Social welfare


Country Report: Social welfare Last updated: 30/04/24


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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] The Swedish Public Employment Service, County Administrative Board and the municipalities have a shared responsibility for different parts of this introduction, such as programs to help the beneficiary to get a job, “society-introduction” and so on. 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.

To be granted full social welfare from the municipalities, the general principle is that you must be registered in the Swedish Population Register, managed by the Swedish Tax Agency.[3] In practice, it can take time to get registered by the Swedish Tax Agency in the Swedish Population Register. Such delay of registration in the Swedish Population Register may have a temporary impact on beneficiaries’ access to social welfare since a prerequisite for the right to social welfare is such registration. Even though, the municipalities may handle such a situation differently and sometimes grant social welfare without such registration.[4]

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

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

[3] Socialtjänstlagen (2001:453) Chapter 2 a, Section 2-3

[4] Socialstyrelsen, ‘Ekonomiskt bistånd Handbok för socialtjänsten’, 2021, 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