Unemployment benefits

How does unemployment insurance work in Sweden?

Unemployment insurance in Sweden is an insurance for change of circumstances. To be eligible for benefits you must be actively seeking work and be prepared to travel long distances to work, relocate or retrain.

How is unemployment insurance structured?

Unemployment insurance is payable to an applicant who fulfils certain conditions. The insurance is general and comprises of two parts – a general basic insurance (basic amount) and a complementary income related insurance.

What conditions apply?

The basic requirement for receiving the basic insurance is that the jobseeker is wholly or partly unemployed, is able to work and works at least three hours a day. The applicant must also be ready to accept work that is offered and be registered as a jobseeker with Arbetsförmedlingen, the Public Employment Service. 

Three conditions need to be fulfilled to receive the income-related benefit.

the basic condition

the work condition which, as a general rule over a time frame of 12 months, means that prior to becoming unemployed the applicant shall have worked at least six months and at least 80 hours per calendar month and

the applicant has been a member of an unemployment benefit insurance at least 12 continuous months (membership condition)

 Refer to Arbetsförmedlingen for all terms and conditions.

How do I become a member of an unemployment benefit insurance?

A person has the right to be a member or associated with an unemployment insurance fund during a continuous period of five weeks, the applicant has worked for at least four weeks and, on average, at least 17 hours a week. The applicant must continue to work to this extent while applying for membership.

How long may I receive unemployment insurance?

If the applicant fulfils the conditions for unemployment insurance, the unemployment insurance fund will sanction a benefit period of 300 insurance days. Parents that on day 300 have children below the age of 18 are eligible for a further 150 insurance days. There is a qualifying period of 5 days before benefits are paid. Other rules apply to the insurance if you give notice to leave your employment voluntarily.

How much is the unemployment insurance?

The basic insurance is SEK 320 per insurance day for a person who has worked full time, irrespective of previous income. If you have worked less than full time, the basic insurance will be reduced in proportion to the time worked.

 If you are eligible for the complementary income related insurance, the level on the first 200 days is 80% for the previous income (maximum of SEK 680 per benefit day). The benefit on subsequent benefit days is 70% of the previous income (maximum SEK 680 per benefit day).

More details on Swedish unemployment insurance, the Nordic convention and EU regulations on unemployment are available at Arbetsförmedlingen, IAF and Samorg.