Privacy must be respected in home visits

11th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 April 2007, AMSTERDAM – Unannounced home visits to check up on whether recipients are committing benefits fraud may only take place under certain conditions, according to a ruling on Wednesday from the Central Appeals Tribunal, the highest authority on social security matters.

11 April 2007

AMSTERDAM – Unannounced home visits to check up on whether recipients are committing benefits fraud may only take place under certain conditions, according to a ruling on Wednesday from the Central Appeals Tribunal, the highest authority on social security matters.

The Tribunal says that home visits may only be used as a necessary means to check whether someone is entitled to benefits. But the personal privacy of the recipient must be respected.

That means that the recipient's permission must be asked before his or her home is entered. And the individual must also be informed that refusal to grant permission will not directly affect his or her benefits.

The refusal to grant permission can only have consequences if the municipality has clear indications that someone is receiving benefits unlawfully, the Tribunal ruled. It is the municipality's responsibility to show that the resident did in fact grant permission for a home check.

State secretary of Social Affairs Ahmed Aboutaleb said last month that he planned to change the law if the court made home visits impossible. He has the support of a majority in Parliament to do so.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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