Recipients of disability benefit

Updated: 27 June 2022

Next update: Not yet determined

Recipients of disabilitey benefit in the population 18-67 years
Recipients of disabilitey benefit in the population 18-67 years
Recipients of disability benefit by sex and age, and new recipients of disability benefit, 18-67 years.
Recipients of disability benefit by sex and age, and new recipients of disability benefit, 18-67 years.
Recipients of disability benefitRecipients of disability benefit, per cent of population
Both sexes373 66910.7
Males153 6358.6
Females220 03412.9
18-24 years8 4261.8
25-34 years30 2744.0
35-44 years46 8396.6
45-54 years91 93812.4
55-61 years95 57620.2
62-67 years100 61628.0
New recipients of disability benefit25 1670.7
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

About the statistics

Statistics on the number and share of disability benefit recipients in the population aged 18-67 years. Breakdowns by gender, age, education and country background. Also an overview of new recipients, degree of disability and the recipients’ work intensity. Numbers for municipalities, counties and the whole country.

Resident. The statistics cover persons who were registered in the Central Population Register 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 are retrieved from the Central Population Register. Information on place of residence relates to the end of the statistical year, and information on age also refers to the end of the year.

Non-Resident. Persons who are noe registerede as residents as of 31 December, either dead or living abroad.

Disability benefit. Disability benefit under the National Insurance Scheme is intended to serve as a safety net for those who are unable to work due to ill health. Under new regulations introduced as part of the disability benefit reform on 1 January 2015, the benefit is calculated as 66% of earlier income, with an upward limited of 6G (G = the basic amount in the National Insurance Scheme). The basis for the calculation is the average income earned in the best three of the last five years of employment prior to the disability occurring. Disability benefit is taxed as normal income from work. Only members of the National Insurance Scheme can qualify for disability benefit, i.e. residents of Norway. There are also a number of other conditions that must be met:

  • Applicants must have been a member of the National Insurance Scheme for at least three years prior to the disability occurring. Exceptions are made here for young disabled people and refugees, as well as persons from countries with whom Norway has a social security agreement. Periods of service in some international organisations and such like are also disregarded.
  • Recipients must be resident in order to continue receiving disability benefit. Some exceptions also apply here; for those who have been a resident for at least 20 years after the age of 16 before the disability occurred, for those who have accrued at least 3 years of income/occupational pension and for those who reside in a country with whom Norway has a social security agreement (see textbox).
  • In order to be eligible for disability benefit, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and they can start receiving the benefit the month after they turn 18. Disability benefit also ends at the age of 67. In practice, recipients will go over to the retirement pension the month following their 67th birthday.
  • It is also a requirement that appropriate treatment has been undertaken with a view to improving the capacity to work.
  • In order to receive disability benefit, applicants must have a permanent injury, illness or condition. It is not the severity of the injury or the illness itself that is the determining factor; the criterion is that the capacity to work is reduced by at least 50%. Thus, in principle, no one should have graded (partial) disability benefit below 50%, however this does occur as a result of certain special rules. For example, the degree of disability may be set at 30% where the disability is due to occupational injury. Following a period of 40% work assessment allowance, the degree of disability may be set at 40% and employment of 60%.

Disability benefit generally continues until the age of 67 (NAV cannot re-assess the recipient unless it is apparent that their health has improved). Under the new rules introduced on 1 January 2015, recipients can earn up to 40% of G each year without any reductions being made to their disability benefit. The benefit will be reduced for recipients who have income from work that exceeds this amount. Note that capital income is not subject to this rule, which means that recipients can have unlimited capital income without this affecting their benefit. Recipients who have income from work of more than 40% of G, will have their benefit reduced according to specific rules, up to an income of over 85% of previous income, which is the cut-off point for terminating disability benefit. However, it is important here to note that the actual degree of disability, the right to receive disability benefit, does not change even if recipients also have high earnings; it is only the actual payment that is affected.

For more information on the regulations for disability benefit, see (

Disability benefit recipients are persons who receive a positive decision on disability benefit fromthe National Insurance Scheme that is applicable to at least one month during the year. The definition also covers persons with a positive decision who have not actually received payment of the benefit. The vast majority of the tables in the statistics only include disability benefit recipients who are resident (see definition). Two tables also include disability benefit recipients who are not resident, and a distinction is made here between residents and non-residents. Recipients of disability payments from other schemes, such as private insurance or pension funds, are only included if they also have a positive decision on disability benefit from the National Insurance Scheme. Note that this definition of disability benefit recipients differs somewhat from the definition used in the statistics from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), and that the figures will be different to those published there. See the section Coherence with other statistics for more information and links to NAV.

New disability benefit recipients are persons with a decision on disability benefit in month m during the year, but without a decision in month m-1. In cases where m represents January, m-1 will represent December in the preceding year.

Young disability benefit recipients are persons aged 18–29 receiving disability benefit. This group should not be confused with persons who are granted disability benefit under the regulations for young people with a reduced capacity to work, which require the impairment to have occurred before the age of 26.

Work intensity is a measure of the degree of employment as a wage earner whilst receiving disability benefit. The measurement requires receipt of disability benefit and employment as a wage earner to have occurred in the same month, and is calculated as ‘the number of months in which income from work and disability benefit is received / the number of months that disability benefit is received’. The results are shown as None intensity (no months where both conditions occur), Low intensity (employed for at least one but less than half of the months when disability benefit was received), High intensity (employed for more than half but not all months when disability benefit was received) and Full intensity (employed in all months when disability benefit was received).

Wage earners 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 earners’ interchangeably. Note that the self-employed are not therefore measured in terms of work intensity in these statistics.

See also About the statistics at

At-risk-of poverty (EU-scale). At-risk-of poverty thresholds are set as 50 and 60 per cent of median income after tax per consumption unit in the entire population.

For definitions of income per consumption unit and Consumpion units calculated according to the EU-scale, see About the statistics under

Average income account. The composition of total income for persons and after-tax income by selected income components, as well as median after-tax income and median household equivalent income (EU-scale). For definitions of income components and household equivalent income, see About the statistics under

Degree of disability shows the disability benefit recipient’s calculated degree of disability as 0–50 per cent, 51–99 per cent or 100 per cent. Most disability benefit recipients’ degree of disability will not change during the course of a year, but in order to allow for cases where this does happen, we choose the highest registered degree of disability in tables that use the degree of disability classification (see also Disability benefit). The calculated degree of disability can vary from the degree of payment, since this also depends on income in addition to disability benefit.

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: 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 and 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 relevant year.

Classification of municipalities:

Name: Recipients of disability benefit

Topic: Social conditions, welfare and crime

Not yet determined

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 calendar.

Not relevant

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

Disability benefit under the National Insurance Scheme is an extensive welfare benefit both in terms of the number of recipients and costs. The purpose of the statistics is to provide a description of persons who have received a positive decision on disability benefit from the National Insurance Scheme, as well as certain identifiers associated with degree of disability and combinations of disability benefit and employment. Developments are followed over time through annual publications of the statistics. The statistics also aim to meet the need for municipality figures on the number and percentage of recipients.

Key users are various ministries and directorates, local and county authorities, as well as research and investigation communities. The general public and the media are also key users of these statistics, which provide valuable information for public planning, education and public debate on work, health and the welfare state.

Not relevant

NAV’s statistics on disability benefit,

NAV publishes quarterly statistics on the number of people receiving disability benefit. NAV’s statistics show how many people received disability benefit in a given month. Much of the source data for Statistics Norway’s statistics on disability benefit recipients is retrieved from NAV, and these statistics are also used by NAV. Differences in the measurement period and the definition of disability benefit recipients 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 also include those with a positive decision who have not received payment, and because we count the number of recipients throughout the year.

Disability benefit recipients are also included as a group in existing income statistics (see, for example, table 10503 in StatBank,, where the income from disability benefit over a year is aggregated.

Income statistics

The sources used for the register-based employment statistics are also the basis for tables on combinations of disability benefit and employment in these statistics. For further details of register-based employment, see Employment, register-based,

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


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 with a positive decision on disability benefit during a calendar year. One of the main qualifying conditions for disability benefit 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 benefits and pensions is retrieved from NAV. The information is obtained from NAV’s case processing system PESYS. 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 scheme was introduced in 2015. Further details of the scheme are available at

Data on income for is collected from the Income and wealth statistics for households. Income data is received by linking different administrative registers and statistical data sources for the whole population as of 31st of December of the income year. Income and biographical data is collected from the following sources:

  • Data from tax returns (wages and salaries, self-employment income, pensions etc.)
  • The Tax Register (taxes)
  • The a-ordning (unemployment benefit, various tax-free transfers)
  • Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (family allowances, basic and additional amounts, cash benefit etc.)
  • KOSTRA (social assistance)
  • State Educational Loan Fund (loans to students, scholarships)

See for more information on data sources

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

Data on gender, age, place of residence, immigrant category and reason for immigration 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:

Immigrants by reason for immigration:

Statistics Norway receives annual personal data from NAV on receipt of benefits and pensions 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 disability benefit 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 tables. In table matrices, all 1s and 2s at the most detailed level for each are replaced with a 0 or 3. The numbers 0 and 3 also naturally occur, and the statistics must not show any difference between the two types of 0 and 3. Replacement 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, nevertheless, 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:

Not relevant