Benefits for Industrial PhD Student

Hi guys,

I am an industrial PhD Student in Denmark and my origin in an EU country. My contracts ends 31.12.17 and by then I will have received a salary from a firm and been enrolled as a PhD student at a university for three years. I am not a member of A-Kasser (yet).

What benefits can I expect from 1.1.18 or from 1.2.18 onwards?
What do I need to watch out for when applying?
Do I apply as a student or a worker?
Do I have to present all the time when I want to receive the benefits? I am currently thinking about doing a research trip to another university while my thesis is under review.

Thanks in advance for your help!
in Dagpenge by

1 Answer


It is correct that you have two options as an PhD student regarding Unemployment benefits - to apply as a graduate or as a worker/salaried person.

To be possible to receive unemployment benefits as a salaried person you must have been member of an A-kasse for at least 1 year before applying for benefits and also you must meet the income requirement ("in danish: "Indkomstkravet"), which means that you within the last 3 years must have earned in total DKK 223.428.

I dont know your income, but you at the same tell you are not a member of an A-kasse now, so with this option - if you become member now, you will be able to start receiving benefits from about december 2018.

The other option would be to apply as an graduate, AT LATEST two weeks after your PhD is finished. If you need to oral defend your thesis the finish date will be when your thesis is accepted. If you can get a advance approval of your thesis from the censor(s) the date of the advance approval could be seen as the finish date.

Because you have NOT been free member of an A-kasse during your PhD (or at least for 1 year), you must accept an quarantine period of 3 weeks before you can start to receive unemployment benefits.

When you receive benefits you must be available to take a full time job with 1 days notice. So you can not at the same time continue studies or do work related activities. You can not do a "research trip". On the other hand it is possible to travel to another EU/EEA country to look for job, and at the same time receive benefits from Denmark, but only for maximum 3 months.

Best regards,

Hi Anders,

thanks for your reply.

I guess the first option with receiving benefits from dec. 2018 is not really an option then.

So I guess I will go for the second option. However, your answer has created new questions:
I will hand in the thesis on 31.12, also the day my contracts ends with the firm. Then it will be reviewed, I get feedback, I might need to smaller or bigger changes, they review it again, and then they ideally accept it for oral defense. This means, they will roughly accept the thesis in April/May. Does that mean I cannot get any benefits until that date, although I might be without a job from 1.1.18?

And thanks for highlightin the research trip part. I will also look for jobs back in Germany. So it sounds like I can travel back and forth between GER and DK, and still receive benefits, correct?

Many thanks again for your help.
You can not mix things together. As I understand your only option will be to use the graduate rule. When this is the case, is has no relevance when your contracts with the company ends.

When using the graduate rule you must fullfill the requirements for using the graduate rule. These are pointed out and explained here:
One of them is that you must complete an education of at least 18 months (3 semesters) duration.

At what time an education is considered completed varies from different educations, but when you must complete an thesis as part of your education, this thesis must be accepted (or advance approval is ok if you can get that) before you the education is considered completed. It is the time when your University regards your PhD as completed that is crucial also regarding the A-kasse.

So if this in your case will be in April/May, I am afraid that this means you can not get unemployment benefits before April/May+3 weeks quarantine.

About the other part of your comment:
It is correct that you can go to Germany (or other EU country) one time for up to 3 months and still receive benefits from Denmark. In this period You may return to Denmark  However, if you are taking a trip to Denmark, you can not be paid unemployment benefits for the days when you are in Denmark.

So the 3 months rule is meant to be used in the way that you go to another EU country and look for job. If you find job its good, and you probably will stay in the new country. If you dont find job you return to Denmark AFTER the maximum 3 months period.

After the 3 months period has expired and you want a new 3 months jobseeking period, You will need to apply again and this also requires that you have worked for a minimum of 296 hours within a total of 3 months (as full-time insured).

Best regards,
Sweet. That makes sense, Anders.

On a different note, is the amount of roughly 13.000 DKK that I would get after week 3 tax free? If yes, how much can I expect to receive in my bank account?

Thanks again!
recently we have answered a question from another user about tax of Unemployment benefits. You may find help here:

We can not tell how much you can expect to receive in your bank will depend on different things that we dont know...for instance where you live, if you can deduct som costs in your tax etc. Talking about deduct costs...remember that you can deduct yours costs to A-kasse and Union if you also pay to this.

Best regards,