Due to Covid-19, my contract has been cancelled and now I am unemployed. Am I eligible to claim [unemployment] benefits?

Those who have lost their job because of the Covid-19 pandemic can apply for unemployment benefits as temporary income while searching for new employment.

Regulations regarding unemployment benefits have not changed, so the conditions for unemployment benefits need to be met:

  • The “26 out of 36 weeks” requirement: employed for at least 26 out of the 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment
  • Under 65 years old
  • Available for work

Unemployment benefits can be requested at the Government’s Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV) which will determine whether you are entitled to benefits, the amount and duration based on your previous salary, age and work history.

It is important to apply immediately upon losing a job or within one week. If the application is made later, the amount of the benefit is lower, temporarily.

The obligation to seek a suitable job remains a condition while receiving unemployment benefits during the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UWV advises that you actively look for information and ways to find employment even in difficult times. It can also provide assistance in searching for work.

Information about unemployment benefits and a complete guide to applying online is on the UWV website: www.uwv.nl/particulieren/index.aspx. Both the website and application form are in Dutch, but assistance is provided in English and other languages.

If you do not qualify for unemployment benefits, you could ask for financial or other assistance from social services in your municipality. Options and conditions can be found on your municipal website.

For more information related to social benefits:


Also, have a look at our articles on what to do when you lost your job because of Covid-19 and Covid-19 and how it affects your work.