Cash sickness benefits

These are temporary benefits that are paid to those individuals who can´t work because of an illness and therefore do not get wages.

Qualifying conditions

The health insurance  pays per diem cash sickness benefits (sjúkradagpeningar) from and including the 15th day of illness if the insured person has been unable to work due to illness for at least 21 days. The waiting period (14 days)  begins on the day when the incapacity for work is confirmed by a physician.

Employed persons are entitled to continued payment of wages and salaries for a certain period in case of sickness in accordance with collective agreements. Sickness cash benefits from Icelandic Health Insurance are not granted until wages have ceased.

Permanent disability allowance is administered by Tryggingastofnun (The Social Insurance Administration).

Duration of benefits

Sickness cash benefits are payable for a total of 52 weeks in any one 24-month period.

Amount of benefits

Sickness cash benefits are not earnings related. These are flat-rate benefits, the rate for which is decided by law. Full per diem cash benefits are paid to persons who have to give up full-time work. Those who give up less than full-time work but at least half-time work, receive half the amount of full per diem cash benefits. A supplement is paid for the maintenance of each child under the age of 18.

How to obtain benefits

When applying for per diem sickness benefits a standard application form should be sent to Icelandic Health Insurance or its agencies.  Per diem cash sickness benefits are as a rule not granted retroactively for longer than two months. With the application, there needs to be a confirmation filled out by the employer, a form for this is attached to the application.

Other rights

The cash sickness benefits from Icelandic Health Insurance do not reach income criteria.

It is advised to check if you have other rights from the social services in your municipal or from your union.

Cash sickness benefits are not paid if:

  • you are receiving old age pension or disability pension from the Social Insurance Administration. If you do not receive full pension you can have the right to cash benefits if you have had to stop working, this also applies to disability pension. The difference between the payments is paid with cash benefits. If you are receiving rehabilitation pension you will not receive cash benefits during the same period.
  • you are receiving cash benefits related to an accident at work
  • you are receiving payments from maternity/paternity leave fund
  • you are receiving unemployment benefits. If you stop getting unemployment benefits do to sickness you could have the right to cash sickness benefits. 

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