Financial assistance from Reykjavík City is the last resort for those who have no means of income. Municipalities are bound by law to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who earn equal to or less than an amount set by Ministry of Welfare. This financial assistance is granted to those who have income and assets below this amount. The assistance may take the form of a loan or grant.

To be eligible:

  • You must have little or no income
  • You must have a legal address in Reykjavik.
  • Not own more than one home, or one car.
  • You must try all other possibilities for support which you may be eligible for. For instance unemployment benefits from The Directorate of Labour, your pension fund, or the Social Insurance Administration before seeking financail assistance.
  • Be actively seeking employment if you are not disabled or infirmed.
  • Be over 18 years of age.

Do I receive more if I have children?

No, the aid is independent of the number of children you have. Other benefits such as child support payments/meðlag and child benefits/barnabætur are expected to meet the costs of raising children. Parents who receive financial assistance may speak with their social workers regarding extra help with child related costs.

Where do I apply for this support?

At your local municipal service centre/þjónustumiðstöð. There are 5 of them in Reykjavik.

How do I apply?

  1. Fill out and sign an application form (only available in Icelandic). Application forms are available online and at each service centre. If you are applying as a married or cohabitating couple both must sign the application.
  2. Present a picture ID when submitting your application.
  3. Submit supporting documents regarding your income for the past 2 months, a registered rent agreement, proof of job search or a doctor’s note when applicable.
  4. Submit your personal tax discount card with your application.


  • Applications are evaluated by service representatives at the service centres.
  • If approved the support payment will be deposited into the applicant’s bank account.
  • Payments are made once a month on the 1st of every month. Partial payments are paid out after processing.
  • You will be called in for an interview if you have received support for more than 6 months.

Important to keep in mind:

  • Social services has the right to access information about your income and financial situation from the tax authorities, the Social Insurance Administration, the unemployment fund, pension funds, The Directorate of Immigration etc.
  • When calculating eligibility your earned income for the month you are applying in and the previous month are taken into consideration. As an example if you receive a salary on the 1st of the month, even though that salary is for work you did the previous month it is considered income for the month your received payment.
  • If you earned income less than the lowest amount stated above you may be eligible for a partial payment.
  • If you fail to seek work or follow the rules set by the Unemployment Fund you will only receive half a support payment.
  • You are bound to report any changes in your income or situation and failure to do so means you will lose your rights to support and if you received support based on wrong or false information you may have to pay back the money received.
  • Financial support payments are taxable and withholding taxes are deducted.

What are my options if I have been denied financial support assistance?

If you are denied you will receive a written letter stating why and where to address your appeal.

Appeals may be made to the Welfare Council/Velferðarráð located at Borgartún 12-14. The decision of the Welfare Council may be appealed to the Complaints Committee for social and housing issues/Úrskurðanefnd félagsþjónustu og húsnæðismála located at Hafnarhús on Tryggvagata.