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Sweden / Seven key facts about unemployment insurance

Today, around 3.4 million workers in Sweden are enrolled in an unemployment insurance fund, according to figures from the Swedish Unemployment Insurance Board (IAF).

But figuring out exactly how everything works isn’t always straightforward. Below are a few pointers to bear in mind as you go about signing up.

1) You need to be a member of a fund for at least a year to claim full benefits

Being a full member of an unemployment insurance fund entitles workers to receive up to 80 percent of their former salaries for the first 200 working days after losing their jobs.

The following 100 days are paid at 70 percent of previous income. However, payments are capped at 680 kronor ($104) per day, so high earners shouldn’t expect to receive 80 percent of their previous salaries.

But in order to receive the maximum payout, you need to have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months prior to applying for benefits.

2) Not all unemployment insurance funds are the same

There are currently 29 different unemployment insurance funds, and while they all offer the same basic income protection insurance, there are significant differences from one plan to the next.

3) Benefit payments don’t kick in right away

It takes a minimum of four weeks for benefits claims to be processed.

4) Benefits aren’t affected by how much money you have in the bank

Whatever unemployment insurance plan you join, the benefits you receive aren’t means-tested.

5) You can’t just sit around and collect benefits

While your personal wealth may not affect your payouts, you need to meet other conditions in order to receive benefits.

First, you must be registered with Sweden’s national employment agency (Arbetsförmedlingen), which plays a key role in ensuring you qualify for benefits.

Among other things, you need to be physically able to work at least three hours a day and 17 hours a week. You also must actively seek and be ready to take any suitable job.

6) Running your own company can affect the benefits you receive

Small business owners and those who are self-employed can also claim benefits if their businesses go bust.

7) It’s possible to change from one plan to another

So if you’re having second thoughts about whether you joined the right fund, the decision isn’t final.

Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

The Local

Seven key facts about Swedish job insurance – The Local.

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3 thoughts on “Sweden / Seven key facts about unemployment insurance

  1. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Very informative! It’s interesting that unemployment insurance seems to be real “insurance” rather than merely a welfare benefit. One must be part of an unemployment insurance fund. So, one pays a premium and when unemployment occurs the insurance is available.

    Posted by Mike | January 21, 2013, 9:55 am


  1. Pingback: Assurance Chômage: Vers un régime pour l’Union Européenne ? « Moniteur de l'Emploi - January 21, 2013

  2. Pingback: Unemployment insurance reduces transitions into self-rated ill-health in 23 European countries study finds | Job Market Monitor - June 4, 2014

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