Processing times for welfare appeals in Norway are increasing

Processing times for welfare appeal cases in Norway are increasing both at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) and the National Insurance Court (Trygderetten), with some waiting more than a year for their appeal to be heard.

The NAV is in the process of replacing old case management systems with new ones when it comes to sick pay. Photo by Henry and Co / Unsplash

Last year, the Office of the Auditor General of Norway (Riksrevisjonen) directed “severe” criticism at the NAV and the National Insurance Court for taking far too long to process appeals.

Since then, the processing time has only increased.

In 2021, the Office of the Auditor General wrote that the processing times were too long and that they have become longer over time, the newspaper Dagsavisen reports. In particular, the National Insurance Court struggled with long waiting times – averaging seven months.

Since then, the processing time for the National Insurance Court has become even longer. Last year, the average processing time was 359 days, an increase of over 100 days compared to the previous year.

Waiting times of around a year

The processing time for appeals at the NAV has also increased for several health-related benefits.

The NAV states that an appeal case related to sick pay can take up to 52 weeks at the level of the decision-making body, plus further delays in the two appeal bodies.

Marius Wivegh, a NAV user, told the newspaper Dagsavisen that he had to wait for three years to have his complaint dealt with in all the necessary instances.

“It is complete madness,” Marius Wivegh, who has been waiting for years to get his case processed, said.

The NAV has also not been able to reach its target of 12 weeks’ processing time in appeal cases related to work assessment allowance and disability benefits.

Number of appeals rising

According to Jorunn Rummelhoff, director of organizational development and HR at the National Insurance Court, the number of new cases has surpassed the number of resolved cases over time.

“Appeal cases thus have a longer waiting period, which affects the average case processing time,” Rummelhoff told Dagsavisen.

Director for benefits at the NAV, Eve V. Bergli, says that they are in the process of replacing old case management systems with new ones when it comes to ​​sick pay.

The process has proven to be demanding, but the NAV says it has already implemented several measures to reduce the waiting time.

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Norway is considering making small boat registration mandatory

The Norwegian government is considering making it compulsory to register all small boats in the country.

Norway is considering making small boat registration mandatory

There are an estimated one million recreational boats in Norway. Now, the government want stricter registration requirements for boat owners.

“We see that several organizations want a mandatory small boat register. There may be good reasons to introduce it in the interests of maritime safety and the fight against crime.

“Abandoned recreational boats can also be an environmental problem,” Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran stated in a press release.

Today, registration is mandatory for boats longer than 15 metres. Furthermore, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (Redningsselskapet) also keeps a voluntary small boat register.

“It is high time to address the major pollution problem posed by old small boats. A mandatory small boat register will enable boats to be traced back to their owners and thus contribute to reducing the extent of abandoned small boats,” Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide warned.

“We will assess the effects and the possible arrangement of such a mandatory register and then make a decision,” Skjæran added.

The evaluation work will be a collaboration between multiple Norwegian ministries.