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What benefits are you entitled to if you have children in Norway?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 13 Nov, 2022 Updated Sun 13 Nov 2022 09:00 CEST
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Looking for a simple guide on benefits for people with children in Norway? We've got you covered. Photo by Juliane Liebermann / Unsplash

Wondering whether you are entitled to benefits in Norway when it comes to raising children – or what they are? We've prepared a primer on the fundamental rules.

Norway has a generous benefits scheme to support parents. However, it's easy to get lost in the numerous rules that regulate these benefits in the country.

That's why The Local has collected relevant publicly available information and compiled a quick guide with the essential things you should keep in mind regarding the benefits related to having children in Norway.

What are the basic pregnancy and kindergarten benefits in Norway?

If you're pregnant, you will be provided with appointments for regular pregnancy checks as part of the routine pregnancy care in Norway.

All pregnant women are entitled to free follow-ups with their midwife or GP. Usually, you will get to decide whether you want to see a GP or midwife for these checkups.

As Helse Norge points out, as a rule, nine pregnancy consultations – including fetal diagnostics and ultrasounds – are offered to pregnant women. You may also be offered more consultations if your GP decides they are needed.

In Norway, your children have the right to a pre-school (kindergarten) place after they turn one year old, but no later than the end of November in the year they apply.

READ MORE: How does the cost of childcare in Norway compare to other Nordic countries?

Children born after November are entitled to a kindergarten place the following year. More information on pre-school care can be on your local municipality's website. For example, in Oslo, you can consult this website.

What do parental benefits entail?

Parental benefits in Norway include financial assistance that provides parents with an income after they get a child.

In Norway, you are entitled to parental benefits if you have been employed and have had a pensionable income for at least six of the ten months before the beginning of the period to which the benefits apply.

If you are employed, the benefit basis is typically calculated based on your income at the beginning of your leave period.

For an exact figure, use the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration's (NAV) benefit calculator here (in Norwegian).

More information on parental benefits in general can be found here (in Norwegian).

Note that if you are expecting a child and you have had no income in the last year, you can receive a lump-sum payment from the state.

You can use this NAV guide (in Norwegian)  to calculate the level of the payment.

Am I entitled to child benefits?

To start off, your child must live in Norway to receive child benefits.

According to the NAV, a child is usually regarded as living in Norway if they have been in Norway for at least 12 consecutive months.

Different rules apply for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals; you can check them here (in Norwegian).

In Norway, a child's mother or father has a right to child benefits. If the child has a dual residence between the mother and father, the child benefit can be shared equally between them.

Foster parents, other care providers, or childcare institutions can also receive child benefits if a child lives there permanently and not less than three months.

What are the rules that govern extended child benefits?

Single parents in Norway can receive extended child benefits if they live alone with the child and fit one of the following conditions, according to the NAV:

  • If they are separated, divorced, or widowed
  • If they are unmarried and not living together with the other parent of the child
  • If they have been separated for at least six months without a separation order or court ruling
  • If the other spouse or cohabiting partner is in prison on an unconditional sentence or has been held in custody for at least six months
  • If the other spouse or cohabiting partner has been missing for at least six months

Remember that the NAV is likely to require documentation proving that you meet the abovementioned requirements.

How much money can I expect to receive in child benefits?

When it comes to regular child benefits, the amount per child is fixed.

As of January 1st, 2022, the following rates apply:

  • Children under 6 years of age: 1,676 kroner /month
    Children over 6 years of age: 1,054 kroner / month

You can find more information on the child benefit rates – as well as extended child benefit rates and supplements – that apply to your situation here (in Norwegian).

How long can I receive child benefits, and how can I apply for them?

You can receive child benefits from the month after your child is born or from the month after you meet the benefits requirements.

Child benefits are paid out until the month before your child turns 18 – unless you lose the right to receive the benefit. In that case, you will receive payments up to, and including, the month the conditions for the benefit have no longer been met.

The NAV notes that child benefits can be paid for up to 3 years from the date of application if the conditions are satisfied and the child benefit is not paid to the child's other parent.

For more details on two parents sharing the child benefit in case of an agreement on a dual residence for the child, consult the NAV website here (in English).

When it comes to applying for child benefits, the process is usually quite straightforward. Typically, you do not need to apply for child benefits.

If the child is born in Norway, the mother automatically receives child benefits within roughly 60 days of the child's birth.

However, there are some cases in which you will have to apply for child benefits on your own, including if the mother is not registered as living in Norway or if the child is older than six months when entitlement to child benefits starts, to mention just a few.

For the complete list of instances when you'll likely have to apply by yourself, see here.

In such cases, you will have to apply for child benefits by using the NAV 33-00.07 form (Application for ordinary child benefit). For extended child benefit applications, you should use the NAV 33-00.09 form (Application for extended child benefit).

The forms can be submitted digitally or in written form. Remember that the NAV will request additional documentation on your individual circumstances during the application process.

What should I do when I move from or to Norway?

In some cases, you might get to keep child benefits if you move abroad. That depends on what you will be doing, where you will be staying, and how long you will be there.

Before you move abroad, make sure to check with the NAV to see which rules apply to your case. More information on receiving child benefits after moving abroad can be found here (in Norwegian).

If, on the other hand, you move to Norway, you might become entitled to child benefits when the whole family is residing in Norway and will live in the country for at least one year.

This applies to all foreign nationals who are resident in Norway, registered on the Norwegian population register, and have a residence permit or legal residence on other grounds.

Furthermore, if you are an EEA national working in Norway, you may be entitled to child benefits even if you will be residing in Norway for a shorter period of time.

You can learn more about child and cash-for-care benefits for international employees in Norway here (in English).

Important note: Remember to report any changes!

Remember, you must notify the NAV if your circumstances change, leading to the loss of rights to child benefits.

If your personal circumstances change or if you plan to stay abroad, the child benefit payments you receive from the NAV might be affected, so make sure to contact the NAV as soon as possible.

As a rule of thumb - whenever you're unsure whether you qualify for any of the benefits listed above, get in touch the NAV.

They are legally obligated to provide complete information on your rights and duties in relation to the welfare system in Norway. 

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Robin-Ivan Capar 2022/11/13 09:00

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