If you are over 40 and your capacity to work has been reduced permanently and so substantially that you are unable to do a regular job or a flexi-job, you may be entitled to disability pension.
Do you have the right to Danish disability pension?
You may have the right to disability pension if you are over 40 and your capacity to work has been reduced permanently and so substantially that you are unable to do a regular job or a flexi-job. If you are under 40, you will only receive disability pension in exceptional circumstances.
You do not have the right to disability pension if your working capacity is only temporarily reduced, or if it can be improved again by a back-to-work scheme, medical treatment or the like.
If you live in Denmark, your local authority will assess whether you have the right to disability pension. First of all, you must attend a resource clarification process to assess your capacity for work. This involves the local authority assessing a range of factors, such as your education, work experience and health.
The local authority will then draw up a rehabilitation plan in collaboration with you, describing your resources and potential for work in the labour market.
Contact your local municipality if you wish to know more about disability pension.
If you live outside Denmark, Udbetaling Danmark will assess whether you have the right to disability pension. To apply for Danish disability pension, contact the pensions authority in the country in which you live.
In order to assess your capacity for work, Udbetaling Danmark will draw up a resource profile based on information on your circumstances provided by you and by the pensions authority in the country where you live. Udbetaling Danmark will undertake an assessment of your resources and potential opportunities for work in the labour market under Danish rules and as if you were living in Denmark.
Contact Udbetaling Danmark if you would like to know more about Danish disability pension.
How do you earn the right to a Danish disability pension?
You earn the right to a Danish pension by living and working in Denmark. If you live in Denmark and work in another Nordic country, you will generally earn pension rights in the country where you work. If you work in two or more countries or are posted to another Nordic country and are unsure about where you are earning the right to a pension, you should contact the authorities. In Denmark, you should contact the office for international social security at Udbetaling Danmark.
You have the right to full disability pension if you have lived in Denmark for at least 4/5 of the time from reaching the age of 15 to being awarded the pension, and have not earned the right to a social pension from another country during that same period. If you do not qualify for full disability pension, the amount you receive will be calculated on the basis of how long you have lived in Denmark since you reached the age of 15. If you were born on 1 July 1958 or later, you must have lived in Denmark for nine-tenths of the time from the age of 15 until you are granted a disability pension in order to be entitled to a full disability pension.
You do not have the right to any form of Danish disability pension if you have spent less than one year in the country.
See borger.dk for more information and a sample pension calculation.
How do you apply for disability pension?
If you live in Denmark, your local authority will process your application for disability pension.
If you have earned the right to disability pension in one or more of the other Nordic countries, Udbetaling Danmark will forward your application to the appropriate other country or countries. You can read about how to apply and what documentation you will need at borger.dk.
If you live in another Nordic country and have earned the right to a pension in Denmark, you will generally need to apply for it to the authorities in the country where you live.
What should you be aware of if you are applying for disability pension from two different countries?
If you have worked or lived in more than one Nordic country, it is important to note that the conditions for disability pension may vary. You can contact the authorities in the countries in which you have lived and worked for more details.
If you live in Denmark, you may also have the right to supplementary financial assistance if your disability pension is not enough to live on. If you live abroad, you will not normally be able to receive supplementary financial assistance from Denmark. You should apply for assistance in the country where you live.
Pension supplements and one-off payments
If you receive Danish disability pension under the rules that applied until 1 January 2003, you may have the right to heating allowance, health allowance or personal allowance. You can read more (in Danish) at borger.dk.
If you receive disability pension under the rules that have applied since 1 January 2003, and you live in Denmark, you can apply to your local municipality for additional financial assistance for items such as medicine or unforeseen one-off expenses, if you are unable pay for them.
You may have the right to housing allowance. This depends, among other things, on your rent, your income, the size of your home and how many people live there. You can read more (in Danish) at borger.dk.
Can you take your Danish disability pension with you to another Nordic country?
If you are a Danish citizen or a citizen of an EU or EEA country, you can generally take your pension with you to another Nordic country. You must apply to Udbetaling Danmark to take your pension abroad.
You cannot take your Danish pension with you to the Faroe Islands or Greenland. Instead, you should apply for a Faroese or Greenlandic pension.
You can read more (in Danish) at borger.dk.
Can you work while receiving disability pension?
You and your spouse/cohabitant are allowed to work while you are receiving disability pension, but this may affect the amount of both disability pension and pension supplements that you receive. You must inform Udbetaling Danmark of any changes in your financial circumstances, including whether you have started working. You should be aware that your disability pension will be subject to re-evaluation if you start work, and that this could result in your disability pension being suspended or withdrawn.
See the rules (in Danish) at borger.dk under the heading “Må jeg eller min ægtefælle/samlever arbejde, mens jeg får førtidspension?” (May I or my spouse/partner work while I am receiving disability pension?).
How is disability pension paid out in the event of death?
If you live with a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner who is also in receipt of either disability pension, senior pension or retirement pension, your pension will continue to be paid for up to three months after your death. This is known as a survivor's pension. When the three months are up, the pension of your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner will be adjusted to the rates and rules that apply to a single person.
Your next of kin do not need to do anything about your disability pension, senior pension or retirement pension in the event of your death. The National Registration Office will notify Udbetaling Danmark and your local authority, and an automatic decision will be made about what will happen to your pension. However, if you live abroad, your family should contact Udbetaling Danmark.
Supplementary labour market pension
If you are receiving disability pension you may choose to contribute to the supplementary labour market pension (SUPP). If you contribute to SUPP, you will receive an extra payment every month when you retire.
Obligatory pension scheme
If you receive a disability pension, the state pays a pension contribution for you. The contribution depends on your benefit amount. In 2020, the state paid a contribution corresponding to 0.3 percent of your disability pension. The contribution will rise every year until 2030, when the state will pay 3.3 percent.
You do not need to pay anything yourself to the obligatory pension, as the state will automatically pay the contributions into your pension scheme. You will not therefore find that pension contributions are deducted from your disability pension.
You can read more at borger.dk.
Who should you contact if you have questions?
If you live in Denmark and have questions about Danish disability pension, please contact your local municipality.
If you live abroad and have questions about Danish disability pension, please contact Udbetaling Danmark, international pensions office.
If you live in Denmark and have questions about disability pension abroad, contact Udbetaling Danmark, pensions abroad.
Where do you pay tax if you receive Danish disability pension abroad?
See the Nordic tax portal, Nordic eTax, for more information about the taxation of pensions in the Nordic Region.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.