Social welfare


Country Report: Social welfare Last updated: 21/04/21


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Refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries have the same rights regarding social welfare under the same conditions as nationals. There is a special remuneration system for able-bodied successful asylum seekers between 18 and 64 for the first two years, called the “introduction benefit”.[1] If after that they are unable to support themselves they have access to social welfare on the same basis as nationals. Social welfare is administered by the Swedish National Insurance Board and the Municipal Welfare Board.[2]

It is the municipality where a beneficiary is registered as resident that has the responsibility to provide support. This can mean that if a family resides in one place and the father moves to another town to find work and fails, then he will not receive support from the municipality he moved to but will be referred back to the initial municipality.

In practice, obstacles to prompt Civil Registration may have a temporary impact on beneficiaries’ access to social welfare.

Persons granted international protection have the right to access part of the Swedish pension system (the so-called general pension) and are treated in the qualification process as if they had been gainfully employed in Sweden since their late teens.[3]


[1]  Lag (2010:197) om etableringsinsatser för vissa nyanlända invandrare.

[2] Socialtjänstlag (2001:453) Svensk författningssamling. See also Socialstyrelsen, Social assistance, available at:

[3]  GP, ‘Skral pension för nya svenskar’, 6 September 2015, available in Swedish at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – I Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation