Social security insurance in Denmark grants rights to:

  • Free use of hospital services, maternity and sickness benefits and other help;
  • Benefits in case of an accident at work and illness due to occupational diseases;
  • Allowance for funeral expenses;
  • Disability pension;
  • Retirement pension and supplementary pension;
  • Unemployment benefits;
  • Family benefits.

With the exception of unemployment benefits, all other social guarantees apply to all persons legally residing in Denmark. Detailed information in English can be found in this document (Download). This article will provide a summary of this document.


All legally residents in Denmark are entitled to hospital treatment, maternity leave and social security benefits. You acquire this right when you register with a municipality (kommune) and you are issued with a Social Security Number (CPR). Health insurance services include:

  • Family doctor services;
  • Physician specialist services (with referral from a family doctor);
  • Some dentist services;
  • Physiotherapy after receiving doctor referral;
  • Chiropractic services;
  • Pediatric services for specific patient groups upon doctor referral;
  • Psychotherapy for specific patient groups after receiving doctor referral;
  • Part of the cost of medicines.

Family doctor consultations are free, health insurance also partially compensates for other treatment costs based on predetermined calculations. The prices of medicines needed for treatment are compensated by a formula where the patient has to pay for the medication up to 900 DKK per year, and over and above the cost increases the reimbursable portion of the drug costs. You can find detailed information in this document (page 9).


Sickness (disability) benefits are designed to compensate for loss of earnings due to illness. This means that a person receiving income from work or other activity, as well as unemployment benefits, is entitled to sick pay. This rule applies to all income taxed in Denmark. Entitlements must be paid by employed and paid persons who, because of their illness, are unable to complete their work.  The sickness benefits calculated for each day of unemployment are paid by the employer from the first day of illness if the employee started working for the employer before 8 weeks before the day of illness and worked for more than 74 hours during that period. In such circumstances, you are entitled to claim benefits from your employer for the first 30 days of illness. If you are unable to work for more than 30 days due to illness, or if you are not covered by the employer’s benefit, you can apply for benefits to your municipality (municipality). This right applies if you have worked for at least 26 weeks without interruption and have completed at least 240 hours in that period. The size of benefits depends on the amount of income lost due to illness, but may not exceed DKK 4.005 per week. Benefits are paid and counted every week. These benefits are available for up to 52 weeks over a period of 18 months. You can find detailed information in this document (page 9). 


The Employee Compensation Act (Lov om arbejdsskadesikring) covers all people working in Denmark or on a Danish ship. An accident at work must be covered by one of the approved insurance companies. The insurance covers damage caused by an accident at work. The accident must be abrupt or, in the case of an impact, it must last for a maximum of 5 days. The insurance also applies to the list of occupational diseases, as well as the harm suffered by a newborn child as a result of mother working in dangerous conditions during pregnancy or harm done before fertilization. This insurance does not compensate for damage traveling to and from work.

Insurance Includes:

  • Treatment costs, rehabilitation and equipment or facilities needed for further treatment;
  • Compensation for lost potential income (erstatning for erhvervsevnetab);
  • Compensation for permanent invalidity (méngodtgørelse);
  • Compensation for the loss of the main financial provider in the family (erstatning for tab af forsørger);
  • Temporary family benefits for main financial provider’ death.

You can read more about the forms and procedures of compensation in this document (page 23)