Your child is sick – and you work in Sweden

Last updated 1/17/2024
If you work in Sweden and have a child under the age of 12, you are entitled to stay home from work and receive benefits from Försäkringskassan when your child is sick.

This information is for EU/EEA citizens only

In Sweden, this system is called "care of a sick child" (vård av barn or VAB). VAB is when you have to stay home from work or refrain from looking for work to take care of your sick child. The benefits you receive are called temporary parental benefits (tilfällig föräldrapenning).


Temporary parental benefits in Sweden

If your child under the age of 12 becomes sick and needs to stay away from school or kindergarten, you are entitled to stay home from work and receive benefits from Försäkringskassan to look after your child. In certain cases, you are entitled to benefits until your child is 16 years old. 

If the child stays at home for more than seven days, you must obtain a medical certificate from a doctor or nurse. You are entitled to temporary parental benefits for a maximum of 120 days per child per year. You are also entitled to temporary parental benefits if you need to go to the child health care center, the dentist, or another facility in connection with the care of your child. The same applies if the person who would normally look after the child is unable to do so, for example, due to illness.


Amount of benefits for the care of a sick child

Temporary parental benefits amount to just under 80 percent of the estimated income (sjukpenninggrundande inkomst - SGI) Försäkringskassan uses for calculating your sickness benefits. If you are employed, your actual salary is normally used as the estimated income to calculate your sickness benefits. The full amount will not be included in the SGI if you are earning a high salary. You can contact Försäkringskassan if you have questions about your SGI and the level of temporary parental benefits.


Transfer of days to someone other than the child’s parents

If neither you nor the child’s other parent can stay home from work to take care of the child, you can transfer or assign the temporary parental benefits to another person, who then refrains from working to stay at home with the child.


You can read more about the rules above on Försäkringskassan’s website


What to do if your child is sick

Once the child has recovered and you are back to work or begin to seek work again, you must apply for compensation for the days you cared for the child. Remember to apply no more than 90 days from the first day you were home with the child.

You can notify Försäkringskassan by phone or online if you have a Swedish ID number or electronic signature. If you have a smartphone, you can download Försäkringskassan’s app “Mina sidor” where you can also see your payments. Remember: you must have a Swedish ID number to be able to use the app (a coordination number is not sufficient).

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