This chapter discusses parental benefit (föräldrapenning) which you can obtain so you can be at home with your children instead of working, looking for work or studying. It explains what the requirements are, how to apply, how much you will receive and for how long. The chapter also explains the difference between various types of parental insurance.
The benefits described are:
- parental benefit (föräldrapenning)
- temporary parental benefit (tillfällig föräldrapenning)
- Pregnancy cash benefit (graviditetspenning);
- temporary leave in connection with a child’s birth or adoption (tillfällig föräldrapenning i samband med barns födelse eller adoption)
In what situation can I claim?
Parental benefit is money you can get in order to be able to stay home with your children instead of working, looking for work or studying. Both parents together receive 480 days' parental allowance per child. In the case of multiple births, an additional 180 days are granted for each additional child.
Of the 480 days that you as parents share, 390 days are sickness benefit qualifying days and 90 days are days at the minimum level. You can take either seven days per week or full or part days at different levels. How much you receive in benefit will depend on your sickness benefit qualifying income and how you divide your allocation of days.
Parental benefit is 240 days per parent, a total of 480 days and it is distributed as you choose between the parents. You can start to take the minimal level per day (SEK 180/day) only when 180 sickness benefit qualifying days have been taken for the child. It is also possible to transfer up to 150 days to the other parent. However, 90 sickness benefit qualifying days are reserved for each parent.
During the child's first year, there is an opportunity for both parents to take parental leave benefit in the same period for no more than 30 days (so called 'double days'). Depending on when the baby is born, there are different deadlines for using up parental allowance. For children born on or after 1 January 2014, 384 days must be taken before the child's fourth birthday. The remaining 96 days can be saved and taken - at the latest - before the child turns 12 years old. For children born before 1 January 2014, parental allowance applies until the child's eighth birthday or until it leaves Class 1.
The child's mother can begin to take parental benefit 60 days prior to the expected birth. In connection with the birth, the other parent can also receive a temporary leave in connection with a child’s birth or adoption for 10 days. As a rule, the same conditions apply for those who are adopting. Parental insurance is taxable. If you have a physically strenuous or hazardous job, you can apply for pregnancy cash benefit, while you are pregnant. You can also receive temporary parental benefit if you need to stay home from work to care for a sick child.
What conditions do I need to meet?
To receive parental benefit, you must be a parent or have custody of a child. You may also qualify as a parent if you live with or have a relationship with a parent. See provisions in Chapter 11 Section 4 of the Social Insurance Law (SFB). You must be insured in Sweden. However, there are some exceptions. Special rules apply where the parents live and work in different EU/EEA countries.
See the Swedish Social Insurance Agency website for more information.
Temporary leave in connection with a child’s birth or adoption
In connection with the child's birth, a second parent may be at home and receive benefit for 10 days. This benefit is called temporary leave in connection with a child’s birth or adoption. You must take these days before 90 days have passed since the child has come home after the birth. You can choose to take an allowance of a quarter of a day, a half-day, three-quarter day or one-eighth day of your normal working hours and thus extend the 10 days.
The terms of parental benefit are generally the same if you are adopting. You can receive the parental benefit from the date you received the child into your care. How long you can receive the benefit depends on when you received the child into your care but may not go beyond when the child turns 12. If you are adopting you can also receive temporary parental allowance. The 10 days are divided between the parents but they can be transferred.
If you adopt two or more children at the same time, you get an additional 180 days per child.
Pregnancy cash benefit
You can receive pregnancy cash benefit if you have a physically strenuous or hazardous job that makes you unable to work while you are pregnant. You must be away from work for at least a quarter of your normal working hours. It must also be the case that your employer cannot give you an easier or less risky job. You must also be insured in Sweden, which you normally are if you live in Sweden. However there are some exceptions.
Temporary parental benefit
Compensation for the care of children means that you stay home from work or refrain from seeking work in order to care for a sick child. The benefit you receive is called temporary parental benefit. The child must be between 8 months and 12 years old. In some cases you are entitled to this benefit even if the child is younger or older. You must have lost income that is sickness benefit qualifying income (SGI) and you should be insured in Sweden, which you normally are if you live in Sweden. However there are exceptions.
For children up to 12 years, parents can get the benefit for a maximum of 120 days per child per year. If the child is seriously ill you can receive the benefit for an unlimited number of days.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The level of benefit depends partly on your income before the child's birth, but also on how much parental leave you use. On Föräldrakollen (the Parent's Calculator) on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency website, you can calculate how much you will receive. In general the following applies:
Amount of benefit
390 days of parental benefit are paid according to the sickness benefit rate, i.e. between SEK 250-989 per day, while the remaining 90 days are paid at SEK 180 per day.
Parental benefit according to the sickness benefit level is calculated on income below 10 times the Price base amounts. Any amount that exceeds the 2019 price base amount is not included.
You must have been insured for sickness cash benefit above SEK 180 per day for at least 240 consecutive days before the estimated date of birth in order to receive the allowance at sickness benefit qualifying level from the first day of parental leave.
If you have worked for less than 240 days, have been without an income or earned less than SEK 117,590 in a year, you will receive SEK 250 per day. This is called parental benefit at the basic level.
Unemployed people and students also receive SEK 250 per day unless they previously had sufficient income or otherwise satisfy the conditions. The remaining 90 days are paid at the minimum level of SEK 180 per day regardless of income. All parental benefit is taxable.
You can choose to use less than 100% of parental benefit and thus extend the time during which you can be at home with your child.
Applying for parental benefit is in two stages: notification and application. First, you should give notification that you will be taking leave, and then you must complete the application. With e-ID, you can plan, notify and apply via My Pages on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's website. You can also apply using a form.
Temporary parental benefit
Temporary parental benefit is calculated on incomes below 7.5 price base amounts. This amounts to around 80% of your income through the working hours that you have in hours or days. In order to receive the benefit, you should notify the Swedish Social Insurance Agency that you are planning to take leave no later than the day for which you wish to receive benefit. When you then start working again, you apply for benefit for the days you were on leave. If you have e-ID, you can do all of this on My pages on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's website. Otherwise, you must submit the form you received at the time of carrying out your notification.
For adoptive parents, the same sums and days apply as for biological parents. When you receive the decision about your child, you should send the adoption consent from the Social Welfare Committee to:
- Swedish Social Insurance Agency Input Centre, 839 88 Östersund;
- After this, you should notify and apply for parental allowance. If you have e-ID, you can do all of this on My pages on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency website. You can also send in a form.
Pregnancy cash benefit
You will receive around 80% of your salary, up to 7.5 times the price base amount multiplied by 0.97, which is a conversion factor. The maximum amount, however, is SEK 714 per day before tax. You must apply to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Your employer must also submit a statement.
Temporary parental benefit
Temporary parental benefit (tillfällig föräldrapenning, VAB) is calculated on incomes below 7.5 price base amounts. Because the benefit may be taken out in days or hours, you calculate a daily or hourly rate that is around 80% of the income, divided by the hours or days you work. In order to receive the benefit, you should first report the care of children (VAB) to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency from and including the first day on which you need to be at home. Once the child is recovered and you are back at work, you should apply for compensation for the days you were caring for the child. If you have e-ID, you can do all of this on My pages on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's website. Otherwise you must submit a form.
Parental benefit at sickness benefit level is parental allowance based on your income or a basic level of SEK 250 per day.
Parental benefit at the lowest level is a fixed parental allowance paying SEK 180 per day.
E-ID: see the chapter on Benefit during sickness.
Forms you may need to fill in
If you have e-ID the easiest way to apply is via My Pages on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's website. Otherwise, you can contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's customer centre and order the forms you need. Some forms can also be downloaded from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's website under the tab Forms.
Know your rights
- Social Insurance Code (2010:110) - Chapter 12 covers parental allowance and Chapter 13 covers temporary parental allowance
- Act (2008:313) on gender equality bonus