Social assistance in Sweden

Kontanthjælp i Sverige
Read about the requirements you must satisfy to be entitled to social assistance in Sweden.

Social assistance, sometimes called financial support (‘ekonomiskt bistånd’), is a financial benefit you can receive from the municipality in which you live if you have financial problems. You can receive help with your upkeep (försörjningsstöd) or for other needs, such as medicines, dental care or glasses.

Citizens from the other Nordic countries have the same right to social assistance as Swedish citizens.

If you become unemployed, and you are not entitled to unemployment benefit and cannot therefore support yourself and your family, you can apply for social assistance in your municipality. The application is assessed on the basis of your needs, your financial situation, and whether you satisfy the requirements that may apply.

It is the municipality that decides whether you are entitled to social assistance. The municipality makes an individual assessment of your and your family’s situation. If you are unemployed, for example, you must be registered at the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and be actively looking for work.

If you cannot work, you must confirm this with a medical certificate that shows that your capacity to work is completely or partly reduced. In the event of illness, you should primarily apply for sickness benefit (sjukpenning).

If you have assets, you cannot normally apply for social assistance.

Read more about social assistance on the website of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) and contact your municipality for more information.

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