Sickness benefit [Sjukpenning]

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1 Sickness benefit [Sjukpenning] You are entitled to sickness benefits from Försäkringskassan [the Swedish Social Insurance Agency] when you cannot work due to illness. You can receive sickness benefits for a maximum of 364 days during a 15-month period. This period can be extended in certain cases. There is a glossary at the end of the text If you are an employee [Om du är anställd] If you are employed, you can obtain sickness benefits when you no longer receive sick pay [sjuklön] from your employer, i.e. if you are ill for a period longer than 14 days. The employer will then notify Försäkringskassan. You can check whether this notification has been submitted on My Pages (Mina sidor) at You can also apply for sickness benefits there. If you apply on Mina sidor, the process will be faster. You will also have a better overview of your case and the ability to see when your payments arrive. Regardless of whether you apply on Mina Sidor or not, the form Ansökan om sjukpenning (Application for Sickness Benefits) will be sent to you. If you have already applied on Mina sidor, you do not need to fill it out. If you have already had sickness benefits for 364 days during a 15-month period, you must also complete an application for sickness benefits at the continuation level or an application for more days with sickness benefits at the normal level. If you do not receive sick pay from your employer, you may be entitled to sickness benefits from the beginning of the sickness period. If you are unemployed or on leave [Om du saknar anställning eller är ledig] You can receive sickness benefits from the beginning of the sickness period if you are self-employed unemployed on parental leave on leave with pregnancy benefits [graviditetspenning]. You notify Försäkringskassan that you are ill on your first day of illness. The easiest way to submit a notification of illness is at You can also apply for sickness benefits on My Pages (Mina sidor). If you apply on Mina sidor, the process will be faster. You will also have a better overview of your case and the ability to see when your payments arrive. 1 (8)

2 Regardless of whether you apply on Mina Sidor or not, the form Ansökan om sjukpenning (Application for Sickness Benefits) will be sent to you. If you have already applied on Mina sidor, you do not need to fill it out. Once we have received your notification of illness, we will send you the Swedish form Ansökan om sjukpenning [ Application for sickness benefits ]. To obtain sickness benefits, you must complete the form and return it to us. If you have already received sickness benefits for 364 days during a 15-month period, you must also complete an application for sickness benefits at the continuation level or an application for more days with sickness benefits at the normal level. Doctor s certificate [Läkarintyg] Everyone who is on sick leave for more than seven days must have a doctor s certificate. In certain cases, the employer or Försäkringskassan may require a doctor s certificate from the first day of illness. The doctor s certificate is used by your employer and Försäkringskassan to assess whether you are entitled to sick pay and sickness benefit. It does not automatically entitle you to these benefits. Your doctor should describe in the certificate how the illness affects your work capacity and state how long you need to be on sick leave. To avoid the period of sick leave for the same diagnosis varying from doctor to doctor and in different parts of Sweden, there are recommendations stating the periods of sick leave for different diagnoses. The doctor should give reasons in the certificate if specifying a longer period of sick leave. If the doctor s certificate does not contain sufficient information, Försäkringskassan may ask the doctor to complement it. The waiting period [Karensdag] The first sick day is a waiting period, which means that you will not receive any sickness benefits for this day. If you are self-employed, you have a seven-day waiting period. You can choose a longer waiting period, which will reduce your social security contributions. The waiting period does not always apply [Karensdagen gäller inte alltid] There is a rule for relapses, which means that if you have been ill, start to work again and then fall ill again within five days, it is counted as the same sickness period. There is no waiting period then and you receive benefits from the first sick day. General high-risk protection [Allmänt högriskskydd] There is also a general high-risk protection according to which you do not need to have more than 10 waiting periods in a twelve-month period. If you are ill more than 10 times during twelve months, you thus receive sick pay or sickness benefits from the first day you are ill. This applies to periods of illness from every employer and from Försäkringskassan separately. General high-risk protection for the self-employed [Allmänt högriskskydd om du har eget företag] If you are self-employed and have a basic waiting period of 7 days, you are covered by a special type of general high-risk protection. The general high-risk protection means that you will be entitled to sickness benefits if you have had more than five sickness periods in the past 12-month period, and have been ill for more than a total of 2 (8)

3 21 days. If you are self-employed and have chosen 14, 30, 60 or 90 days waiting period, you are not covered by the general high-risk protection. Travel allowance instead of sickness benefits [Reseersättning i stället för sjukpenning] In certain cases, you can receive a travel allowance instead of sickness benefits. This is the case if your employer or Försäkringskassan considers that you are able to work, but cannot get to work in the normal way. Försäkringskassan will then pay compensation for your additional travel costs to and from work. Sickness benefits and sick pay at the same time [Sjukpenning och sjuklön samtidigt] In certain situations, you may receive sick pay and sickness benefits at the same time. This is the case if you receive income from several employers have income both from employment and self-employment have contract income at the same time as you receive income from employment or self-employment are partly unemployed Sickness benefits are then calculated on the basis of the income for which you do not receive sick pay. How much can one receive in sickness benefits? [Hur mycket får man i sjukpenning?] Sickness benefits are approximately 80 per cent of your annual income. This is the case as long as your annual income does not exceed SEK 333,700 (7.5 times the price base amount [prisbasbeloppet]*). Higher income does not entitle you to higher sickness benefits. If your income is lower than SEK 10,680 (24% of the price base amount), you will not receive any sickness benefits. If you are unemployed, you may receive at most SEK 543 per day, which is as much as the highest unemployment benefits. If you receive preventive sickness benefits, the limit does not apply. If you are able to retain more than 10 per cent of your wages when you are ill, your sickness benefits will be reduced by the excess amount. If you have benefits from contractual insurance, this is also counted as wages. Sickness benefits can be calculated in two ways [Sjukpenningen kan beräknas på två sätt] Sickness benefits are calculated per calendar day as a rule. This means that you receive sickness benefits for every day of the week. However, there are certain exceptions. If you are employed without being entitled to sick pay from your employer, your sickness benefits will be calculated per day or hour for the first 14 days you are ill. If you study and work at the same time, your sickness benefits will also be calculated per day and hour in certain cases. * The price base amount is based on the cost of living. In 2016, the price base amount is SEK 44, (8)

4 Full or partial sickness benefit [Hel eller del av sjukpenning] You can receive full, three-quarter, half or a quarter sickness benefits depending on how much you must refrain from working. For example, to receive half sickness benefits you must refrain from working for half of your normal working hours. Half working hours does not necessarily mean that you work half days. If there are medical reasons, you may be able to distribute your working hours in another way. Contact your administrative officer if you want to discuss that possibility. How long can I receive sickness benefits? [Hur lång tid kan jag få sjukpenning?] You can receive sickness benefit for a maximum of 364 days during a 450-day period (around 15 months). This period is called the time frame [ramtid]. Försäkringskassan will contact you when you can obtain sickness benefits for a maximum of another 30 days. Sickness benefits at continuation level [Sjukpenning på fortsättningsnivå] You must apply for sickness benefits at the continuation level. is the benefits are around 75 per cent of the sickness benefit qualifying income, which is 5 percentage points less than the sickness benefits at the normal level. Additional days with sickness benefits at the normal level [Fler dagar med sjukpenning på normalnivå] If you have a serious illness, you can apply to receive more than 364 days with sickness benefits at the normal level. There is no time limit to how long additional days with sickness benefits at the normal level can be paid. The compensation is the same as for the first 364 days. Even if you have received time-limited sickness compensation or activity compensation, you can apply for additional days with sickness benefits at the normal level. Sickness compensation [Sjukersättning] If you are between 30 and 64 years of age, you can receive sickness compensation if your work capacity is permanently impaired by at least a quarter. Permanent here means impaired for the foreseeable future. You can receive full, three-quarter, half or a quarter sickness compensation depending on the extent to which your work capacity is reduced and your ability to earn a living by work. Sickness benefits in special cases [Sjukpenning i särskilda fall] If you have received sickness benefits for the maximum number of days and do not have any sickness benefit qualifying income or it is less than SEK 80,300, you can receive sickness benefits in special cases. You can receive sickness benefits in special cases for 914 days. The benefits are paid for all days of the week at a maximum of SEK 160 per day. Activity compensation [Aktivitetsersättning] If you are between 19 and 29 years of age, you can obtain activity compensation if your work capacity is reduced by at least a quarter for at least a year. You can receive full, three-quarter, half or a quarter sickness compensation depending on the extent to which your work capacity is reduced and your ability to earn your living by work. 4 (8)

5 Assessment of work capacity the rehabilitation chain [Bedömning av arbetsförmågan rehabiliteringskedjan] During the first 90 days on sick leave, you are entitled to sickness benefits if you cannot carry out your normal work. After 90 days, you are only entitled to sickness benefits if you cannot perform any work at all for your employer. After 180 days, you are only entitled to sickness benefits if you cannot carry out any work at all on the regular labour market. However, this does not apply if Försäkringskassan considers that you will very probably be able to return to work at your employer before day 366. In this case, your work capacity is assessed in relation to work at your employer after day 180 as well. Nor does it apply if assessing your work capacity in relation to the regular labour market is regarded as unreasonable. This way of assessing entitlement to sickness benefits is called the rehabilitation chain. The rehabilitation chain applies in full only for those with employment. If you are self-employed, Försäkringskassan will assess your work capacity in relation to your ordinary work tasks up until day 180. After that your work capacity is assessed in relation to the whole of the regular labour market. If you are unemployed, your work capacity is assessed in relation to the whole of the regular labour market from the beginning of the sickness period. You are entitled to take leave from your job to try another job and see whether you can do it despite your illness. Contact your employer or trade union for more information. Special high risk protection [Särskilt högriskskydd] With special high risk protection, you do not have a waiting period and receive sickness benefit or sick pay from the very first sick day. You can receive high cost protection if: 5 (8) You have a medically well documented illness which means that you have to be away from work often. Often here means that the number of sickness cases is expected to exceed ten in a year. You are going to donate organs or tissue or undergo examination before an organ donation of this kind. You can apply for special high risk protection if you are unemployed as well. A decision on special high risk protection can be an important document to show a prospective employer since the employer can then obtain compensation from Försäkringskassan for your sick pay. If you are self-employed, you can only apply for high-risk protection if you have a basic waiting period of seven days. You apply in writing to Försäkringskassan for special high risk protection. The form is available at You may also need a doctor s certificate to confirm your illness. Preventive sickness benefit [Sjukpenning i förebyggande syfte] You can obtain preventive sickness benefits if you undergo medical treatment or medical rehabilitation to prevent illness or shorten the period of illness. You receive preventive sickness benefits for the period you are prevented from working due to the treatment. The rules on a waiting period do not apply to preventive sickness benefits. Accordingly, preventive sickness benefits can be paid from the first day of treatment.

6 The treatment or rehabilitation shall have been prescribed by a doctor and be part of a plan which has been approved by Försäkringskassan. In order for you to be entitled to preventive sickness benefits, it is required that a doctor has noted an increased risk of illness the illness that you are at risk of contracting is of such a kind as to reduce your work capacity a doctor has prescribed the treatment. Medical treatment or medical rehabilitation may be ordinary medical treatment, physiotherapy, sight and hearing rehabilitation, occupational therapy, testing aids for the disabled and advice and supporting measures. If you travel abroad [Om du reser utomlands] You can travel abroad and retain your sickness benefits provided that the journey does not hinder your recovery or rehabilitation. You must apply to retain your sickness benefits in good time before you travel. If you travel without permission, you cannot receive sickness benefits for the time you are abroad. Use the Swedish form Ansökan - sjukpenning/tillfällig föräldrapenning/aktivitetsstöd vid sjukdom under utlandsvistelse [ Sickness benefit/temporary parental benefit/activity grants for illness during stays abroad ] which is available at Unemployed [Arbetslös] To obtain sickness benefits when you are unemployed, you must have been registered at the Employment Service [arbetsförmedlingen] before you fell ill. If you are unemployed and are not looking for work at the Employment Service during the first three months of unemployment, you may none the less be entitled to sickness benefits if you fall ill. However, you cannot obtain any sickness benefits for the first 14 days of the sickness period. If you are over the age of 65 [Om du är över 65] If you have reached the age of 65 and have subsequently had sickness benefits for 180 days, Försäkringskassan may decide that you are no longer entitled to sickness benefits. A countdown of sickness benefit days is applied for persons who reach the age of 70 and are still working. As of the month you turn 70, you are only entitled to sickness benefits for 180 days. Contractual insurance [Avtalsförsäkringar] When you receive sickness benefits, you may also receive benefits through contractual insurance. You should therefore ask your employer or trade union organisation if there is any insurance that covers you and, if so, what. Försäkringskassan does not administer contractual insurance and cannot answer questions about these. 6 (8)

7 More information [Mer information] The fact sheet is not a legal text on this topic. The brochure Om du är sjuk och inte kan arbeta (If You Are Sick and Are Unable to Work) contains comprehensive information. See the following fact sheets as well: Tidsbegränsning av sjukpenning (Time Limitation of Sickness Benefit) Bedömning av arbetsförmåga om din rätt till sjukpenning (Assessment of Work Capacity Your Right to Sickness Benefit) Sjukpenninggrundande inkomst information till dig som är anställd (Sickness Benefit Qualifying Income Information If You Are Employed) Sjukpenninggrundande inkomst information till dig som studerar, är arbetslös, har sjukersättning, aktivitetsersättning eller vårdnadsbidrag (Sickness Benefit Qualifying Income Information If You Are Studying, Unemployed or Receiving Sickness Compensation, Activity Compensation or Child Care Allowance) If you are self-employed, you can read the fact sheet Egen företagare information om socialförsäkringen (Self-employment Information about Social Insurance) to obtain more information about options for choosing a longer waiting period. If you are a student, additional information about study allowance is available at All informational material may be found at You can also use our self-service options to take care of a number of matters quickly and easily. Certificates, forms and brochures can be ordered by dialling our self-service line at You can also submit certain applications. Glossary [Ordlista] Sick pay The payment you receive as an employee from your employer for the first 14 days of your sick period. Sickness benefits Benefits from Försäkringskassan when you cannot work due to illness. Sickness compensation Compensation from Försäkringskassan when you will not regain your work capacity. Sickness period The whole period during which you are unable to work due to illness. Waiting period The first day of the sickness period for which you do not receive any benefit. Selfemployed persons can choose to have a longer waiting period. 7 (8)

8 Försäkringskassan checks [Försäkringskassan kontrollerar] Försäkringskassan checks the information you provide such as income, absence from work, civil status or where you live. We exchange information with other authorities and match data from, among others, the National Board of Student Aid [CSN], the unemployment benefit funds and the Tax Agency [Skatteverket]. It may be a criminal offence to deliberately provide incorrect information or fail to report changes which may affect your entitlement to compensation. Försäkringskassan reports all suspected cases of benefit fraud to the police. 8 (8)

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