One in ten deemed disabled

NAV disability taxNAV logo. Photo Norway Today Media

Nearly one in ten aged between 18 and 67 receive disability benefits – and the proportion is increasing

In June of this year there were 321,800 recipients of disability benefits in Norway. This corresponds to 9.6 per cent of the population aged between 18 and 67 years


The increase from the previous quarter is 1 per mille of the population.

The proportion of disabled women in the population was 11.4 per cent, while the corresponding proportion for men was 7.8 per cent. The difference between disabled women and men has increased somewhat over time. The exception is among those under 30, where men constitute the majority.

Østfold has the highest proportion of disabled people at 13.8 per cent, while Oslo has the lowest proportion with 5.3 per cent of people in working age.

As expected

– The slight increase in the proportion of disabled people in the population is not unexpected. Changes in the social security schemes contribute to this growth, says Director in NAV, Sigrun Vågeng.

The changes Vågeng refers to revolves around the so-called ‘time-limited disability benefit’ scheme. This was a scheme that was enforced in 2004 and lasted until 2010. The scheme artificially reduced the number of disability beneficiaries for a time, and has gradually led to normalization after it was abandoned in 2010.

Mental disorders dominate

While there is a long-term trend that more young people are affected, there are fewer older people deemed disabled.

-The growth related to young people must over time be viewed in context. More people suffering from serious ailments survive for a longer time due to medical advances. About 60 percent of the young disabled are diagnosed with a mental disorder. In this group, the majority are diagnosed with mild retardation, autism, Asperger’s syndrome or ADHD.

– Although some of the young people have serious health problems, there is also a potential for getting a larger proportion of this group into work. It is a big loss both to the individual and for the community when disability is the outcome at a young age, says Vågeng.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today