Sickness benefit in Iceland

Sjúkradagpeningar á Íslandi
Here you will find information on rules concerning sickness benefit in Iceland. Sickness benefit is paid to persons unable to work due to illness.

How do you acquire the right to sickness benefit in Iceland?

To be entitled to sickness benefit, you must meet the following conditions:

  • have health insurance in Iceland;
  • be completely unable to work for at least 21 consecutive days;
  • have ceased work or delayed your studies;
  • no longer receive employment income, if you previously did so;
  • be 16 years of age or older.
Employees

Employees who are paid wages during illness, as provided for in collective bargaining agreements, receive sickness benefit after those payments cease.

Full sickness benefit is paid to persons who were previously in full-time work. A person who worked part-time will generally receive half sickness benefit, but if the work previously performed was less than 50% of a full time position his/her entitlement may be less. A person who worked full-time before becoming ill and who during rehabilitation works returns to up to 50% of a full-time position can receive half sickness benefit for up to three months.

 

Self-employed persons

Full sickness benefit is paid to persons who were previously in full-time work. A person who worked part-time will generally receive half sickness benefit, but if the work previously performed was less than 50% of a full time position his/her entitlement may be less. A person who worked full-time before becoming ill and who during rehabilitation works returns to up to 50% of a full-time position can receive half sickness benefit for up to three months.

Payment of sickness benefit to self-employed persons is based on their calculated remuneration, on which a social security contribution has been paid. When a person loses his/her income due to illness, this must be notified to the tax authorities, and the notification will be forwarded electronically to Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratryggingar Íslands).

 

Students

Students aged 18 years and older without income enrolled in at least 75% of a full course of study may be entitled to sickness benefit, provided specific conditions of the law are satisfied, if the illness causes a delay in reaching a stage in their studies.

 

Persons employed in the home

 If persons employed in the home are completely unable to work due to illness they are paid half sickness benefit.

Information about home births

 A mother who gives birth to a child at home is entitled to full sickness benefit for 10 days from the birth of a child.

 

Information on alcohol and drug addiction treatment

 Sickness benefit is only paid to persons undergoing treatment for alcohol and/or drug addiction for the period during which they receive specialised treatment in a recognised institution. The condition is that treatment takes at least 21 days. This applies to both in-patients and those being treated as day-patients. No sickness benefit is paid for out-patient treatment.

 Persons who live in another Nordic country working in Iceland

 

If you work in Iceland you must contact Icelandic Health Insurance to be insured in Iceland. Sickness benefit can be paid for two months after work ceases. You should bear in mind that if you have health insurance in Iceland it may affect your health insurance in your country of permanent residence. 

For how many sick days is a person entitled to payment?

Sickness benefit can be paid for up to 52 weeks every 24 months. Sickness benefit is paid from the 15th day of illness if the person is unable to work for at least 21 days.

How do I apply for sickness benefit in Iceland?

You must apply to Icelandic Health Insurance for sickness benefit. 

    What rules apply if an individual suffers from chronic illness or an incurable disease?

    Persons who suffer from chronic illness or an incurable disease must apply for a pension from the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun). 

    Entitlement to sickness benefit when working in another Nordic country

    When a person begins work in another Nordic country, he/she loses entitlement to sickness benefit from Iceland. Instead, the person concerned is entitled to payments in the country of employment.

    For more information see information on the Info Norden webpages under:

      Entitlement to sick leave under collective agreements

      The law provides employees with a minimum entitlement of two days sick leave with pay for each month worked. Wage agreements provide specific details on entitlement to sick leave. As a general rule, the right to sick leave increases the longer you work for the same employer. Your entitlement and the specific arrangements, such as the number of days of sick leave, is then determined by law and the collective agreements which apply in each case.

      Employees must report their illness at first opportunity and provide a medical certificate if the employer so requests. If an employee is ill during vacation, he/she may be entitled to additional vacation. Illness must be reported at the earliest opportunity and the employee must present a medical certificate.

      In the case of accidents at work or occupational illnesses connected with work or travel to and from the workplace, an employee is entitled to pay from the employer for daytime work for up to three months in addition to his/her earned sick leave.

      An employee, who is absent from work due to illness or accident for a longer period than covered by the entitlement to sick leave, is entitled to payments from his/her union's sickness insurance fund.

       

      Children's illnesses

      In the case of ill children under age thirteen, parents may be entitled to paid leave, but the rules of collective agreements vary. The parent may be entitled to sickness benefit from his/her union’s sickness insurance fund if the child's illness last for a longer period than the parent's salary entitlement. Parents of chronically ill and disabled children can apply to the Social Insurance Administration for caregiver benefit. Further information on this is available on the website of the Social Insurance Administration.

        Who should I contact if I have questions?

        For more information see the website of the Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratrygging Íslands). You can also get information from a service advisor by telephone at +354 515 0000. 

        Contact authority
        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.