Support and allowances

Last updated: 9/5-2023

There are several forms of financial support and allowances you can apply for in Sweden. You have to fulfil certain requirements in order to be eligible for benefits.

Försäkringskassan is a government agency that is responsible for large parts of the Swedish social insurance system. Most benefits require you to be insured in Sweden.

Different types of financial support

Financial support used to be called social security assistance. It is a form of support you can apply for via the social services in your municipality if you are having financial difficulties. If you are entitled to payments from the unemployment insurance fund (a-kassa), to student aid, or to any other income or allowance, you have to turn to them in the first instance.

Income support is part of financial support. You can be granted income support in order to manage your maintenance. But you can also be granted financial support for other needs such as dental care, medication, spectacles or home equipment.

Parental allowance is money parents may be eligible to receive in order to stay at home with their child instead of working or studying. You apply for parental allowance from Försäkringskassan. Parental allowance can be paid for a maximum of 480 days for one child.

You have to be resident and insured in Sweden in order to be eligible for parental allowance.

Information film from Försäkringskassan

Child benefit is a financial support paid out automatically by Försäkringskassan to parents resident in Sweden who have children under the age of 16. The child benefit is SEK 1,250 per month and is paid out on the 20th of every month. If you have more than one child you get a child benefit supplement.

Maintenance support is a financial support from Försäkringskassan which you may be eligible for if you live alone with a child or children, and the other parent does not pay their maintenance allowance.

Among the requirements for receiving maintenance support are that you and the child are resident in Sweden, that the child is under 18 and is registered as resident with you. You also have to have custody of the child, and you cannot be cohabiting with the other parent.

Information film from Försäkringskassan

Housing allowance is state support that you may be eligible for if you have a low income and need help with your housing costs. Housing allowance may be paid to:

  • Families with children
  • young people aged between 18 and 28.

The amount of money you receive will depend on how many people live in your household, your income and assets, housing costs and the size (area) of your home.

Applications for housing allowance are made via Försäkringskassan. You need to include documents showing your housing costs and your income with your application.

If your income or housing situation changes it is important that you notify Försäkringskassan so that you receive the correct allowance. Should you receive too much in allowance you may become liable to pay it back.

Watch these information films from Försäkringskassan if you want to learn more about housing allowance:

Housing allowance for families

Housing allowance for young people

If you are participating in Arbetsförmedlingen's introduction programme you can apply for an introduction benefit. If you have children or live alone in your own home you may also be entitled to other benefits.

Sickness benefit may be paid to you if you become sick and therefore unable to work. You apply for sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan. Sickness benefit is a temporary compensation intended to compensate for lost earnings until you are well and able to work again. How much you receive in sickness benefit is based on your income. The rules for sickness benefit vary depending on if you are unemployed, a salaried employee, or self-employed.

If you are a salaried employee your employer will pay you sickness pay instead of your ordinary salary during the first 14 days that you are ill. After that you can apply for sickness benefit.

You have to be insured in Sweden in order to be eligible for sickness benefit.

Your pension is the compensation you receive when you become old and stop working. Your pension may come from several different sources. Public pension is the part of the pension that everyone who works and pays tax will receive. Public pensions are managed by the Swedish Pensions Agency, whose task is also to provide you with information about your pension.

Income support for the elderly

If you receive a low pension or none at all, you may be eligible for income support for the elderly in order to be able to pay for your maintenance and your housing.

Survivor's pension is a financial support you may be eligible for if you have a close relative who has died. A survivor's pension is intended to cover the part of your maintenance that the person who has died used to pay.