Work assessment allowance

Updated: 3 December 2020

Next update: 8 September 2021

Recipients of work assessment allowance as a share og the population 18-67 years

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

About the statistics

The statistics provide an overview of recipients of the work assessment allowance pursuant to the regulations of the National Insurance Scheme. A core part of the statistics is the description of work assessment allowance recipients according to various identifiers, as well as their attachment to the labour market.

Resident. The statistics cover persons who were registered in the National Registry as resident in Norway as of 31 December. The Act of Population Registration of 16 January 1970 (with subsequent amendments) and associated regulations from 1994 set out the criteria for classification as a resident in Norway. The total number of residents in an area is also referred to as the population.

Information on place of residence, gender and age is retrieved from the National Registry. Information on place of residence and age relates to the end of the statistical year.

Work assessment allowance from the National Insurance Scheme is intended to provide an income for persons between 18 and 67 years of age who, due to illness, injury or disability, have a reduced working capacity and are actively receiving treatment, or participating in a return-to-work initiative or receiving other treatment aimed at finding employment or remaining in work. The capacity for work must be reduced by at least half. The work assessment allowance is calculated on the basis of the income in the year preceding the reduction in capacity for work, or of the average of the 3 preceding years if this results in a higher amount. Everyone is guaranteed a minimum annual amount, including those without an employment history. The main rule for qualifying for work assessment allowance is that recipients must remain in Norway. The allowance can be paid for up to three years, but this may be extended by a further two years under certain conditions. Several changes were introduced to the regulations for work assessment allowance on 1 January 2018, including in relation to length of entitlement (see

Recipients of work assessment allowance are persons who receive work assessment allowance from the National Insurance Scheme for at least one month in a year. The vast majority of the tables in the statistics only include recipients of work assessment allowance who are resident in Norway (see definition). Two tables also include non-resident recipients, and a distinction is made in the figures between residents and non-residents.

New recipients of work assessment allowance are persons who received work assessment allowance in month m during the course of a year, but who did not receive it in month m-1. In cases where m represents January, m-1 will represent December in the preceding year. It is possible to restart the allowance several times following a break of at least one month in a 12-month period, but recipients are only counted as a new recipient once in such cases.

Access to work assessment allowance refers to the number of times that work assessment allowance was restarted after a break of at least one month in a 12-month period. Access to the allowance can be restarted several times during the period, and each restart following a break of at least one month is counted as a reaccess.

Work intensity is a measure of a person’s degree of employment as an employee whilst receiving work assessment allowance. The measurement requires receipt of work assessment allowance and paid employment to have occurred in the same month, and is calculated as ‘the number of months in which income from work and work assessment allowance is received / the number of months that work assessment allowance is received’. The results are shown as Zero (no months where both conditions occur), Low (employed for at least one but less than half of the months when work assessment allowance was received), High (employed for more than half but not all months when work assessment allowance was received) and Full (employed in all months when work assessment allowance was received).

Employees are defined as persons who performed paid work, with compensation in the form of wages or similar, for at least one hour in the reference week, as well as persons who had such work but were temporarily absent due to illness, holiday leave, paid leave or similar. Persons undertaking military or civilian national service are considered to be in employment. Persons on government employment initiatives who receive wages from an employer are also classified as employees. This follows the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Statistics Norway’s statistics use the terms ‘employee’ and ‘wage earner’ interchangeably. Note that the self-employed are not therefore included in the measurement of work intensity in these statistics.

See also About the statistics at

Immigrants are persons born abroad to two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents. Country of birth is normally the mother’s country of residence at the time of the person’s birth.

EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand include immigrants with the following countries of birth: Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, Andorra, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Lithuania, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Vatican City, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania, except Australia and New Zealand and Europe except EU/EEA include immigrants born in the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Asia, Africa, America excluding USA and Canada and Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Persons who were stateless at birth or with an unknown country of birth are also included.

Data on education relates to 1 October in the statistical year. In these statistics, a variant of the Classification of education is used, where the highest completed education is classified as follows:

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education 2016 forms the basis for this classification:

The classification of municipalities is in line with the list of municipalities as of 31 December in the statistical year.

Classification of municipalities:

Name: Work assessment allowance

Topic: Social conditions, welfare and crime

8 September 2021

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Most of the statistics are published at national level, but some are also published for counties and municipalities.

Annual statistics. The census period is a full calendar year.

Publishing dates: see the statistics release calendar.

Not relevant

Sources at an individual level are stored long term and documented.

The purpose of the statistics is to provide a description of persons who have received work assessment allowance from the National Insurance Scheme, as well as combinations of work assessment allowance and employment. Developments are followed over time through annual publications of the statistics. The statistics also aim to meet the need for municipality level breakdowns of numbers and percentages of recipients.

Key users are various ministries and directorates, local and county authorities, as well as research institutions and organisations carrying out official studies. The general public and the media are also key users of these statistics.

Not relevant

NAV’s statistics on recipients of work assessment allowance, (Norwegian only)

NAV publishes quarterly statistics on the number of work assessment allowance recipients. NAV’s statistics show how many people received work assessment allowance at the end of each quarter. Much of the source data for Statistics Norway’s statistics on work assessment allowance is retrieved from NAV. Differences in the measurement period mean that there are some discrepancies between NAV’s statistics and Statistics Norway’s statistics (see Definitions, Definitions of the main concepts and variables). In practice, Statistics Norway’s statistics will cover more recipients than NAV’s statistics because we count recipients of work assessment allowance over the year as a whole.

Recipients of work assessment allowance are also included as a group in existing income statistics (Table 12599 in StatBank,

For income statistics, see Income,

The sources used for the register-based employment statistics are also the basis for tables on combinations of work assessment allowance and employment in the work assessment allowance statistics. For further details of register-based employment, see Employment, register-based (

For statistics on the population’s level of education, see Education, (

For statistics on immigrants, see Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, (

Pursuant to Section 2-2 of Act no. 54 of 16 June 1989 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway, Statistics Norway will use the information for the production of official statistics.

Not relevant

Applies to persons registered as receiving work assessment allowance in a calendar year. One of the main qualifying conditions for work assessment allowance is being registered as resident at the end of the relevant year. For a definition of resident in Norway, see ‘Definitions, Definitions of the main concepts and variables’.

Data on the work assessment allowance is retrieved from NAV. The information is obtained from NAV’s case processing system Arena. See also information from NAV,

The information about employment is retrieved from the data source for register-based employment, ‘a-ordningen’:

A-ordningen is a coordinated digital collection of data on employment, income and tax deductions from the Norwegian Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway. The system was introduced in 2015. Further details are available at

Data on highest completed level of education is retrieved from the National Education Database (NUDB;

Data on gender, age, place of residence and immigrant category is retrieved from various population statistics. See About the statistics, Production, Data sources and sampling for the following:

Population and population changes:

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents:

Statistics Norway receives annual data from NAV on individuals’ receipt of benefits administered by NAV. The data contains monthly information about each individual, and Statistics Norway adapts the annual data for use in the statistics.

See also About the statistics, Production, Collection of data, editing and estimations for statistics listed under Data sources and sampling.

Not relevant

One of the aims of the statistics on work assessment allowance is to provide statistics with combinations of identifiers, as well as for small geographical areas. The information in the statistics must not be traceable to individuals. For reasons of privacy, therefore, it is necessary in many tables to ensure that combinations of variable values that only appear once or twice are not identifiable. In table matrices, all 1s and 2s at the most detailed level for each are substituted with a 0 or 3. The numbers 0 and 3 also occur naturally, and the statistics must not show any difference between the two types of 0 and 3. Substitution is done in a way that ensures minimal effect on the figures that can be retrieved at a higher aggregated level. However, minor deviations from the original figures will still occur. These deviations will generally be very small and will not impair the utility value of the statistics. When the same table is created on the basis of two different matrices, small discrepancies between the tables may also occur.

Not relevant

Some minor deviations from original figures can occur due to rounding up/down, see Confidentiality.

Data on employment is retrieved from ‘a-ordningen’. The quality in the a-ordningen is good, but errors and omissions may still occur in the data. For more details, see the section on sources of error in About the statistics for the register-based employment statistics:, or About the statistics for Number of employments and earnings:

Not relevant