People with disabilities in Sweden

Handicap rullestol sport
Photographer
Audi Nissen
Read about the opportunities and rights of people with disabilities in Sweden, and about the opportunities available in connection with travel and relocation across borders.

Nordic citizens and other people with legal residence in a Nordic country are covered by the Nordic Convention on Social Assistance and Social Services. This convention contains provisions on moving to another Nordic country for people who need long-term treatment or care.

This means that the competent authorities in the countries you are moving from and to will assist when a Nordic citizen needing treatment or care wants to move to another Nordic country.

The person must be moving voluntarily and have a special connection with the country they want to move to. In addition, the move must be expected to improve the person’s life situation.

Contact your home municipality for help with the move if you are in such a situation. If necessary, refer to the Convention on Social Assistance.

Rights and opportunities in Sweden

A person with disability is a person who has impaired capability to function physically or mentally, so he or she needs extra support. Even if you have a disability, you must be able to participate in society like everyone else.

Sweden has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which guarantees everybody’s equal right to participation. Support and service to people with disabilities are regulated in several Swedish laws, such as the Swedish Local Government Act (Kommunallagen, KL), the Swedish Social Services Act (Socialtjänstlagen, SoL) and the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (Lagen om stöd och service till vissa funktionshindrade, LSS). These acts give people with disabilities the right to support to help them participate in society on the same terms as everyone else.

One example of support can be a person who helps you manage your everyday life. You can also receive a benefit called disability allowance (handikappersättning) if your disability necessitates extra expenses, or if you, for example, need help in order to work or study. You apply for disability allowance at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

If you have children with disabilities, you can receive childcare allowance (vårdbidrag).

Contact your municipality in Sweden for more information if you have a disability.

Transport for people with disabilities

If you have difficulty travelling alone or using public transport, you may be entitled to a special transport service (färdtjänst). Disability transport is a supplement to public transport for citizens who have a disability, and involves transport by taxi or small bus.

The municipality decides whether you are entitled to disability transport.

Assistive devices for people with disabilities

In Sweden, people with disabilities can have access to a number of assistive devices, such as wheelchair, walking frame (walker), cutlery with ergonomic handles, and disability-friendly chairs and toilets. Contact your regional  health authority and your municipality for information about which assistive devices you may be entitled to.

The Försäkringskassan website has e-services and information about the support you may be entitled to when you have a disability.

Försäkringskassan decides on and pays, for example, disability allowance, attendance allowance, car allowance, and assistance allowance. You can also apply for assistive devices to help you work, activity compensation, sickness compensation, and housing allowance.

You can also get help and guidance from organisations representing people with disabilities. In Sweden there are two umbrella organisations covering 44 organisations.

Travelling and relocating with assistive devices

You can generally take assistive devices with you from Sweden to other countries if you are planning to stay there for a short period.

Assistive devices are generally obtained locally in the country in which you live. Assistive devices that are granted to you personally may not be taken with you when you move from Sweden to another country. Different regulations apply for pensioners with a Swedish pension who live in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

When moving to and from another country, you must therefore check which assistive devices and benefits you can take with you and which you should apply for in the new country.

If you are moving from Sweden to another country, you should contact the regional health authority in which you live and Försäkringskassan to find out what applies in your situation.

Ask Info Norden

If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.