• 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

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
National
Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'
Photo: Peder Skrivares school

Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'

School inspectors are investigating after an initiation ceremony at a high school in Varberg in south west Sweden left four girls in hospital. READ  

National
Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail
Peter Sunde. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail

The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother's Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards. READ  

Elections 2014
Fresh election fears in divided Sweden
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson may not support a Social Democrat budget. Photo: TT

Fresh election fears in divided Sweden

UPDATED: The leaders of Sweden's main political parties have been called to parliament as speculation grows that the Sweden Democrats could hold the key to new elections. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... the Stockholm collection
Photo: Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... the Stockholm collection

Moving to Stockholm, or just dreaming about it? Either way, this is your ultimate guide: for housing, finances, insurance, business, and so much more. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Time for some luxury this week - we're heading to a sprawling Eskilstuna property with a location and view to die for. READ  

National
Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop
A cashier in a Coop supermarket: Photo: TT

Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop

A photo of a till receipt with the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" printed on it has gone viral in Sweden, with supermarket chain Coop launching an internal investigation. READ  

Society
Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings
Sweden's family-friendly policies contribute to well-being. Photo: TT

Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings

Swedes have fewer money concerns than people from any other European country, according to the latest major report on global well-being. READ  

National
King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash
The King of Sweden. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash

UPDATED: Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has been involved in a car accident but is unhurt, the Royal family's press office has confirmed to The Local. READ  

Elections 2014
Migration minister calls Feminists 'a dark force'

Migration minister calls Feminists 'a dark force'

Sweden's Migration Minister has said in a Facebook post that both the Sweden Democrats and the Feminist Initiative parties were "dark, gloomy, and destructive forces". READ  

The Local List
Ten Swedish designs that made life better
Playsam

Ten Swedish designs that made life better

Sweden has produced an indecent number of design classics. We take a look at some of the best - from toys to furniture, fabric designs to telephones, packaging to super-safe headwear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

855
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN