• Sweden edition
 
Swede collects benefits for candy and hairspray
Woman's candy addiction sparks benefits battle

Swede collects benefits for candy and hairspray

Published: 24 Jan 2013 13:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Jan 2013 13:52 GMT+01:00

The woman, who lives in Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden, claims that due to her obsessive compulsive disorder, she needs to buy 92 cans of hairspray and 26 containers of make-up each year.

Furthermore, she claims to she must spend 800 kronor ($123) per month on candy to suppress her binge-eating craves and also shells out a substantial sum on snus, a moist snuff tobacco product popular in Sweden

After having her disorder medically certified by a doctor, the 35-year-old lodged a benefits claim in 2011, asking the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) to pay her roughly 200,000 kronor ($30,725) to recoup the costs she incurred on sweets, blushes, and concealers.

The agency approved the woman's claim, agreeing to pay her 2,461 kronor per month, the highest payment allowed under Sweden's rules for disability compensation (handikappersättningen).

People who receive benefits need not have a specific illness or disability, but instead must provide a note from a doctor certifying that their condition has a negative impact on their ability to work, study, or carry out the tasks of daily life.

Depending on the severity and costs of the disability, compensation is paid at 36, 53, or 69 percent of the base amount (prisbasbeloppet), an inflation-adjusted figure used to calculate various state benefit levels in Sweden.

Following an appeal by an independent arbiter who reviews controversial compensation claims, the woman saw her benefits reduced from 69 percent to 53 percent of the base amount.

Now, however, officials have reviewed the case again and want to lowering the woman's benefits to 36 percent.

"The woman's disability can not be considered to be require costs of this magnitude and should, therefore, not be accepted," Birgitta Smedberg, who is in charge of the case for the insurance agency, wrote in her latest appeal.

According to Smedberg, it's nearly impossible to determine if the purchase of make-up was actually a form of therapy for the woman's disorder.

"There are difficulties in deciding costs in cases like these," Smedberg told The Local.

"The laws are unclear, and because of this, I want the courts to make the decision."

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old is outraged at the prospect that she may see a reduction in her current compensation.

"I think it's awful that they want to reduce it further," she told the Expressen newspaper.

"I can hardly keep it together as it is now."

Despite news of the hairspray and candy addiction making headlines across Sweden on Thursday, Smedberg refused to be swept up by the circus.

"I can't understand why this story has been so popular," she told The Local.

"We'll just have to see what the court has to say when they get around to the case."

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:30 January 24, 2013 by johan rebel
Please tell me this is a joke?
22:46 January 24, 2013 by voiceofreason
She can buy whatever she want's but I fail to see how that impairs her ability to work.

I think the greater joke is the doctor who certified her and the court who approved the initial payment.
00:35 January 25, 2013 by Emerentia
This is so weird, they are not helping her, they are enabling. Shouldn't she get some therapy instead to make her stop buying so much hairspray, candy and makeup? I think it sounds like she want's to be a spoiled 14-year old forever.
01:39 January 25, 2013 by Da Goat
I guess that depends on how she is using the hairspray etc!

As long as she has enough to buy food etc the other stuff is surplus to requirements.
07:27 January 25, 2013 by RobinHood
This poor woman must have all the candy and hairspray she wants. Raise the taxes if necessary.
09:49 January 25, 2013 by texaslass
Addiction to hairspray, makeup? If this was Texas, the payment of benefits for this "addiction" would bankrupt the state!
17:00 January 25, 2013 by Britt-Marie7
The benefit should go for food and clothing, not addictions. Why does she not go to a doctor for her obsession? And, who knows what she is getting for that money! Maybe it pays for a trip to Florida now and then. Sweet!
12:32 January 26, 2013 by Borilla
I am sure that I have a compulsive need to buy single malt scotch, French wine and caviar. My worries about not being able to obtain enough of these prevent me from working. Where is that doctor and where do I sign up for benefits?
Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

747
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se