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Applying for lost earnings for childcare at home

Photograph: Pexels

Text: Michaela Medveďová / Anna Pawlowicz

Providing at-home care to your child with a chronic illness or disability? Here is how you can apply for lost earnings.

When a child has complex needs, it might be necessary for one or both parents to look after their child at home. However, this can lead to missed work and financial challenges. To ease the pressure, you can apply for tabt arbejdsfortjeneste or TAF (lost earnings).

In this issue, we will discuss lost earnings, the conditions you need to fulfil, and the application process in detail.

Who is entitled to TAF?

According to Social, Bolig og Ældreministeriet, parents are eligible for TAF if their child is up to the age of 18 and either:

  • Has a significant mental or physical disability or

  • Suffers from a chronic illness.

There might be many situations where parents need to take time away from work to care for their child at home: the child or young person might have a great need for at-home care and supervision, might be unable to be in daycare or school, or might need to attend frequent examinations or treatments.

How is TAF calculated?

You can apply to have earnings covered for a varying amount of time - from a few hours a week to full working hours. The maximum number of hours covered weekly is 37. Both parents can apply for TAF, but according to the Copenhagen municipality, this number of hours is combined for both parents - and more hours are granted only in special cases.

As the Ministry states, the amount of lost earnings that you can receive is calculated based on previous gross income - up to a certain ceiling. In 2024, put the maximum monthly amount at DKK 35,247. Payments are made directly into your NemKonto.

How can you apply for TAF?

You can apply digitally with your municipality.

Here is the list of documents the Copenhagen municipality states you need for your application:

  • The last three payslips - or, if you are self-employed, your latest accounts or annual statement

  • Pension information

  • Your doctor’s confirmation of your child’s disability or illness

After the municipality receives your application, you receive an acknowledgement letter. If this is your first application, you will receive a phone call requesting more information (if more details are needed) and offering guidance.

After a decision has been reached, you will be notified through e-Boks. If your application is successful, your employer will also need to provide acceptance for your leave without pay. All cases of lost earnings are followed up on by the municipality at least once a year to ensure the lost earnings amount corresponds to your needs and is being used for the proper purpose.

Real-life examples of families who receive TAF

TAF can be used in various scenarios, and we’ve spoken to two families who have used it in different circumstances.

Rasmine, whose daughter needs full-time care due to a rare syndrome, is using the so-called ‘ad hoc’ TAF together with her husband. The TAF hours are used for hospital visits, which both parents need to attend to help their child manage anxiety related to medical appointments.

Rasmine uses additional TAF hours each month to manage her daughter's early return from kindergarten. Very often, pupils in daycare facilities for medically complex children tend to attend those facilities at reduced hours due to their inability to manage longer kindergarten days. In Rasmine’s words, “Having TAF available for us helps our daughter immensely, and it helps us as a family manage our daily life more calmly.”

Another family we spoke with used TAF when they were managing the treatment of cancer, which their son was diagnosed with at the age of two. Rita and Søren applied for TAF shortly after the diagnosis was confirmed to decrease the financial pressure of reduced working hours while taking care of their son.

The family benefited from TAF for 1.5 years. Having TAF hours available to them enabled Rita and Søren to manage their son’s chemotherapy, handle the side effects, and learn how to care for him during that challenging time. It also allowed them to provide optimal care for their younger baby and take care of their well-being, which, according to Rita, made all the difference for them individually and as a family.

In her words: “TAF helped our son by providing him with fully present parents. Parents who were mentally, emotionally, and financially available to provide care, love, and attention in a time when he needed it most.”

Do you have questions about this topic? We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at

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