Register with the Social Insurance Agency
Social insurance is an important part of the Swedish social security system. Swedish social insurance covers most people who live or work in Sweden. The social insurance system is administered by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). The purpose of the social insurance system is to provide financial security during the various stages of life. It provides financial protection for families and children – for example, for people with disabilities, illnesses, work injuries, and for old people.
To be eligible for social insurance benefits, you must, as a general rule; either formally reside in Sweden or be employed and work here.
Please note that if you are a doctoral student and receive a scholarship or stipend, you are not covered by social insurance benefits even if you stay for more than 365 days. If you receive a scholarship or stipend for activities other than doctoral studies, you are not required to pay taxes in Sweden. In this case, you will not be covered by employment-based benefits.
If your stay in Sweden exceeds 365 days, you are in most cases entitled to residence-based benefits. Examples of residence-based benefits are child allowance and housing allowance.
Children who are resident in Sweden are entitled to child allowance. It is paid from and including the month after the birth of the child, or when the child moves to Sweden. The child allowance is tax free and is paid until and including the quarter that the child attains the age of 16.
When a child is born, parental benefits are paid to the mother or father for 480 days. The days of parental allowance are divided equally between the parents. They can be transferred to the other parent, except for 90 days per parent that cannot be transferred.
If you are employed in Sweden you are in most cases covered by employment-based benefits, which include, for example, sickness benefit and parental benefit.
Some work can be difficult or impossible to do when you are pregnant. This may be because the work is physically strenuous or because there are risks in the working environment. In the first situation, your employer should transfer you to other tasks. If this is not possible, you can receive pregnancy benefit.
Temporary parental allowance
This benefit may be claimed by a parent for loss of income, for instance, when a child is ill. It is paid for a maximum of 120 days per year until the child is 12.
You need to register with Försäkringskassan before applying for compensation. It is recommended to do so as soon as you come to Sweden, as this may take a long time. Find out more about this process on the Försäkringskassan website.
To do so, fill out the form Information required to obtain social insurance cover. It is important to apply for European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) under section 6 of the form, otherwise the investigation may be delayed.
Health and parental insurance for doctoral students with stipends
Uppsala University provides, through an agreement with the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet), insurance cover for doctoral students whose studies are funded through stipends.
The insurance covers loss of income if the doctoral student’s stipend is reduced during illness or parental leave. The insurance consists of three parts:
- Sickness benefit
- Parental benefit
- Temporary parental benefit
Find out more at Kammarkollegiet: Health and parental insurance for doctoral students with stipends