What benefits are available in the Netherlands for low income households?
If you work or study in the Netherlands you may be entitled to a benefit. You can apply to the Belastingdienst (Tax Authorities) in order to receive a contribution towards the costs of your Dutch healthcare insurance (zorgtoeslag), rented house (huurtoeaslag) or children (kindgebonden budget). Visit the Belastingdienst’s website in order to find general information on how benefits work.
How can I get kindersbijslag (child benefit) and how does it work?
The kinderbijslag (child benefit) is a government allowance towards the expenses of raising a child. You are eligible for this allowance if you live and/or work in the Netherlands (or abroad but employed by a Dutch employer) and have a child or children under 18 years of age. There are no income or asset criteria. The procedure to claim child benefits is:
- Following the registration of your child’s birth at your gemeente (municipality), your data will be forwarded to the Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringbank – SVB)
- Within two to four weeks, the SVB will contact you about applying for the child benefit by mail or by submitting your application online using your DigiD (your digital identification code giving access to hundreds of Dutch Government websites).
- After you have requested the child benefit, the SVB will send you its decision, stating the amount you will receive per child and the starting date for your child benefit.
- The amount that you will receive is based upon the age of your child, number of children you have, and whether there are any special needs.
- A quarterly payment is made into your bank account until your child reaches age18. When your child is older than 16, you will only continue receiving the child benefit if he/she goes to school and receives an income of no more than an annually fixed amount.
The child benefit is not exclusively for bringing up and caring of your own children; it also applies to adopted children, foster children, stepchildren or other children you bring up and care for as if they were your own. In this case, you must contact the SVB yourself to ask them to send you an application form. It is the same procedure if you arrive in the Netherlands with children who were born abroad. You can find the forms and further information at: https://www.svb.nl/en/child-benefit.
If your child lives outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland, the amount that you receive for the child benefit may be adjusted to the price level in your child’s country of residence. Should the amount you are receiving be changed, you should receive a letter from the SVB informing you of the new amount.
What is kindgebonden budget (child-related budget) and do I qualify for it?
If you receive the kinderbijslag (child benefit), you may also qualify for kindgebonden budget (child-related budget). This is an extra monthly contribution from the government for low-income families. The child-related budget is granted by the Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringbank – SVB) and paid by the tax authorities (Belastingdienst). If you are receiving the child benefit, the SVB will submit a claim to the Belastingdienst for a child-related budget.
Whether you are eligible for the child-related budget depends on your family income and assets. If you qualify, you will receive a letter from them within eight weeks. If you don’t hear from the Belastingdienst, it means that your family income is too high to get this benefit. However, if you think you are entitled to a child-related budget, you can request it online with your DigiD account via ‘Mijntoeslagen’. Further information is available https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/kindgebonden-budget/voorwaarden/ (in Dutch only)
Who administers the social security schemes in the Netherlands?
The Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB) is the organisation that administers the national insurance schemes in the Netherlands. Information on social security can be found on the organisation’s website ‘svb.nl’. Information pages are provided in several languages.
Who is covered by the Dutch social insurance system?
If you are going to live or work in the Netherlands you are in principle covered under the Dutch social security system. However, there may be exceptions. You can know more about the rules that apply to you on the official European Commission website.
As a rule, you only pay social security contributions in the country where you actually work (as an employee or self-employed). There are some cases when you can be working in the Netherlands but be paying your social security contribution in another country:
- you work outside the Netherlands and do not have a Dutch secondment certificate
- you work as a civil servant for another country’s embassy or consulate, or for an international organization such as NATO, the European Union or Europol. Your family members will only be insured if they work in the Netherlands
- you work for the government of another country or for the Antillean or Aruban government. In that case, your family members will not be covered under Dutch national insurance either
- you work in international transport for a non-Dutch employer, transporting persons or goods mainly outside the Netherlands
- you are a musician, performing artist or sportsperson working in the Netherlands for a short period of time
- you are studying in the Netherlands temporarily and are not employed
Find out whether you are covered by social insurance in the Netherlands on the SVB:
What social security benefits are available in the Netherlands?
Social security benefits are determined based on your income and assets. These include everything you own including your bank savings (i.e. car, jewellery, properties). Please note that no claims can be made within the first three months of moving to the Netherlands. Below is a summary of the five insurance benefits and allowances provided by the Dutch Government through the Social Security Office – SVB (Sociale Verzekeringbank):
- Kindersbijslag (child benefit) – This is money paid by the government towards the expenses of raising a child. If you live or work in the Netherlands and you have a child or children under 18, you are eligible to the Dutch child benefit. It is available to all families independent of income or wealth. Click here for more information
- Algemene Ouderdomswet – AOW (state pension) – The AOW is a basic state pension for people who have reached their AOW pension age. If you live or work in the Netherlands, you will almost certainly be insured under the AOW scheme. Click here to know about the pension age in the Netherlands and eligibility
- Nabestaandenuitkering Anw (survivor benefit) – This benefit provides financial support from the government for people whose partner has died and has children yonger than 19 and for children who are orphaned
- TOG allowance – This allowance is for children who are disabled or seriously ill and thus who often need more care than healthy children. If your child lives at home with you, you may qualify for this allowance
- Wet langdurige zorg WLZ (long term nursing) – Whilst it is compulsory for everyone who is living in the Netherlands to take out a basic health insurance, everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is automatically insured under the Act for long-time care (WLZ). This Act provides reimbursement for care that is not covered by the regular health insurance.
Visit the Social Security Office (SVB) website for the complete list of available national insurance schemes and last updates.
If I claim social security benefits, will it affect my residence permits?
EU/EEA citizens generally have the same rights as Dutch nationals when it comes to social security benefits. However, receiving social security benefits can sometimes result in the withdrawal of your right to reside in the Netherlands. This is determined on case-by-case basis and could only happen if you have resided in the Netherlands shorter than five years.
Non-EU nationals in possession of a regular residency permit have also the same rights towards social security benefits. However, in some cases your Dutch residence permit may include a condition that you do not qualify to apply to any public funds.