What is personal assistance?
Personal assistance was introduced in Sweden on 1st January 1994 and is governed by Act (1993:387) Act for Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS). LSS is a law of rights. This means that if you believe that you need personal assistance and you fulfil the requirements according to the law, then you are entitled to apply for or appeal the allowance. The foundation of this right is that you are in need of support for your basic human needs and subsequently the range of other needs.
The aim of personal assistance is that you who live with a severe disability should be able to, with the support of personal assistants, live a life as independently as possible based on your age.
Your personal assistants are with you when you need them, wherever you are. They are there to help you with your basic needs, with activities, and everything else you would otherwise be able to do for yourself.
The goal is that you should be able to live as others of a similar age and have control over your own life. Your support is individually designed and you have the right to choose the person who is to be your personal assistant. It is you who choose when you need help, how it should be done and who should be your assistants’ employer.
Personal assistance is granted by your municipality or the Social Insurance Agency depending upon the extent of your basic needs.
Who is entitled to personal assistance?
If you are under 65 years old, belong to one of the so-called groups of individuals and have severe and permanent disabilities which create the need for assistance with your basic human needs, you can apply for personal assistance.
There are three groups of individuals. These are:
- Persons with developmental disabilities, autism or autism spectrum disorder
- Persons with considerable and permanent intellectual disability after brain damage in adulthood caused by external violence or physical illness
- Persons with other permanent physical or mental disabilities not brought on by normal ageing if they are extensive and lead to significant difficulties in everyday life and consequently require support and service.
There are five basic needs which entitles someone to personal assistance. These are when an individual needs help with:
- Personal hygiene
- Dressing and undressing
- Communicating with others
- Help requiring detailed knowledge relating to their disability
Who makes the decision regarding personal assistance?
The municipality where you live or the Social Insurance Agency makes the decision on the right to personal assistance. The municipality is the one who makes the decision if your basic need for assistance is less than 20 hours per week. If the need for assistance is over 20 hours per week, then it is the Social Insurance Agency who decides. A review is conducted to assess if you are eligible for assistance under the law.
How do I apply for personal assistance?
If you need personal assistance we would gladly help you with your application to the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) or the municipality.
How do I appeal a decision?
If you believe that the decision of the municipality or the Social Insurance Agency is incorrect, we will help you through the appeal process.
Hur much is the allowance?
The Social Insurance Agency pays out assistance allowance according to a flat rate per assistance hour, 288 Swedish crowns (2016). The flat rate is not dependent upon your income or means but takes only into consideration the need for assistance and covers 100 percent of the cost for the assistance hours you are granted.
If you have special circumstances, you can apply for an increased assistance allowance which is up to twelve percent higher than the standard rate. Special circumstances can be for example that a large portion of your need for assistance is at inconvenient hours.
Certain municipalities pay the same hourly rate as the Social Insurance Agency while others pay a lower rate.
Who can provide personal assistance?
You are the one who decide who should provide your assistance. It can be a private company, the municipality or a co-operative. You can either become self-employed or you can purchase assistance services from a provider. Being self-employed means that you take on full responsibility as an employer and hire your assistants yourself. If you purchase you assistance it is the provider who has the formal responsibility for the employee.
As of August 2015, of those eligible for assistance 54.0% received their assistance through a service provider, 33.0% through the municipality, 9.2% through a co-operative and approximately 2.3% through self-employment.