Disability benefit in Norway

Elderly people dancing

Elderly people dancing

Yadid Levy/norden.org
Here you can read about the regulations for receiving disability benefit (uføretrygd) in Norway. The regulations vary between the different Nordic countries.

Disability benefit is intended to replace income lost through permanent illness or injury. Your earning capacity determines whether you are entitled to 100 percent disability benefit or partial disability benefit.

Are you entitled to Norwegian disability benefit?  

To be eligible for disability benefit in Norway, you must generally satisfy the following conditions:

  • You must be aged between 18 and 67.
  • You must have been a member of the National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden) for the three years immediately before you became ill. People who have lived/worked in other EEA countries may combine periods of social insurance according to the provisions in the EEA Agreement on social security. Documentation on the period of social insurance is then retrieved from the country in question, to determine whether you had three years of continuous EEA social insurance before the disability occurred.  
  • Illness and/or injury must be the main reason why your earning capacity is reduced.
  • Appropriate treatment and vocational rehabilitation measures must have been completed.
  • Your earning capacity must be reduced by at least 50 percent due to illness and/or injury.

You must have undergone appropriate treatment and vocational rehabilitation measures before you can possibly be eligible for disability benefit. Vocational rehabilitation measures can only be exempted from this requirement if there are clear reasons why these are not appropriate.

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) is the agency responsible for disability benefit in Norway.

How is disability benefit calculated?

The income you received in the last years before you became ill is used to calculate your disability benefit. If you have had low or no income, you are still entitled to a basic amount. How long you have been, or will be, a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden) also affects the disability benefit. This is called the social insurance period (trygdetid). It is your period of social insurance in Norway that affects how your Norwegian disability benefit is calculated. Social insurance in another Nordic country is relevant if you do not satisfy the basic requirement of at least three years continuous membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme before the date of disability.

If you are young and become disabled, special regulations apply, and the basic rate is higher than for others.

Disability benefit is taxed as ordinary income. NAV receives your tax card automatically from the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten).

How do you apply for disability benefit?

If you live in Norway

You can apply for Norwegian disability benefit electronically if you live in Norway. If you have lived abroad, or have children aged under 18, you must apply using a form sent by post. Your capacity for work must be established before an application for disability benefit can be assessed by NAV. It is therefore important that you contact NAV before you apply for disability benefit.

If you live in another Nordic country

If you live in another Nordic country, but have previously been a member of the National Insurance Scheme, you may have earned the right to disability benefit from Norway. It is the country in which you live that is responsible for forwarding the application for disability benefit to the Norwegian social insurance authorities. Contact the social insurance authorities in the country in which you live to find out how to proceed.

What should you be aware of when you apply for disability benefit from several countries?

Note that the Nordic countries each have their own national regulations governing the rights to various benefits. You may satisfy the requirements for disability benefit in Norway without necessarily satisfying the requirements in the other Nordic countries.

Application processing times vary in the different countries. If you have questions about when your application for disability benefit will be processed, contact the social insurance authorities in the other countries directly. 

Can you receive any supplement to disability benefit?

Can you take Norwegian disability benefit to another Nordic country?

    You can generally take disability benefit with you to other EEA countries. If you move abroad, you cannot take the supplementary benefit for young disabled persons. If you move to another country, it is important to find out whether it will affect your disability benefit and right to healthcare services in Norway and abroad. Before you move, NAV can assess what you can take with you.

    Can you work and receive disability benefit at the same time?

      You may work as much as you can, given your capabilities, while receiving disability benefit. It pays to work because disability benefit plus income is higher than disability benefit alone.

      What happens to disability benefit in the event of death?

      The Norwegian disability benefit ceases when the recipient dies.

      Where do you pay tax when you receive Norwegian disability benefit abroad?

      You can find out more about taxation of pension and disabiity benefit in the Nordic region on the Nordic tax portal, Nordisk eTax..

      Who should you contact if you have questions?

      Contact NAV if you have questions about disability benefit. 

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