The National Insurance Court (Trygderetten) handles appeals against decisions concerning national insurance and pensions.
A great majority of cases (90-95%) stem from The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration ("NAV") and relate to provisions in The National Insurance Act
("Folketrygdloven"). The National Insurance Court currently has approximately 60 full- and part-time employees.
Administratively The National Insurance Court works under the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion, and although it is not part of the ordinary court of law system, it has an independent standing and cannot be instructed by any political or other organisation.
An appeal to The National Insurance Court must be presented for the institution which initially rejected the original application. The institution concerned then brings the appeal before the court. This enables the case to be heard without expenses to lawyers and without court fees.
The procedures are described in more detail in Act No. 9 of 16 December 1966 on appeal to The National Insurance Appeal Court and in the provisions concerning appeals in § 21-12 in The National Insurance Act
The National Insurance Court was established by an act of the Norwegian Parliament in 1967, the same year that The National Insurance Act was put into force. The political aim was to secure an adequate appeal system to deal with conflicts about social insurance and pensions.
Before 1967 there were several different appeal systems applying to the different social insurance schemes. These systems had many weaknesses, one of which was seldom revealing the reasons for their decisions.
A recommendation of 1958 from The Parliament’s Administrative Committee states that perhaps the best appeal system for cases pertaining to social insurance "would be a common appeal board for all national insurance issues, in other words a kind of social affairs court of which we can already see the contours".
This was mainly based on the desire for an improvement of due process. In addition the new National Insurance Act, bringing together many former free-standing national insurance schemes, paved the way for a common appeal body.
The Court's organisation and function
The National Insurance Court consists of a chairman/-woman, his/her deputy and about 25 other regular members, having professional expertise either in law, medicine or vocational rehabilitation.
In addition the court has about 12 deputy members, professionals in law in time limited educational positions, corresponding to deputy judges in the ordinary judicial system.
See the organisation chart below.
Any verdict from The National Insurance Court can be challenged by submitting a further appeal to The Court of Appeals, although this course of action is rare, occurring in only 2% of cases.
This illustrates how important The National Insurance Court is to the appellants' welfare, having in most cases the final decision on matters of pension and national insurance legislation, and its essential role on the socio-political scene.
Last update: 2011-11-16
Gorm Are Grammeltvedt
Bjørn Arvid Lervik
Ole Christian Moen
Bent Syver Halden