CHANGES THAT WILL COME INTO EFFECT FROM JULY 2017

From weekly to monthly disbursement

From 1 July 2017, the unemployment-benefits system will change over to a monthly-based disbursement system. This will also effect the last benefits card that is filled in before the cut-off date. In other words, the card that is filled in in June. The changes mean that you should not submit the card until Wednesday 28 June and at the same time estimate any hours you might work during the last few days of the month.

Adjustment – how it will be done
When you submit your benefits card, you must estimate your work hours for the rest of the month. By the 10th of the next month, all employers must have reported their hours and wages to the income registry. Min A-kasse’s adjustment tasks begin on the 11th of the month where we must verify whether your estimated hours and the reported hours are the same. If there is a disparity, we will send a letter to you in which we explain the difference and list how the specific adjustment will take place. After this, you have one week to raise an objection.

What does it mean to you?
Please note that you will no longer be filling in your benefits card on the next to last Sunday of the month, but on the 23rd or 24th of the month, depending on whether the month is short or long. Benefits will at the earliest – and as a general rule – be disbursed on the last banking day of the month. (We are not allowed to disburse benefits before this.) This also means that you must estimate your hours and personally be alert each month when we disburse payment to see whether the hours are correct.

New ways of becoming eligible for unemployment benefits

The unemployment-benefits reform introduces a new basis for determining eligibility for benefits. Eligibility for benefits will be income-based for persons who are newly unemployed. According to the current system, eligibility for benefits is based on the number of hours you have worked. In other words, you must have worked a total of 1,924 hours to be eligible for benefits. From now on, you must have earned DKK 218,216 (2016 baseline). This equates to DKK 18,218 a month. At the same time, this is the maximum amount for what will be included in this calculation every month.

Example
(2016 baseline)

If you earn DKK 17,000 a month, it takes you 13 months to become eligible for benefits. (218,216/17,000)

If you earn DKK 30,000 a month, only DKK 18,218 are included, and it takes you 12 months to become eligible for benefits.

What does it mean to you?
If you are newly unemployed, it means that you can no longer go out and work extra hours in a month to become eligible for benefits. The reason is that it is your income that we are now required to include in our calculations, rather than the number of hours you have worked. This also means that it will take longer for lower-paid members to become eligible for benefits. (If you earn less than DKK 18,218 a month, it will take more than a year for you to become eligible for benefits, Even if you work just as many hours as someone with a higher salary".)


Benefits period will be calculated in hours

From July 2017, we will change over to calculating the period of unemployment benefits in hours rather than weeks. Once you become placed in a new benefits period, you will be eligible for benefits for 3,848 hours (two years) within a three-year period.

Example
Before July 2017: When benefits are paid out to you during a week, you use the whole week, regardless of how little or how much is disbursed to you. In other words, you may only receive benefits for one day – and thus use a whole benefits week.

After July 2017: If you are paid benefits for ten hours in one week, these are the only hours you will use. Consequently, you only use benefits during the hours for which you receive benefits.


What does it mean to you?
It is advantageous for you that, from now on, you will only make use of the right to receive benefits to the extent that benefits are actually disbursed to you. At the same time, your eligibility for benefits becomes theoretically longer and is extended because your right to receive benefits is not unnecessarily reduced, as is the case now.

Supplementary unemployment benefits

If you have lost your eligibility for supplementary benefits and would like to become eligible again, you must have reported more than 146 hours a month for 6 months within a 12-month period. (At present, only 130 hours need to be reported.)

NOTE: Supplementary benefits will continue to be weekly based after 1 July 2017, and will not be monthly based like the ordinary unemployment benefits.

What does it mean to you?
It will be harder for you to become eligible for these benefits again, because you will have to work more hours a month.


The minimum-disbursement rule is changing

When we change over to the monthly-based system, this will mean that the minimum amount we can disburse will usually be for 14.8 hours a month (minimum disbursement rule).

What does it mean to you?
Roughly speaking, the minimum disbursement has been cut in half which makes it easier to become eligible for supplementary benefits in the weeks concerned. On the other hand, you will also use the weeks faster.

Shared counters

As part of the reform taking effect from July 2017, common digital counters will be established to enable uniform calculation of benefits entitlement and period, no matter which unemployment fund you are a member of. This new counter will enable you to personally monitor the status of your ‘employment account’ to see how many hours of work you have earned and what this yields in terms of benefit hours, if you wish to change between them. You can also see when you will become eligible for benefits again. At the same time, the information is accessible to authorities and unemployment funds so everyone receives the same knowledge of your current position in the unemployment process.

What does it mean to you?
It makes it possible for you to monitor your own unemployment-benefits accounts.

Rate calculation and disbursement

The calculation rules will change from 1 July 2017. When calculating your rate from now on, the calculation will usually be based on the 12 months of highest income distributed over the past 24 months. You can receive the maximum rate at most, but there is no minimum rate. If the months with income do not add up to 12, the months with income within the past 24 months will be applied. If you did not earn any income during these 24 months, the income period examined will be widened to 36 months. There is no minimum requirement for when income earned can be used for calculation. A calculation applies to your entire benefits period.

What does it mean to you?
This means that you can risk receiving a very low rate because there is no minimum rate. As is the case today, you cannot have a new rate calculated after one year because the rate applies throughout your benefits period.
NOTE: It is still possible for recent graduates to have their rate re-calculated after six months.

A waiting day will be introduced every fourth month

From 2017, a waiting day will be introduced every four months. This means that every fourth month, you will lose one day of benefits. This will apply unless you have had 148 working hours (reported to the income registry) within these four months. This equates to twenty days of full-time employment.

What does it mean to you?
It means that you must be aware of and allow for the risk of losing one day of benefits every fourth month. The waiting day takes effect automatically, so there is nothing more you need to do.

Shortening the unemployment-benefits period

If you have received benefits for a total of four years within an eight-year period, your benefits period will be shortened by one month from July 2017. This applies to all members, including members who received benefits a long time ago. If you have less than one month of benefits left, the shortening of the period will not apply until the next rating.

Example
On 1 July, you have recalculated your benefits weeks to 222 hours. We have determined that within 96 months you have used 7,696 hours of benefits (4 years). This means that we must reduce your benefits period by 160.33 hours (one month of benefits). After this you will only be eligible for 61.67 hours of benefits.

What does it mean to you?
You can risk losing one month of income which involves additional problems if you only have a short period of eligibility for benefits left. Min A-kasse’s members will naturally be informed by letter if a deduction is made in their benefits, but we cannot provide information about this until around 1 July 2017.

Early retirement

The calculation of early retirement benefits is changing in relation to other new rules. This means that early retirement benefits will also be calculated and disbursed on a monthly basis.

What does it mean to you?
If you are already receiving early retirement benefits, you will be affected by the fact that the disbursement periods will change. For new early retirees, the calculations will be made according to the new rules from the outset .

Min A-kasse

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