Social services are services provided by municipal authorities to their residents, such as the elderly and the disabled.
Social services include such things as providing people with accommodation or financial support where needed.
- 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.
- 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 (see list below).
- A resident of the municipality is any person who is legally domiciled in the municipality, irrespective of whether they are an Icelandic or foreign national. Foreign nationals have the same rights as Icelandic nationals as regards social services (provided that they are legally domiciled in the municipality).Anybody staying or intending to stay in Iceland for six months or longer must have their legal domicile in Iceland.
- Foreign nationals who get into financial or social difficulties and are not legally domiciled in Iceland can also apply to the relevant embassy or consul.
- It should be borne in mind that financial support from municipal authorities may affect applications for extending a residence permit, applications for a permanent residence permit and applications for citizenship.