Democracy and Welfare Society

Social benefits

En eldre dame får medisinsk hjelp Personer i rullestol Eldre par Elever på biblioteket Kindergarten Nyfødt barn på vekt
These pictures show a few of the social benefits in Norwegian society.

In Norway, social benefits are universal. This means that everyone is entitled to receive them.

Even if everyone is entitled to take advantage of social benefits, this does not mean that everyone should take advantage of all social benefits.

There are some benefits and services that most of us benefit from for long periods of our lives. These include education and pensions, which are funded by the welfare state. For example, all children and young people in Norway have a right and a duty to go to school for ten years, and most people also take upper secondary education. Many of us will also be lucky enough to become old-age pensioners.

Other social benefits we may only use once or a few times during our lives. In Norway, hospitalisation and health care treatment are free of charge, although we pay a co-payment for doctor visits.

Other social benefits are intended to help us during difficult times in life, such as during unemployment or absenteeism due to illness. Financial assistance can be obtained during these kinds of situations and is intended as temporary help until the situation improves.


The different services

offered to citizens of the welfare state are called social benefits.

  • Some social benefits are received over the course of many years.
  • Some social benefits are received only occasionally.
  • Some social benefits are rarely if ever received.