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Nov 12, 2019
Survival Guides

4 Easy Steps Towards a Better Understanding of A-Kasse

Jaroš Vyhňák
Are you going to be unemployed in Denmark? Then continue reading to learn more about A-kasse, the system which will help you to spend your job searching days without worrying about covering your bills and other life necessities.

Almost every person in Denmark heard about it. A-kasse. But what is it? Why would I become a member? And are there any options to choose from? Continue reading to find out all the basic information you need, in order to understand A-kasse.

1. What is A-kasse?

In Danish, it stands for arbejdsløshedskasse or unemployment insurance fund. Thanks to this, people in Denmark can receive support during the time they are unemployed.

The support is primarily financial and goes up to 2 years. During this period you receive financial benefits, so you can search for a job, without worrying too much about your bills.

A-kasse also helps you with the job searching process, by offering you CV consultations and other workshops. Some even offer free or discounted online courses in order to help you hone your skills, all these in order to increase your employment chances.

All you need to do in return is to search for a full-time job and attend meetings and seminars with the A-kasse and your local Jobcenter.

All your job related activities should be recorded on Jobcenter’s online platform, Jobnet. You log in to it with your NemID (MitID).

Thus, there are three main activities to carry out when unemployed:

  1. Apply for minimum 2 full-time positions a week. At least one of them should be a solicited application (=to a position posted on the job portals).
  2. Record all the positions you are applying for in your job log on Jobnet. Every month you have to upload (on Jobnet) 2 of your applications (CV+cover letter) from that certain month.
  3. Book meetings with the Jobcenter/A-kasse according to the deadlines provided on Jobnet. Sometimes they are the ones scheduling meetings with you. Naturally, it is compulsory to attend these meetings, and not doing it might affect your right to unemployment benefits. 

2. What are the requirements to receive unemployment benefits?

To be able to receive  dagpenge (unemployment benefits) in the first place, you need to live up to some requirements:

  1. You need to be a member of any A-kasse at least for a year before being eligible for the benefits. The membership for students is free, so you should really sign up as soon as possible during your studies. If you happen to graduate soon without having signed up for an A-kasse , it might still be possible to do it, but it really depends on each A-kasse institution.
  2. You must have stayed in Denmark or any other EU/EEA country for at least 5 years in the last 12 years, and you need to send documents proving this.
  3. You must have earned/have had an income of at least 233.376 DKK before taxes (in 2019) during the last 3 years (in total). In students’ case, the time you spend studying “equals” to the money you would have to earn. 
  4. You must be actively searching for a job and attend any job interviews you are invited to.
  5. You must be able to accept job offers within one day’s notice.

In addition, it’s important to mention that you have to be present in Denmark while carrying out your job searching activities. If you want to take holidays, you must report this to your Jobcenter, as these will be deducted from your dagpenge amount in that respective month.

3. A-kasse options

A-kasses are companies which offer insurance against unemployment, while administrating Danish legislation. However, they are not all the same. In total, there are 24 options of A-kasse to choose from.

At the core, they are all similar, but they differ in membership fees for their members, locations of their offices and most importantly in the focus on specific professions. Because of this, you can find A-kasses which are open to all, but also others which focus mainly on the business, engineering, social or other specific subjects.

When looking for the right A-kasse, people usually focus on:

  1. Membership fees
  2. Specializations
  3. Internal rules and member satisfaction
  4. Other membership benefits (courses, workshops, etc…)

However, all this depends on individual preferences. I would advise focusing mainly on specialization and member satisfaction. All the membership fees are usually between 450-500 DKK per month.

4. How to apply?

If you wish to become a member of A-kasse, or if you want to change your A-kasse company, you can do it online on their website. Follow this link to see all the options to choose from.

Bonus: What to do when you graduate?

Usually, your A-kasse’s website mentions the steps you should take once you graduate, but we will mention some points, to give you a general idea. 

Basically the first thing to do is contacting your A-kasse as soon as you graduate. Take care, because there is a deadline to do so. For example, you might have to contact them up to 2 weeks after you have received your very last grade. You must also change your status from student to graduate, which can usually be done by completing a form on their website.

Since you are not a student anymore, your right to free membership expires, which means that you will start paying a membership fee.

Of course, the A-kasse will let you know whether you should send them any additional documents. 

In the meantime, you should register as unemployed on Jobnet ASAP, as you will only get benefits from the day you are registered. You will also have to send your A-kasse an unemployment statement form, right after you register on Jobnet. 

As for what’s happening after this, you will have to go through some meetings and workshops both with your A-kasse and Jobcenter, while also applying for jobs in the meantime. 

The approximate amount of unemployment benefits you would get per month, before taxes, is 13.800 DKK (in 2021). 

Just like that, you become a proper job-seeker and hopefully an employee at some point.

Well, these are all the basics you need to know. We hope that you will find this blog useful and that you will have an easier time finding a job. Make sure to take a look at our video which sums all this information and if you wish to know more about life in Denmark, feel free to look around our website.

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Jaroš Vyhňák
My name is Jaro and I'm the co-founder of SSG. I study MSc at Aarhus University in International Business Consulting. At SSG, I work with data analysis and reporting.
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