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Government tightens checks on parents with sick children

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Government tightens checks on parents with sick children
Photo: AC Ridderstolpe/ Imagebank Sweden
08:34 CEST+02:00
In a bid to clamp down on social insurance fraud, the government has vowed to tighten checks on parents staying at home with their sick children.

From July next year, parents wishing to receive payment from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) will need to first produce a form signed by their child's school or pre-school. This will be taken as proof that the child actually was at home on the day in question, although the agency will also continue to carry out random checks by phoning parents' employers.

"The right payment should go to the right people. We should be able to trust our social insurance system, that's what this is about," Minister for Social Insurance Christina Husmark Pehrsson told Sveriges Radio.

Currently all that is required of parents to receive compensation from the agency is a phone call or a quick internet transaction.

It is widely agreed that the system has been abused, although the extent of the abuse is unclear.

One study from the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation calculated that 25 percent of all payouts went to parents who were not entitled to the money. The Social Insurance Agency's own estimates however suggested that cheating was not nearly as widespread, Sveriges Radio reports.

"We need to be able to control payments if we wish to preserve our welfare and social insurance systems," said Husmark Pehrsson.

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