Dutch social security system explained
The Dutch social security system is one of the most comprehensive in Europe but access to the Dutch welfare system is becoming more restrictive.
The Dutch social security system is one of the most comprehensive in Europe but access to the welfare system is becoming more restrictive. There are three strands:
- National Insurance administered by the social insurance bank (www.svb.nl), which includes old age pension (AOW) and child benefit (AKW);
- Employee Insurance administered by UWV (www.uwv.nl), including unemployment benefit (WW, see below), long-term disability (WIA) and sickness (ZW); and
- Social Assistance administered by municipalities (www.rechtopbijstand.nl).
Specific conditions apply to each benefit. Also, do check that your residence rights are not affected if you apply for benefits. Your official documents will need to be in good order. Consult the Ministry of Social Affairs and Welfare website (www.szw.nl) for more information.
Unemployment benefit (WW)
Your employment history will determine the amount and duration of payments. It comprises the first two months at 75 percent and thereafter 70 percent of your last earned salary (there’s a maximum daily rate of EUR 195.96 gross). You must have worked for 26 out of the previous 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment (may be fewer if you are a musician or artist, or not in regular employment). It can be restricted if other benefits are in operation. You apply for benefit online at www.werk.nl or at a local office of UWV WERKbedrijf.
A volunteer is a vrijwilliger and there are many opportunities depending on your skills. Expat advice centre ACCESS is always on the lookout for volunteers in its offices in Den Haag (www.access-nl.org).
Updated from 2012.