Financial social assistance
People who are unable to support themselves may apply for financial social assistance. Such assistance may take the form of a financial contribution, a loan or a guarantee for a loan. Financial social assistance is intended primarily as a temporary measure. The intention is that persons who receive such assistance will subsequently once again become capable of supporting themselves. Applications for financial social assistance should be sent to the NAV office in the relevant municipality.
Guidelines exist, but are applied with discretion
Before applying for financial social assistance you must have exhausted your own means of supporting yourself and you must have exhausted the financial entitlements potentially available to you, e.g., welfare benefits. Primary responsibility for the provision of social services lies with the municipalities. The NAV office in the relevant municipality will administer the municipality's functions in this area. Although there are advisory guidelines as to how much financial support an individual may receive, the municipalities are entitled and obliged to exercise their discretion and evaluate each case on its own merits.
The role of the County Governor
If your application for financial social assistance is refused by the NAV office, you can appeal. You should send your appeal to the municipality, which will refer it to the County Governor.
The County Governor has a supervisory responsibility that includes the right and duty to carry out inspections to ensure that municipalities are complying with their duties under Chapter 4 of the Social Services in the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) Act. Chapter 4 regulates the individual services covered by the act, including the provision of financial support.
Each municipality must provide its inhabitants with financial advice and debt counselling. These services are often administered by the local NAV office and are provided in accordance with the Social Services in the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) Act. The County Governor's functions are directed towards the municipalities and include the provision of training and courses to municipal employees.
- The Social Services in the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) Act
- National Advisory Rates (Circular A-2/2011)
- The Ministry of Labour