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 is causing you to lose income. The income you lose must be pensionable income, which means income you receive as wages 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.

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 leave depending on your situation.  

Do you receive a foster care allowance? If so, you are considered a freelancer. The same applies if you receive carer support (omsorgsstønad), unless you are employed by an employer. See separate information for freelancers.

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 carer support 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 travel 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.

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.

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. There are separate rules for those who are between 67 and 70 years of age.

Have you used up your right to 52 weeks? In order to be entitled to sickness benefit again, you must, as a general rule, have been fully able to work for 26 weeks after you last received sickness benefit from NAV.

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).

How to apply

First, deliver the sick note to your employer. When the sick leave period is over, you apply for sickness benefit. 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 you have delivered a digital sick note, you will receive a message from NAV when the application is ready to be completed. The message contains a link to the digital application. You log in and submit your application from nav.no. 

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 by logging in to Your sick leave.

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.

If you have to submit an application on paper

In some cases, you will receive the sick note on paper:

  • if you are put on sick leave at a hospital
  • if your sick note applies to travel allowance
  • if you do not have BankID or other ID at the highest security level 
  • if 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..

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. 

Payments

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 Ditt NAV (Your NAV) (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.