Sickness benefits in Norway

Norske sykepenger
Here you can read about regulations regarding entitlement to sickness benefits in Norway.

What are sickness benefits?

You may be entitled to sickness benefits if you, because of illness or injury, are too ill to work, and your income is therefore reduced or lost.

When are you as employee entitled to sickness benefits in Norway?

You are generally entitled to sickness benefits if you have worked in Norway for four weeks, and if you are incapable of working because of illness or injury. You may also be entitled to sickness benefits even if you are not an employee. The following section gives an overview of groups that may be entitled to sickness benefits.

If you work as a freelancer or you are self-employed

Providing you have had regular income from work assignments, you may be entitled to sickness benefits. The occupational disability must be documented by a sick leave certificate issued by a doctor. If you have not taken out insurance, you are not entitled to sickness benefits until 16 days have passed since the day the injury/illness occurred. You can therefore receive sickness benefits from the 17th day of sickness absence.

If you are unemployed

You are generally entitled to sickness benefits if you are receiving unemployment benefit. Because of illness, you are not a genuine jobseeker, and on these occasions sickness benefits compensate for the loss of unemployment benefit.

If you are combining work with disability benefit, you may be entitled to sickness benefits when you are ill. 

If you are studying

If you are studying, and working while you are studying, you may be entitled to sickness benefits if you become ill. NAV assesses whether the medical conditions are satisfied.   

If you live in another Nordic country and work in Norway

EEA/Nordic citizens may be entitled to sickness benefits from Norway if they have been unable to work because of an injury or illness, and have worked for more than four weeks. Time worked in another EEA country can be included as the qualifying period. 

If you are abroad

In general, you cannot receive sickness benefits if you are abroad. However, there are some exceptions from this regulation, and you should check with NAV before the trip.

How many days of sickness benefits are you entitled to?

In general, you can receive sickness benefits for up to one year.

How do you apply for sickness benefits in Norway?

You must be able to document why you cannot work, with a personal declaration (egenmelding) or a sick leave certificate (sykmelding). As an employee, you can notify illness with a personal declaration.

If the period of personal declaration has expired, or if you are self-employed, contact a doctor to see whether you can be issued with a sick leave certificate. NAV generally processes sick leave certificates electronically.

What happens if you are on long-term sick leave, or are chronically ill?

Sickness benefits can be paid for up to one year. However, if you are on long-term sick leave, you will be followed up by the employer, doctors and NAV, to ensure that you return to work as quickly as possible. If you are an employee, it is the employer who has main responsibility for monitoring you and drawing up a plan to get you back to work. If you do not have an employer, NAV is responsible for this.

If, after a year, you still cannot work, you may be entitled to benefits such as a work assessment allowance (arbeidsavklaringspenger, AAP) or disability benefit (uføretrygd). It is NAV that determines what type of benefit is applicable for you and your situation.

What applies if you have an occupational injury/occupational illness?

If you have become ill or injured because of conditions at your workplace, and now have an approved occupational injury, you may be entitled to social security benefits according to more favourable regulations than normal. The employer must report the injury to NAV no later than one year after the injury occurred.

Who should you contact if you have questions?

Contact NAV if you have questions about sickness benefits.

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