Social Insurance Agency to improve its public image
When the Social Insurance Minister Ulf Kristersson a few weeks ago presented his review of the reform to the incapacity benefit system, he noted that he was "concerned" over "the low level of public trust" in Försäkringskassan, which is the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
Now the Agency is planning an information campaign to try to improve its image.
You could say that the management at the Social Insurance Agency is frustrated, because over the past few years their caseworkers have managed to halve the turnaround time that they deal with their cases and the number of services made available over internet, for example when it comes to reporting your parental leave or sick leave, have increased dramatically.
But still, the Agency - next to the Public Employment Service - stays at the bottom of the list when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Deputy Director General Stig Orustfjord says the debate over the past few years, regarding the reform in the incapacity benefit system, leading to extensive media coverage of people who have lost their benefit, even though they sometimes are very ill - certainly has not helped.
Orustfjord claims that in their own customer service surveys people often say that they have been treated correctly, but they feel they were lucky and say that they know that "many others" who were not.
This is mainly an information problem, says Orustfjord, who is planning an information campaign after the summer, and then - hopefully with the start next year - the introduction of a "green envelope" - similar to the well established orange envelope sent out to all Swedes by the pensions authority. This is where we find out how much - or rather how little - each of usare expected to get as a pension when we retire. The green envelope, which only is expected to exist online, will help all Swedes find out exactly what they are entitled to.
Orustfjord says that generally, when it come to the sickness and incapacity benefit, people often have too low expectations, while in other insurances the expectations may be too high. But with more individualised information - instead of very general information - people will learn what the social insurance means for them.
And then, with this information, maybe the trust in the Social Insurance Agency will start to grow again.