Cheats claim 20 percent of child sickness benefit

Fraudulent claims of financial support for the care of sick children are more widescale than previously thought, according to the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU).

In a report released this week, IFAU says that around 20 percent of all benefits should not have been paid out.

That means that 650 million kronor, out of a total of 2.9 billion kronor, has been distributed under false pretences, Swedish Radio reported.

In the cases investigated, parents received financial support without actually having children at home sick.

Instead, the children were at daycare or school while the parents were at work – or simply taking the day off.

Björn Blomqvist, chairman of the Swedish Tax Board’s committee for false benefits payments, declined to comment on the details of the report. But he expressed surprise at the degree of abuse.

A study carried out recently by the Swedish Social Insurance Administration, Försäkringskassan, showed that benefit cheats received around 10 percent of the total support for sick children.

According to Blomqvist, IFAU has used a better method of calculation, going further than simply checking with the employer whether the parent was at work or not.