Norway’s state welfare agency NAV, which administers everything from unemployment benefits to maternity leave pay, is cracking down on welfare cheats. NAV has reported 655 persons to the police this year, charged with swindling around NOK 117 million worth of welfare benefits.
“We’re focusing more on welfare fraud and working continually to detect swindles,” Sverre Lindahl, director of NAV Kontroll, told newspaper Aftenposten on Wednesday.
The average amount swindled amounts to as much as NOK 178,000 (USD 29,000), up from around NOK 138,000 last year.
Most of those caught collecting benefits to which they’re not entitled involved so-called dagpenger (daily cash allowance), followed by illegitimate claims for sick leave.