Insurance and pension
Pension companies often employ social advisers to assist people on sick leave with, for example, obtaining rapid treatment etc. Contact your pension company if you are on long term sick leave and inquire about the options they can offer you.

Insurance companies can help with financial security, for example, if you suffer a loss of earnings potential during the illness.

Trade union
Trades unions can assist in explaining regulations and options when you are on sick leave.

They also have knowledge of other public bodies and their initiatives, so that you can get the help you require.

The union can also act as observer during meetings with the Job Centre.

Focus on other things
Illness can easily take over your life, so remind yourself to think about other things now and again. Remember to be attentive to those closest to you, even though their problems and concerns may seem insignificant compared to your situation.

They also have a need to be heard.

Take breaks from dwelling on and worrying about your illness.

Set time aside for "thought-free zones" where you do something you enjoy and which is good for you.

  • Read more about sick leave interview here
  • Read more about sickness benefit and the Job Centre here
  • Read more about fast-track here
  • Read more about Work and identity here
  • Read more about Family, friends and colleagues here

Sick leave interview

Your employer is obliged to ask you to attend a sick leave interview at the latest 4 weeks after the first day of illness, but may not inquire why you are ill.

Prepare at home
You are not obliged to tell your employer about your illness, but your employer has the option of requesting a doctor's certificate. At the interview, the focus should be on your work and not illness.

You will therefore be asked if, for example, there are some work tasks you can perform despite illness.

Decide before leaving home, therefore, what you believe you can handle so that you can give a clear message to your employer.

Map your options
Your boss knows the options the workplace can offer to help when you are ill.

For example, there may be a healthcare scheme that ensures you receive rapid diagnosis and treatment.

There may also be help equipment that permits you to perform the same tasks as before – there are many possibilities.

Be honest and open
It can be difficult to talk about illness with your boss, but it is a good idea to be as open as possible about your concerns.

  • Are you worried about what colleagues will think?
  • Would you rather not be questioned when you return?

Let your boss know so that he or she can ensure that you return smoothly when you are ready.

Sickness benefit and the Job Centre

Sickness benefit
You are entitled to sickness benefit if you are ill and:

  • Do not receive full pay during illness.
  • Are unemployed.
  • Are self-employed and insured.

Sickness benefit is a temporary benefit that either the employer gets reimbursed for paying salary during illness, or which you receive if you are not entitled to pay during illness.

The period in which you can receive sickness benefit is limited to 22 weeks within the last 9 months.

You will be assessed every 4th week during illness to determine whether you are well or continue to meet the conditions for receiving sickness benefit.

When the 22 weeks are over an assessment must be made to determine if you should transfer to a job clarification process or whether your case can be extended.

Job Centre follow-up
If you have been on sick leave for more than 30 days, you will either receive sickness benefit or your employer will be reimbursed if they have paid salary during the illness. This means that the Job Centre will now want to meet for a follow-up interview concerning a return to work or to the labour market in general.

In addition to meetings, they will also request information from your doctor or the specialist treating you.

This is to ensure that you return to the work market as quickly as possible.


An early intervention
Your municipality can initiate an extraordinary early intervention if it is judged that there is a risk that your capacity for work has been permanently reduced and there is a risk you may not be able to return to the job you are absent from. This can be put in motion following a request either from you or your employer.

Work and identity

We base a great deal of our identity on work and it can be crisis inducing to lose work as a foundation for identity.

You are still you
It can be hard to recognise yourself when you are on long-term sick leave. When you suffer a physical ailment, for example, reduced mobility or a psychological disorder and are unable to tackle and overcome the things you usually do.

It can also be hard to suddenly be forced to identify as someone on long-term sick leave when you are used to being part of a workplace.

Remember, you are still you, even when you are not working. Value your qualities as part of you and not something only existing by virtue of your work.

The expectations of those around you
You will hear lots of suggestions from friends, colleagues and acquaintances about what you should do to get well. What works best varies from person to person so you should listen closely and decide what works for you.

Family, friends and colleagues

Help your loved ones to help you
Tell your family what you need. It may be hard for them to figure out how best to help you, though it may be obvious to you.

In their efforts to do the right thing they may miss the mark and say something unhelpful.

Be patient, accept what you can use and let the rest go.

Get professional help
Make sure you get treatment for your illness. Find out what you can do to make things better.

Be patient and tolerant with yourself.

Expect ups and downs and that symptoms may reappear briefly and disappear again.

Social events
There may be a risk that you withdraw from social events when you become ill, for example, because it seems overwhelming, or because you are worried whether you can handle it.
But with a little planning, you can go a long way.
We have created a checklist that can make it easier for you to participate in social events.
It can be a good idea to print the list and talk about it together, if you are going with other people.