the database, and we will contact you if there is a match.

Do you have a fresh and innovative new idea? is a public foundation created to provide financial assistance to start-ups, scientists and private companies to help them develop innovative and sustainable solutions to society’s greatest challenges.

MA also works with – a platform for online courses to upgrade your it-skills for free without affecting your unemployment benefits. The courses are at a basic level and covers topics like word processing, rules for punctuation, spreadsheets, presentation, Outlook and social media.

At our offices, you can also gain access to Business Insight, which is a database giving you useful information about specific businesses.

Are you interested in utilising your education and skills in the Nordic countries? Could you imagine yourself working a job in Norway, Denmark or Sweden? Then Nordisk Jobløsning might be the thing for you.

Single-day deduction in benefits

What is it?

The politicians have decided that unemployed people (in certain circumstances) should see a single-day deduction in benefits every four months. In order to not have your benefits deducted, you need to have worked for 148 hours (for full-time members) or 97 hours (for part-time members) every four months.

If your benefits have been deducted, it will show on your payment specification.

The precise amount deducted for a single day of benefits will depend on your dagpengesats (or “benefit rate”).