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Dutch social security and benefits

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The Netherlands has a comprehensive social security system, and some of the more common questions about it, are answered below. Do keep in mind, as with many things, personal circumstances vary, and legislation changes regularly. While the answers below can guide you, it is always recommended to double check how things apply to you personal situation. Particularly if you think you may still qualify for benefits in your country of origin. While all social security and benefits in the Netherlands, apply to people working/living in the country, depending on the employment contract and or conditions, and your country of origin, exceptions may apply.

Compulsory insurance schemes

For those who cannot continue with social security in their original country, there are two kinds of compulsory social insurance schemes:

Volksverzekeringen (national insurance systems) cover all persons legally living in the Netherlands.

Werknemersverzekeringen (employee insurance schemes) cover anyone employed in the Netherlands.

Everyone has to pay for this as long as they live or work in the Netherlands. You are not entitled to get a refund of any of the contributions when you leave the Netherlands.

Contributions for national insurance schemes are income-dependent. Your employer will pay the majority of your contributions for the employee insurance schemes , but you will also pay a proportion, deducted directly from your wage. You will need a Burgerservicenummer –BSN, previously called SoFi number, to register in the financial/tax and social system. This is a unique personal identification number for all communications with the government or with organisations who have a legal obligation to work for the public (e.g. health care organisations).

In order to apply for a BSN, you will have to make an appointment with the Dienst Burgerzaken (registration office) in the gemeente (municipality) in which you live.

EU and EEA-nationals need only to bring their legal ID (passport, European identity card or national identity card from an EU-country) but non-EEA nationals will also need to show a work permit. Also their residence permit should contain a statement that they are allowed to work in the EU or EEA.

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