Sickness benefit (sykepenger) for employees
Sickness benefit (sykepenger) comes partly from your employer and partly from NAV.
Who can receive sickness benefit?
You can receive sickness benefit if everything on this list applies to you:
- You are a member of the National Insurance Scheme (Folketrygden).
- You are younger than 70 years.
- You cannot work because you are ill or injured.
- You were working for at least four weeks before you became ill.
- Your sickness leave means that you must be away from work for at least 20 percent of your working hours. The work must provide pensionable income, ie income you receive as salary and pay tax on.
- Your income equals at least fifty per cent of the basic amount in the National Insurance Scheme (1/2 G, Grunnbeløpet). This income limit applies only after the employer liability period, which is usually up to the first 16 days of sick leave.
Do you receive a foster care allowance? If so, you are considered a freelancer. The same applies if you receive care benefit (omsorgsstønad), unless you are employed by an employer. See separate information for freelancers.
The first days of sick leave
In order to be entitled to sickness benefit, you must submit a self-certificate (egenmelding) or medical certificate (sick note, sykmelding). You must notify your employer as soon as possible because your right to sickness benefit begins on the day your employer has been informed.
If you are ill longer than your days of self-certification, you must contact your doctor. Chiropractors or manual therapists can authorise sick note for you for up to 12 weeks if the reason you cannot work is related to pain in your muscles and bones.
The sick note can usually be issued no earlier than the date of your appointment with the health professional. If you do not get an appointment on the same day, the day you spoke to the health professional on the phone can be accepted as the start of the sick leave. This assumes that the phone call is followed by an appointment a few days after the phone call.
Please note that there are different kinds of sick note depending on your situation.
How to apply
- First, deliver the sick note to your employer by logging in to Ditt sykefravær (your sick leave).
- When the sick leave period is over, you apply for sickness benefit. You will receive a message from NAV when the application is ready to be completed on Ditt sykefravær.
You must apply even if your employer pays you a salary while you are sick. The employer demands reimbursement from NAV based on your application
If the sick leave lasts more than 31 days, it will automatically be split up, and you can submit an application for sickness benefit before the entire period has ended. You will receive a notification when your application is ready to be completed. You can also check the date.
NOTE: If you have submitted your application online, you do not need to submit one on paper as well.
Your employer must submit income information
NAV can process the application when your employer has sent us information about the income. If you have orders for fixed deductions, your employer must also fill out the form for for deduction details.
Some applicants have to use the paper
In these cases, you must use part D of the paper sick note to apply for sickness benefit:
- You do not have BankID or other ID at the highest security level
- You have a strictly confidential address in the Population Register
You submit Part C of the sick note to your employer. Part D - the application - is submitted to the person who will pay sickness benefit. The employer pays the first 16 calendar days. If you are on sick leave for a longer time, NAV pays sickness benefit. In some cases, the employer pays sickness benefit and is reimbursed later by NAV. Check with your employer what applies at your workplace.
In any case, the employer must send income information digitally to NAV. Find the correct address for Part D.
Have you received the sick note at a hospital?
Most hospitals still write the sick note on paper, but these are made digital after they have been sent to NAV from the hospital. After a few days, you will find the paper sick report on nav.no in digital version, so you do not need to use the papers you have received, nor to apply for sickness benefit.
If you have several jobs
If you are on sick leave from several jobs you must have a sick note for each of them. The sickness benefit basis is calculated on the basis of your total income.
If you receive foster care allowance or care benefit (omsorgsstønad) in combination with other income, it counts as additional jobs.
If you have income both as a freelancer and as an employee, sickness benefit is paid according to the rules for employees.
If transport is the problem
Can you work, but have trouble travelling to and from the workplace? If so, you may be entitled to travel allowance (reisetilskudd) instead of sickness benefit from the 17th day after you were put on sick leave.
Activities while you are on sick leave
In order to receive sickness benefit you must attempt work-related activities as early as possible. The main rule is that you are obligated to carry out such activities within eight weeks.
The doctor shall always consider whether there are compelling medical reasons why you must be away from work, both in connection with the first sick leave and later. If you can perform any of your usual tasks, you will have a partial sick note.
Within four weeks you and your employer must prepare a follow-up plan (oppfølgingsplan) describing how you can return to work as quickly as possible.
If your sick leave is shorter than 12 weeks, we assess the activity requirement against your job. If your sick leave is long-term, we will also consider whether it is possible for you to work in other jobs.
You can go back to work before the sick leave is over. To do so just make an agreement with your employer. You do not need to ask your doctor or NAV. When you submit your application for sickness benefit, you only fill out when you have started working again.
You can also work in combination with sick leave. It depends on what the illness allows and what is practically possible to achieve in the workplace. If you work a few hours, you register them in the application. You will be notified when the application is ready to be filled in at nav.no - Ditt sykefravær (your sick leave).
How much are you entitled to?
Sickness benefit from the employer
Your employer pays sickness benefit for the first 16 calendar days from the first day of sick leave. Every day is counted, not just the days you should have been at work.
You may receive sickness benefit equal to your full salary from your employer, but you are not entitled to a sickness benefit basis exceeding 6 times the national insurance basic amount (G, grunnbeløp) from NAV. However, some employers provide sickness benefit on a sickness benefit basis exceeding 6 G. Contact your employer to find out what applies at your workplace.
If your employer does not approve the sick leave, you may apply to NAV to pay you sickness benefit for the first 16 days, which is the employer liability period. NAV will then assess whether you are entitled to sickness benefit for these days.
Sickness benefit from NAV
When NAV pays sickness benefit from the 17th day, we determine a separate sickness benefit based on your income. The average of your income over the last three full calendar months is converted into annual income. If this annual income is more or less than 25% from the income you received in the past 12 months, the sickness benefit basis shall be determined by discretion.
If your salary has been permanently changed during the last three months, the income is calculated from the date your salary was changed. Only earned income is included in the sickness benefit basis. Holiday pay is not included in the basis, nor overtime pay unless it applies to fixed overtime stipulated in your employment agreement.
In the event of partial sick note (gradert sykmelding) you are entitled to sickness benefit for the part you are sick. Sickness benefit can be graded from 100 per cent down to 20 per cent.
NAV does not pay sickness benefit for a sickness benefit basis exceeding 6 times the basic amount of the National Insurance Scheme (G).
Sickness benefit from the National Insurance Scheme may entitle you to holiday pay (feriepenger). You only receive holiday pay for the first 48 sickness benefit days of the earnings year. The holiday pay amounts to 10.2 per cent of the sickness benefits that entitle you to holiday pay.
If the sick leave is due to an occupational injury
If your sick leave is due to an occupational injury, you may have other rights in addition. In this case, your sick leave must be entirely due to the occupational injury, and the occupational injury must be approved by NAV.
Read more about occupational injury and illness.
How long can you receive sickness benefit?
You can receive sickness benefit for a maximum of 52 weeks. The time limit is the same whether you are fully or partially on sick leave.
- Periods 3 years back in time are summed up if there are less than 26 weeks between any of the periods.
- If you have used up your rignt to 52 weeks, 26 weeks must pass without sickness benefit or work assessment allowance in order for you to receive sickness benefit again. (There are some exceptions.)
There are separate rules for those who are between 67 and 70 years of age.
If you have received sickness benefit for 52 weeks and still cannot work due to illness or injury, you may be entitled to other benefits such as work assessment allowance (arbeidsavklaringspenger) or disability benefit (uføretrygd).
Sickness benefit when you are traveling
If you are considering travelling while on sick leave, there are a few things you need to check in advance. If your trip prevents you from fulfilling the duties you have while you are on sick leave, you will not be allowed to keep your sickness benefit. Read about what you need to do before you travel.
Illness while on holiday
If you become ill before or while on holiday, you may be entitled to postpone your holiday days. Read more about illness while on holiday at arbeidtilsynet.no.
If you take a holiday while you are on sick leave, the sickness benefit stops. More information about holiday and sickness benefit.
You can read about case processing times to see when you normally will have the money in your account. You can also check payments by logging in to nav.no.
Duty to report changes
Are there changes in your income or job situation? Or are you planning to stay abroad? This may affect the amount you are paid from NAV. You must notify NAV immediately in such cases.