Social insurance system
This is a brief introduction to the social security system in Sweden – a description of how the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) operates and what you might need to consider if you apply for social benefits.
Sweden has a social insurance system to provide financial security during different stages of life. It includes social insurance benefits for families with children, people with a disability or illness and the elderly. For example, compensation for sick leave or care of children (vab in Swedish). The system is publicly funded through taxes and dues.
Försäkringskassan is a government agency that administers the social insurance system in Sweden. We determine who is eligible and the amount in order to issue social insurance payments according to state rules and regulations.
Meanwhile the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) manages the national public pension.
Who is insured and eligible for social benefits?
To be eligible for social benefits, you have to meet specific legal requirements. Firstly, you must be insured and covered by the Swedish social insurance system. Some benefits require that you live in Sweden, others that you work here. If you move to Sweden from a country outside the EU/EEA, United Kingdom or Switzerland, you need a residence permit from the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) to be eligible for social benefits.
Each social benefit category specifies detailed conditions and criteria:
Key elements for decisions and calculations
When you apply for a benefit you must submit information and facts to ensure that Försäkringskassan can determine what you are eligible for. Certain benefits require that you do this even during an ongoing payment period. Also, you must report any changes that might affect our calculations.
In some cases, you need to submit additional documentation. For instance, a medical certificate if you apply for a sickness benefit, or a copy of a rental contract if you apply for housing allowance.
We often require additional information from your employer, to ensure your source of income. We also collaborate and exchange data with other government agencies, such as the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) and the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
Once we have received your application, we determine whether you are entitled to the benefit and the amount. The amount is often based on your annual income, which is referred to as SGI (“sjukpenninggrundande inkomst” in Swedish). Therefore, you must submit information about your annual income when applying for sickness benefits or parental allowance.
Many social insurance benefits are subject to tax deductions, which are made prior to payment.
Handling of personal data
There are several laws and rules regarding our handling of submitted data, to ensure both privacy and integrity. Read more about these rules, your rights and how we process your personal data.
How to apply for social insurance benefits
Fill in an application and submit accurate information
Apply for social benefits online by logging on to our e-service “My Pages” with a Swedish electronic identification (such as Bank-iD). Print out forms are also available if you are not able to log on to this digital service. This e-service is only available in Swedish.
You are required by law to certify that the information attached to an application is correct, up-to-date and complete. This information is reviewed before each payment is issued and continuously during longer payment periods. Providing incorrect information is a criminal offence.
Get assistance with an application
Find more information about the different social insurance benefits on our website – in both Swedish and English. For further assistance you can either:
- visit a service office
- talk to an administrator in your language, for example English, Arabic, Tigrinya, Somali, Turkish, French, Spanish or German
- ask questions and get answers on our customer forum in English, Spanish, Finnish or Polish.
Report changes and update an application
You must notify Försäkringskassan if the information initially provided in an application no longer is up-to-date, as this may affect the previous ruling and calculations. If you should receive an incorrect payment, you will be required to pay it back.
If you realize that an incorrect amount has been issued according to the current conditions, you can report this on My pages (Mina Sidor) or contact us directly.
When are decisions and payments made?
The processing time varies depending on the type of social insurance benefit. Read more about how long it usually takes to process a specific benefit application.
If you still have not received a response or decision within six months from the application date, you can send a letter of appeal giving us four weeks to reply. Provide your name, personal identity number, address, phone number and what benefit you applied for.
How to appeal a decision
Submit an appeal if you are not satisfied with a benefit decision and request that we reassess your case.
Sanctions and repayments
Payments issued on incorrect grounds have to be repaid. This usually happens when incorrect information has been provided with the application. But also, when the earlier submitted information has not been updated and changes have not been reported during the payment period.
If we suspect that someone knowingly has provided incorrect information to illegally attain a social benefit, we will issue a criminal investigation and police report.
Different rules apply
Useful terminology in Swedish
- Digital service = Mina Sidor
- Electronic identification = Bank-Id
- Calculations based on annual income = SGI
- Compensation for care of children = vab-ersättning
Other government agencies
- Swedish Pensions Agency (pensionsmyndigheten.se) External link, opens in new window.
- Swedish Migration Agency (migrationsverket.se) External link, opens in new window.
- Swedish Tax Agency (skatteverket.se) External link, opens in new window.
- Companies Registration Office (bolagsverket.se) External link, opens in new window.
- National Government Service Center (statenssc.se) External link, opens in new window.