Municipal authorities are obliged to provide their residents with the necessary support to ensure that they do not get into a situation where they are unable to resolve their own affairs. Municipal social affairs committees and boards are responsible for providing social services and are also obliged to provide advice in social matters.
Foreign nationals have the same rights as Icelandic nationals as regards social services (provided that they are legally domiciled in the municipality). Receiving financial support from municipal authorities may affect applications for extending a residence permit, applications for a permanent residence permit and applications for citizenship.
Individuals should first approach their municipal authorities if they get into difficulties and apply to them before applying elsewhere. If an application is rejected, an appeal may be lodged with the Social Affairs Complaints Committee within four weeks of the decision being communicated.
Those who are not entitled to financial support from municipal authorities may apply to other bodies or associations.
Employees and self-employed individuals aged 18-70 are entitled to receive unemployment benefit providing that they have earned insurance cover and meet the conditions of the Unemployment Insurance Act and the Labour Market Measures Act. Unemployment benefits are applied for online. There are conditions that need to be met to maintain the rights to unemployment benefits.
For more information about unemployment benefits, who´s entitled to them, how to apply and how to maintain the beneftis can be found on the web site of the Directorate of Labour.
The Icelandic Confederation of Labour has set up an information website intended to help those who have lost their jobs, who struggle, and want to improve their prospects in the job market.
The Debtors’ Ombudsman acts as an intermediary for communication and negotiation with creditors, pursuing the interests of debtors, and helps individuals in serious payment difficulties, free of charge, to obtain a comprehensive overview of their finances and find solutions.
The aim is to find as favourable solution as possible for the debtor, irrespective of the interests of the creditor.
You can make an appointment with an advisor by calling (+354) 512 6600. You need to present personal ID when attending an appointment.
Various other support available
In a different section here on the MCC web site you will find information about social support and services. Also you can find information about child support and benefits, parental leave and housing benefits.
For information on financial matters related to employment and compensation for prolonged illness or accident, please visit this section.
Either spouse can obtain a divorce, whether or not the other spouse agrees to a divorce. The first step is usually to authorise a legal separation, followed by a divorce after one year. A divorce may, however, be authorised after six months if both spouses agree on applying for a divorce at that point.
If a spouse is found to have committed adultery or has been physically or sexually violent towards their spouse or their children living at home, an immediate divorce may be requested.
Information on custody, legal aid visitation rights can be found in the brochure Your rights – Important information for foreign women in Iceland