In Sweden, people with a substantial and permanent
disability have been entitled to personal assistance since
the personal assistance reform took effect in 1994. To
qualify for government attendance allowance, a person must
belong to one of the groups predefined in the Act
Concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain
Functional Impairments and require personal assistance with
their basic daily needs for more than 20 hours a week.
Attendance allowance may be granted to people who have
not turned 65. Compensation for almost 93 million hours
of assistance was paid for a total of 15,877 clients in 2010.
The average number of hours has increased by 73 percent
between 1994 and 2010. Two and a half times as many
people received attendance allowance in 2010 as in 1994.
The aim of this study was to investigate if attendance
allowance provides the prerequisites for people with personal
assistance to engage in meaningful activities and participate
in the labor market.
The report consists of a quantitative cross-sectional analysis
based on data from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency as
well as data from a questionnaire survey of a sample of people
entitled to personal assistance (total of 15,515) conducted in
2010. The number of responses (10,200) corresponds to a
response rate of 67 % which is very high considering the
potential difficulties involved for this population.
The results shed light on the extent to which personal
assistance enables people to live normal lives. More men
than women believe that attendance allowance is a prerequisite
for their ability to work or study. Eight of ten clients reported
that assistance contributed to the ability to have a meaningful
employment. Nine of ten people, including small children,
reported that assistance promoted opportunities for social
contact and activities. Nevertheless, a relatively large percentage
(ca 60%) of respondents expressed uneasiness about the
The results indicate that personal assistance offers valuable
support that largely meets Sweden’s obligations pursuant to
the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Personal assistance also creates better conditions for the
fulfillment of Sweden’s national public health goals.
Personal assistance in Sweden enables people to live normal
lives and is a prerequisite for work, studies and other
meaningful activities among young people and adults with
2013. Vol. 23, no (suppl 1), 217- p.
6th European Public Health ConferenceHealth in Europe: are we there yet?Learning from the past, building the future
I samarbete med Fösäkringskassan.