The Norwegian welfare system
Learn about the welfare model, your rights and your duties.
National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden)
The Norwegian welfare model is based on the National Insurance Scheme. Membership in the National Insurance Scheme is compulsory for everyone who lives in Norway for more than one year. It entitles you to social security and health care in Norway, but for certain services and benefits there might be certain requirements such as residence and employment.
Norway has social security agreements with a number of other countries. The most comprehensive are with the European Union and the EEA countries, but there are also agreements with individual countries. This means you should research what your particular rights are according to your citizenship and permit type.
For European nationals
The European Comission has information for EU/EEA nationals in Norway that sets out when you are eligible for benefits, what you are entitled to and how to go about claiming it.
Your right to social security services
The main general social insurance schemes in Norway are:
- the National Insurance Scheme
- the Child Benefit Scheme
- he Scheme for Cash Benefit for Families with Small Children
Social security services are administered by NAV. There are many types of services included, like unemployment benefit, parental benefit, pensions etc. Some rights, like retirement pensions or disability benefits, require that you have lived in Norway for a certain number of years.
You should contact NAV if you have children under the age of 18 living in another country than Norway.
NAV Call and Service Centre
If you have any questions about social security rights and services, you can contact NAV directly. They can answer your call in Norwegian or English.
Good to know
Learn more about the Norwegian welfare system
- Go to samfunnskunnskap.no for a general introduction to the concept of the Norwegian welfare system (see menu on the left)
- Go to norden.org for articles about social security services: benefits, pensions, health care and more
- Go to nordics.info to learn about the historical development of the Norwegian welfare state
Store Norske Leksikon is a Norwegian online encyclopedia. The content is in Norwegian, but it translates well in Google Translate.