How the political parties of the Swedish Parliament and F! view living conditions of migrants with non-normative abilities

Following is a compilation of a survey that, DRW (Disabled Refugees Welcome) sent to all political parties of the Parliament as well as Feminist Initiative, F! ahead of a panel dialogue during the Almedalen Week. Anders Kessling, State Secretary to the Minister for Employment and Integration and Johanna Jönsson, Member of Parliament for the Centre Party participated in the panel dialogue, which was arranged by DHR and DRW.

The survey examined what knowledge the political parties of the Parliament have of the living conditions of newcomers with non-normative abilities, as well as what effects decisions based on harsh migration policy can have in relation to the policy of establishment.

Experiences that our target group, newcomers with non-normative abilities, have shared with DRW’s team during various interviews, were used by the team when producing the survey. DRW also took into account migration policy proposals and newly made election promises to restrict access to social insurance entitlements for disabled newcomers made by, among others, Johan Forssell, migration spokesperson for the New Moderates.

DRW contacted the boards of the political parties, informed them of the purpose of the survey, and requested them to complete it. A direct transfer of the replies from the survey to this compilation was made by DRW.

The answers from the Social Democratic Party are not included in this compilation as these were discussed during the panel dialogue, which took place on the 4th of July 2018 at the Almedalen Week. Click this link to listen to the dialogue.


N/A = not applicable

All parties have completed the survey.

Feminist Initiative
New Moderates
Left Party Sweden Democrats


Liberals Green Party Centre Party Christian Democrats


1: How much do you agree with the following statement: ”I have good knowledge of the situation for disabled newcomers.


Feminist Initiative I want to learn more
New Moderates I agree
Left Party I want to learn more
Sweden Democrats I want to learn more
Liberals I agree
Green Party I do not agree
Centre Party I agree
Christian Democrats I agree


2: What do you believe is most important regarding support to newcomers with non-normative abilities?


Feminist Initiative That they, irrespective of non-normative abilities, have the same entitlements and responsibilities as everybody else, the same support as others with non-normative abilities, extra important is the support to learn Swedish, Braille, easy-to-read Swedish, key-word signing system and Swedish sign language, and have access to material on various media.
New Moderates That all decisions are legally secure and predictable.
Left Party That support is speedily available and adapted to the needs of the individual.
Sweden Democrats Most important is that people receive the most basic support to be able to manage everyday life.
Liberals Everybody with non-normative abilities, irrespective of whether they are Swedes or newcomers, fundamentally have the same human needs as each other. However, if you are new to Sweden, do not master the language and know how society works, it is not easy to navigate the complex jungle of differing support for persons with non-normative abilities that exist. Therefore, information about the Swedish system in the mother-tongue of the newcomers is important.
Green Party That they are not discriminated against.
Centre Party That newcomers with non-normative abilities who arrive in Sweden must get useful support that will provide conditions for them to live a meaningful life in Sweden, and if possible get a job.
Christian Democrats To determine what support is needed as fast as possible, we propose establishing asylum application areas to enable the provision of individual support, care and help at a very early stage.  To meet care needs and psychosocial needs, asylum application areas must be staffed by professionals with health care competence. Many asylum seekers who arrive in Sweden suffer for example from a posttraumatic stress disorder. Therefore, it is important that these competencies are available directly at the reception. We also propose that all asylums seekers shall participate in societal orientation to get to know the Swedish society, which is necessary to take part of the existing support.


3: Do you want to extend the right to social insurance benefits for newcomers with non-normative abilities?


Feminist Initiative Yes
New Moderates No
Left Party Yes
Sweden Democrats Both yes and no. We do not have proposals aimed explicitly at newcomers with non-normative abilities, but we want to make general improvements for those with non-normative abilities, which also can improve for newcomers.
Liberals No
Green Party Do not want to treat anybody differently so the same right as a person with the same non-normative abilities living in Sweden, shall apply.
Centre Party No
Christian Democrats No


4: If yes, describe in your own words the way you want to extend the right to social insurance benefits for newcomers with non-normative abilities?


Feminist Initiative So they have equal opportunities as other citizens. Irrespective of non-normative abilities.
New Moderates N/A
Left Party Today, a newcomer has to have a residence permit to partake of the social insurance benefits that are aimed at persons with non-normative abilities. We want to extend the right to social insurance benefits, so asylum seekers that have not yet received a decision on residence permit shall have right to these benefits.
Sweden Democrats We want to ensure all who need it a right to personal assistant, increase equality through national guidelines on compensation, technical aids and support to next of kins, strengthen disabled people’s status within the labour market through increased allocation to Samhall and more efficient influx of persons, establish Flex-jobs for persons who’s working ability is permanently reduced and a subsidy to enable small companies to adapt the workplace for disabled people.
Liberals I refer to previous answers that do not amount to an increase of the right since we believe the same rights should apply for long-time residents as for newcomers.
Green Party  N/A
Centre Party N/A
Christian Democrats N/A


5: If no, Why?


Feminist Initiative We want equal treatment for all.
New Moderates We do not have any such proposals.
Left Party N/A
Sweden Democrats We do not find any reasons to implement special benefits for newcomers.
Liberals We have many proposals to make life easier for disabled people, and these include everybody, also newcomers.
Green Party Today, newcomers have right to LSS, childcare allowance, assistance while in school and parental benefit on equal terms as other entitled municipal residents. We do not believe newcomers shall have benefits beyond others with the same needs.
Centre Party N/A
Christian Democrats We believe that all who live in Sweden have and shall have equal rights.


6: Do you believe that Sweden needs to limit the rights to social insurance benefits for newcomers with non-normative abilities?


Feminist Initiative No
New Moderates Yes
Left Party No
Sweden Democrats No

We want to link certain economic benefits to Swedish citizenship but have not expressed anything specific about this when it comes to persons with non-normative abilities. We have set up a working group with the task of reviewing the whole area of disability.

Liberals The social insurance system must include everybody, regardless if you are ”new or old” to the country.
Green Party No
Centre Party Yes
Christian Democrats No


7: If yes, which social insurance benefits and for which groups of newcomers?


Feminist Initiative N/A
New Moderates We believe that employment or permanent and legal residency in Sweden must be a condition for fully receiving Swedish benefits and entitlements. Therefore, a new regulatory framework that, includes demands for qualifying into the social security system, is needed.
Left Party N/A
Sweden Democrats Se answer to question 6.
Liberals Liberals believe social insurance benefits shall function as insurances, irrespective if you a newcomer in Sweden or a long-time resident. Most of the social insurance benefits are already organised like this, people who have a job and income get higher compensation than people who do not work, irrespective if you are new in Sweden or have been here a long time. We do not want to change this.

However, within sickness benefit and activities compensation as well as guarantee-pension people with refugee status have privileges. They get higher compensation than people who for example have residence permit on humanitarian grounds. We want to take these away.

Green Party N/A
Centre Party The regulatory framework shall treat everybody with the same needs equal. We have proposals aiming to remove the refugee privileges to guarantee-pensions as well as sickness benefits and activities compensations. Today, these compensations are based on the size of the part of your life that you have resided in Sweden. Newcomers, however, are exempt from this rule and allowed to count time lived in their homeland as if they had lived in Sweden. We want to remove these exemptions. However, this is about making the rules equal for all. We remove an exception that has made the rules MORE advantageous for newcomers with or without non-normative abilities than for others.
Christian Democrats N/A


8: In what way would limiting social insurance benefits for newcomers affect Sweden?


Feminist Initiative We would be in breach with the Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities, which we have signed.
New Moderates Sweden shall have a social insurance system that Swedish citizens perceive as legitimate. It shall be sustainable from both a social and economic perspective in the long-term. Its organisation should take into account both the individual human being and the whole.
Left Party Disabled people’s right to support is individual and should not be connected to legal status but to the right to live your life and fully participate in the community on equal opportunities, irrespective of impairment. If these social insurance benefits were restricted, Sweden would be an inferior and less humane country at the same time as integration etcetera would be hampered which also is negative for Sweden as a country.
Sweden Democrats It depends on which benefits.
Liberals Everyone shall have the basic security of a reasonable standard of living, but it must not be so high that it takes away the incentive to work, which is a delicate balancing act! Working has to be worthwhile. Therefore, it is reasonable that compensations and support, whether or not to newcomers or others, are not so high that working does not pay off. At the same time, they cannot be so low that they do not provide sustenance. This is a delicate balance in Sweden as costs of living are relatively high.
Green Party Integration would be hampered, and in the long run, the problems will increase for the individual as well as society.
Centre Party We do not want limitations directed at the needs of this precise group, but for the group of newcomers as a whole, we are to a higher degree open to working according to the principle that you must qualify into the welfare system.
Christian Democrats We believe the same rules shall apply for everybody residing in Sweden.


9: Do you perceive any adverse effect of limiting the social insurance benefits concerning newcomers with non-normative abilities that are children? Please describe.


Feminist Initiative See answer to question 7, and the children would have a harder life. We would be in breach of the Convention of the Child which we also have signed.
New Moderates If the Swedish social insurance system is not perceived as legitimate by the Swedish citizens, we risk undermining people’s will to continue financing our generous welfare state. It is, therefore, necessary to always evaluate and alter the system adapting it to a changed situation.
Left Party Yes, the possibility for these children to develop, participate in the community and live the life they want to live would be affected negatively if, for example, the opportunity to assistance allowance or disability allowance would be limited. This should also be seen as an issue of children’s rights connected to demand for non-discrimination in the Convention of the Child, the child’s best interest and right to life and development.
Sweden Democrats Yes, if for example, newcomers with non-normative abilities that are children shall have possibilities to go to school and have active leisure time, there also needs to be pre-conditions for this and too far-reaching limitations can hamper the integration.
Liberals Children are seldom recipients of social insurance benefits. Otherwise, the same answer as to the question above.
Green Party Unclear question. Is it not evident that lower benefits lead to problems. Poorer integration, lower lifetime incomes harder to live like others and much more. More vulnerable and increased risk of exploitation. ETCETERA
Centre Party Newcomers with non-normative abilities that are children shall have the same rights as other children in Sweden. These children shall have the same right to live their life according to their wishes. They have the right to self-determination and independent life.  
Christian Democrats Children today rightly have greater protection, and we do not propose any limitation on social insurance benefits for newcomers with non-normative abilities that are children.


10: If limitations on social insurance benefits are implemented, how would it affect the standard of living for newcomers that are children and have disabled custodians?


Feminist Initiative Negatively
New Moderates All children in Sweden shall have a good start in life and possibilities to shape their future. The basic universal security in Sweden, therefore, includes access to a range of community benefits.
Left Party If these benefits are limited, the rights according to the Convention of the Child are also limited and the possibilities for maintenance etc., which would mean a risk of a decreased standard of living for both children and guardian.
Sweden Democrats It is hard to say when not knowing specifically which benefits but of course it is good if also newcomers that are parents can get the support needed to manage everyday life as a parent with the responsibility this entails.
Liberals See answer to question 8.
Green Party Negatively
Centre Party It is important that also disabled newcomers that come to Sweden shall get good support which gives them possibilities to live a meaningful life in Sweden, and if possible get a job. Those who can work shall work, and this is also the key to integration, and o a better standard of living for themselves and their children.
Christian Democrats We do not propose any limitations. We protect the children by strengthening the economy of families with children, through among other things,  raised housing allowance and reduced taxes for parents.


11: Do you believe the right to personal assistance is important for disabled newcomers’ right to self-determination and independent life?


Feminist Initiative Equally important as for others who have or apply for personal assistance.
New Moderates Yes, it is equally important for all disabled people irrespective of background.
Left Party Yes, everyone has a right to self-determination and independent life. One of the basic ideas of personal assistance is that disabled people shall have the same opportunities as non-disabled people to live the life they want to live. The right to personal assistance is, therefore, important for all who need it.
Sweden Democrats The right to personal assistance is important so disabled people can get an independent life. We have not decided whether or not LSS specifically should differentiate between newcomers and Swedish citizens.
Liberals Personal assistance is important for everyone with comprehensive impairments to be able to live like others. No difference between long-term residents and newcomers.
Green Party Of course
Centre Party Yes. The Centre Party believe that people granted residence permits in Sweden, no matter if the person has an impairment or not. Shall have the right to self-determination and independent life. We do not want to change the existing regulatory framework around LSS. And the same framework shall apply for this group as for others with similar needs.
Christian Democrats Yes, we protect the right to personal assistance for everybody that reside in Sweden.


12: In what way would limiting social insurance benefits affect the integration of disabled newcomers?


Feminist Initiative In a very severe manner. Then we do not have the democracy we believe we have. We shall follow the DISABILITY Conventions we have signed on human rights.
New Moderates Those who are new to Sweden shall be met with clear demands but of course, also receive the support needed to build a future here.
Left Party We believe that limitations of this kind would have an adverse effect on integration. A successful integration demand that people feel secure and have good living conditions. The community shall not hamper but ease integration.
Sweden Democrats We like newcomers that are in Sweden on a legal basis to start working, and it might be essential to create conditions so also those with non-normative abilities can do so. Specifically, that which support disabled newcomers to participate in the labour market is something we have to look into.  
Liberals We believe that the principle that it always shall be worthwhile to work supports integration. This goes for newcomers as well as long-term residents in Sweden.
Green Party Negatively
Centre Party The key to integration is to have a job to go to. Those who can work shall also work. The same rules shall apply for disabled newcomers who perhaps cannot work as for all others who reside here with the same needs. That person shall also be able to participate in the community, live and decide over their life as all others.
Christian Democrats It is not possible to give a blanket answer, it varies from person to person and depending on the benefit that is limited.


13: In what way does limiting social insurance benefits affect democracy and the individual’s self-determination over their own life.


Feminist Initiative In a very negative way. Support in everyday life, for example, is needed to be able to work, caring for children doing homework for instance. And everything else in daily life. There is a significant risk that poor mental health perhaps related to being displaced will worsen.
New Moderates It is fundamental that everybody in our country shall have the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.
Left Party We want it to be possible for disabled people to participate fully in the community with equal opportunities as others. Society and the community support to individuals must be organised in such a manner that everyone according to their capabilities can be a part of the social progress and achieve full participation in the community. The relatively extensive social insurance benefits that exist are an important part of this. If they are limited the individual’s possibilities for participation and self-determination are hampered.
Sweden Democrats Society’s efforts for disabled people is about eliminating as many obstacles to a functioning everyday life as possible, and to achieve as much as possible of the things a non-disabled person can do whether or not they are newcomers.
Liberals See question 8.
Green Party Negatively
Centre Party The proposals we have are aimed at making the regulatory frameworks equal for all with the same needs. It does not affect the individual’s self-determination over their own life, nor the democracy. All individuals shall be able to take part in both the democracy and other aspects of the community.
Christian Democrats It is not possible to give a blanket answer, it varies from person to person and depending on the benefit that is limited.


14: Do you want to implement limitations on social insurance benefits for example for disabled people with refugee status at EU level?


Feminist Initiative No
New Moderates We do not have any such proposals at the EU level, as we deem this to be issues that every member state have to decide themselves.
Left Party No
Sweden Democrats It depends on what type of benefit, but a general limitation at the EU level is not something we have made a decision on.
Liberals No. EU does not have decision-making power over social insurance benefits. And we do not think EU shall have it. Every member state decides for themselves on this issue.
Green Party Of course not
Centre Party The same rules as today should apply.
Christian Democrats No



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