How to Have Sickness-Compensation in Sweden

I am a snowboarding maniac. During the past 4 winters in Sweden, I nearly went to snowboarding every weekend. However, this winter is impossible for me, because I had an operation on my left foot. A surgeon has to remove some inflammation on my left foot for the Ostrochondritis dissecans.

It is a rare disease, approximately 20 cases per 100,000 people in each year. Still it happened on people like me who values life and health so important than anything else, although I knew how exactly I got it. I would must be too physical active. About 2 years ago, I tried a red jumping pop-up (red colour is the second last level on the difficulty of slop in ski resort), but landed badly and solely with my left foot. Inevitably, I twisted my left ankle. However, I trusted myself too much that did not go to a clinic for the examination. Partly I was tired of queuing myself for seeing a doctor and getting an x-ray. One week later, I showed myself on the snowboard again!

—- This is typical how tragedy happens. The ligaments did not recover from the injury, and more damage was generated on the cartilage surface of my foot. I could not remember how possibly I suffered so long from constant pain and swelling while my exercising during the past two years.

Back to the point how I got sickness-compensation from Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social insurance Agency) as a PhD student.

  1. First and most importantly, you need to register yourself at Försäkringskassan once you arrive in Sweden, using your personal number got from Tax Agency.
  2. If you had a medical condition, contact your community clinic.
  3. Insist on getting a specialist if you believed necessary, i.e. I am also a MD as knowing the severity, otherwise you will be told, “how about go home and rest for a time and then we’ll see”. If so, 90% of changes that you will either forget it or tired of queuing yourself for another visit.
  4. Once you had a change on visiting a specialist, let him/her know that you are seriously concerned on your condition. Then you will get some examinations, otherwise you will be told, “how about go home and rest for a time and then we’ll see”.
  5. Congratulation! You are about 1/3 way now! After the examination, you may be contacted by the specialist again for making an appointment of surgery.
  6. Start queuing yourself for the place of surgery, i.e. I spent 4 months on waiting a position.
  7. Call Försäkringskassan about 1 week prior to the surgery. Tell them the day of operation and you will need to apply for “Sjukpenning för anställd med sjuklön”. Then they will send you a post with the application form.
  8. Contact your supervisor and HR people in your department at school. Let them know you will be absent as sick-leave for some time. Ask HR to provide a certificate of your employment as a PhD student.
  9. Lycka till (good luck) on your operation! After the operation, ask your surgeon for a certificate of sickness-leave from doctor (Läkarintyg). Once you get it, you are about to the destination.
  10. Finished the form of “Sjukpenning för anställd med sjuklön”, and send it back by post to the Försäkringskassan enclosed with your 2 certificates (HR’s & doctor’s). Call Försäkringskassan again, tell them that you’ve done the operation and sent form back by post.
  11. Wait, wait and wait, from the 15th day after your operation, you will start to have sickness-leave compensation for maximum 3 months (according to the period stated on your doctor’s certificate).


The first 2 weeks of your sickness-leave will be covered by your employer, such as your supervisor. The Försäkringskassan only takes over from the 15th day for sickness compensation (Sjukpenning), and it will depend on your taxable income. You will get about 80% of your salary if you have to stay at home due to sickness.



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