Calling in sick

Last updated: 24/5-2023

If you become ill you may be entitled to compensation. The rules are different if you are employed or a jobseeker, or if you are on parental leave. The rules also vary a bit depending on how long you are sick for.

If you become ill and need to call in sick you may be entitled to 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 depends on your income. The rules vary depending on whether you are unemployed, employed, or self-employed.

When you apply for sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan you have to include a doctor's certificate with your application, which explains why you are unable to work. Försäkringskassan will then make an assessment of whether the requirements for sickness benefit are fulfilled or not.

In order to be entitled to sickness benefit you have to be sick for at least a quarter of the time you would have worked, looked for work, or been on parental leave. You also have to be insured in Sweden.

Assessing the right to compensation


How much you will receive in sickness benefit is based on your SGI (sjukpenninggrundande inkomst, or income qualifying for sickness benefit). Your SGI depends on how much you earn or receive in allowances. You do not need to apply to get an SGI. Försäkringskassan will assess and determine your SGI when you make an application for sickness benefit.

If you are employed and become ill, you have to report in sick to your employer. For the first 14 days of your sickness absence, you will receive sickness pay from your employer. Sickness pay is 80% of your ordinary pay. Your employer will deduct a certain sum, a qualifying deduction, from your sickness pay. Your employer may require a doctor’s certificate explaining why you are unable to work, but usually no certificate is needed for the first seven days you are ill.

After the 14th day, you can apply for sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan. The easiest way to do that is on Försäkringskassan’s website.

As a jobseeker you may also be entitled to sickness benefit if you become ill and therefore cannot look for or accept work. As a jobseeker you may be entitled to sickness benefit right from the beginning of the sickness period. In that case you have to call in sick using Försäkringskassan’s self-service system.

You have to be registered as a jobseeker at Arbetsförmedlingen in order to be entitled to sickness benefit as a jobseeker.

If you become ill and are unable to look after your child, you can pause your parental allowance and receive sickness benefit instead. You may be entitled to sickness benefit if

  • you are ill and someone else looks after your child
  • you have income that qualifies for sickness benefit (SGI).

Sickness benefit may be paid at 25 per cent, 50 per cent, 75 per cent or 100 per cent.

If you are self-employed and become ill, you may also be entitled to sickness benefit. The rules for sickness benefit for self-employed people vary depending on what type of business you have, such as a limited company or a sole proprietorship.

Activity compensation is a form of compensation for people aged 19–29 who, due to illness, injury or functional impairment, will likely be unable to work full time for at least a year. Activity compensation is also paid out to people who have to extend their schooling due to illness or functional impairment.

Sickness compensation is intended for people aged between 19 and 64 who have an illness or functional impairment that means they will never be able to work, now or in the future.