Private debt to the Swedish Social Insurancy has risen sharply, but it is likely caused by the agency's own miscalculations: Photo: Scanpix
200,000 Swedes to pay back US$320 million social welfare bill

Government agency wrongly paid out millions

Swedes owe US$ 320 million in incorrectly paid benefits to the national Social Insurance Agency. 

The amount of over paid benefits out has grown by US$ 70 million in just two years, according to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The agency administers social insurance in the form of paid benefits and allowances to elligible people living and working in Sweden.

Much of the debt is caused by the agency's own miscalculations. The Social Insurance Agency has paid out too much money, mostly in the form of housing grants, to about 200,000 people - many in low-income households - who are now being asked to pay back the discrepancy.

The largest individual claim - about US$ 2 million - involves a false claim for a personal assistant.

But according to Camilla Hangård, head of insurance claims processing with the agency, the vast majority of claims do not involve cheating. The absolute majority of our reclaims do not involve people who have knowingly tried to cheat the system," she told Dagens Nyheter.

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