Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Sweden - Previous coverage abroad can count

Benefits from other EU countries

Different countries have different rules when it comes to social insurance, but according to EU rules, the Member States' social security systems should be coordinated. This means that the time you have been insured, resident or employed should be considered in all EU countries when assessing your eligibility for various benefits.

The basic principle is that you cannot be insured and receive the same benefit in two countries simultaneously.

If you work in an EU country you are generally covered by social insurance in that country. If you are not working you are normally covered by insurance in the country you live in. If you are working and living in Sweden, you are therefore covered by Swedish insurance. This begins from the first day.

If you have previously lived or worked in another EU country, you may be entitled to benefits from that country, which in turn may affect your benefits in Sweden. The same may also apply if you live in Sweden and work in another EU country or vice versa.

Benefits which are coordinated within the EU

The benefits which are coordinated within the EU and which may therefore affect your entitlement to Swedish benefits are as follows:

  • sickness benefits, both cash benefits and medical care;
  • parental benefits - for example parental allowance;
  • benefits for accidents at work and occupational injuries;
  • invalidity benefits such as sickness or activity compensation;
  • age-related benefits;
  • survivor's benefits;
  • death benefits;
  • unemployment benefits;
  • family benefits such as child allowance and housing benefit;
  • benefits in the case of early retirement.

Families with children

If you are a parent or guardian of a child and work or receive a pension from another EU country, you are covered by that country's insurance. You and your child may then be entitled to benefits from that country even if neither of you live there. These benefits are called EU family benefits and they may, for example, include child allowance, housing benefit and maintenance support.

In some cases, you may be entitled to benefits from several countries. At such times benefits are coordinated so that you will not receive double payment or remain without benefits. If the benefits from the EU country which will primarily support you are lower than the benefits you are entitled to receive from another EU country, you can get an additional amount to make up the difference from the other country. Contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency to find out what applies to you.

If you are unemployed

As a rule, you should receive unemployment benefits in the country where you last worked. If you are going to apply in Sweden for income-based unemployment benefits, you must have worked for a certain time. In some cases you can receive credit for work done in other EU countries. Contact your unemployment insurance fund to find out what conditions apply to you.

Within the EU, and thus also in Sweden, you can travel to another member country and seek work there and still retain your unemployment benefits for 3 months.


If you live in Sweden but previously lived or worked in another EU country, you may be entitled to a pension from that country. The Swedish Pensions Agency will make contact with the relevant authorities in the country where you have previously worked. The only thing you need to do is to provide any necessary information to the Swedish Pensions Agency.

If you are entitled to a pension in several EU countries, the total amount shall not be less than the minimum in the country you live in. If it is lower, the institution in the country of residence must pay an additional allowance.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

If you are moving to or from Sweden this may affect your entitlement to benefits and you will need to notify the Swedish Social Insurance Agency about the move. That will mean you can also get more information about how it will affect your eligibility for benefits, what forms you need to fill out and what attestations you need to present.

Know your rights


Who do you need to contact?

Swedish Social Insurance Agency
Website: www.forsakringskassan.se
Customer centre e-mail: kundcenter@forsakringskassan.se
Customer Service Centre telephone: +46 771524524 Find your local Social Insurance Agency

Share this page