Sickness benefit (sykepenger) when you are travelling
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.
What do you need to do before considering travelling?
To receive sickness benefit, you must actively participate in returning to work as quickly as possible. You therefore need to do the following before considering travelling:
- You must check with your employer whether the trip will prevent planned follow-up and activities in the workplace.
- You must ensure that the trip will not hinder activities under the direction of NAV. If you are unsure, you can ask the NAV office by writing to us here from nav.no.
- You need to check with the person who put you on sick leave if the trip will worsen your health and whether it will prevent scheduled treatment.
What could happen to sickness benefits?
If your trip extends your sickness absence or prevents scheduled activities, you may risk that your sickness benefit will be halted during the period you travel.
If your sickness benefit is halted, you also risk that your sickness benefit will be calculated on a new and lower basis when you return from your trip.
If you are travelling for four weeks or more and your sickness benefit is halted during this period, you also risk rejection of further applications for sickness benefit.
Is the trip outside or within the EEA?
- If you travel outside the EEA, you are not initially entitled to sickness benefit. You can still apply to NAV to keep your sickness benefit for a limited period. If you want to be sure of the answer, you should apply before you travel. Go to application to keep sickness benefit outside the EEA.
- If you are an EEA national and are travelling to a country within the EEA, you do not need to apply to NAV in advance, but you must check that the trip is compatible with your duties as a person on sick leave as described above.
Are you a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA?
If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country, you must apply to keep your sickness benefit if you travel outside the Nordic countries.
- If you are travelling within the Nordic countries, you do not need to apply, but you must check that the trip is compatible with your duties as a person on sick leave as described above.
- If you are travelling to another country within the EU/EEA, you must use a paper application.
- If you are travelling to other countries outside the EU/EEA, you must submit a digital application to keep your sickness benefit outside the EEA.
Did you become ill while on holiday?
If you become ill while on holiday, you may be entitled to postpone your holiday days. Read more about illness while on holiday (arbeidstilsynet.no)..
Are you going to take out holiday?
There is nothing to stop you from going on holiday while you are on sick leave, but you will not receive sickness benefit during your holiday.
When you take out statutory holiday, you must therefore not apply to keep your sickness benefit even if you leave Norway. You then simply tick the box for holiday in the actual application for sickness benefit. Sickness benefit stops while you are on holiday, and the maximum date for sickness benefit is changed accordingly.
Are you partially on sick leave?
It is not possible to take out holidays on the days you are supposed to work and receive sickness benefit for the others. However, if you have saved up plus hours (flexitime), you can take time off in lieu for the days you should have been working and receive sickness benefit for the other days.
- If you are on sick leave 50 per cent and want to travel abroad for a few days, you can take time off in lieu for half of the days if you have enough plus hours for it.
- If you do not have enough plus hours to take off all the days, you will have to take out holiday for the entire period. That is because it is not permitted to combine holiday and graded sick leave.
Other situations where you may be entitled to sickness benefit
- If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and live outside Norway, you may be entitled to sickness benefit.
- If you are admitted to a health institution for Norwegian account, or you are covered by a social security agreement between the countries, you may be entitled to sickness benefit.
You can contact the office for international cases by phone on +47 21 07 37 00. If you are in Norway, call 55 55 33 33.