Social security

When are you entitled to assistance or benefits? How can you insure yourself against illness? What should you do if you become unemployed?

Paid employment

Self-employment or opting-in

Occupational disability

  • Private insurance
  • Voluntary health insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Safety net insurance
  • Private insurance
  • Voluntary health insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Safety net insurance

Pregnancy

  • 16 weeks’ leave
  • 16 weeks’ Maternity Benefit for the Self-Employed (ZEZ)

Social assistance

  • Unemployment benefit (WW)

  • Social assistance

Pension

  • General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)
  • General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)

Illness

  • 70% of your salary continues to be paid
  • Unemployment benefit (WW)
  • Sickness benefit
  • Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA)

Illness

Paid employment

If you become ill and you are in paid employment your employer must continue to pay your wages. You receive at least 70% of your wages and at least the legal minimum wage. Your employer pays you for a maximum of two years if you are ill. If you are still ill after these two years you could be entitled to a WIA benefit (Work and Income according to capacity for work Act). The UWV assesses whether you are entiteld to this.

Opting-in and Self-employed

If you work under opting-in or you are self-employed, you are nt eligible (as with paid employment) for unemployment benefit (WW), sickness benefit or for the Work and Income according to capacity for work Act (WIA).

What can you do?

Occupational disability insurance

If you do not have any savings or other means to bridge a period without any income, you can consider health or disability insurance. You can arrange this in three ways:

1. Private insurance

Many private insurers offer health and disability insurance. The insurance policies range from simple basic packages with a fixed benefit to more extensive variants that offer more flexibility.

Policy conditions vary significantly between insurers and types of policy. You are strongly advised to carefully read the terms and conditions and decide what is important to you and what is not. You can apply to many insurers for a quotation, free of obligation. The following points are important in this regard:

  • De hoogte van de uitkering; het verzekerd inkomen
  • De criteria voor ziekte en arbeidsongeschiktheid.
  • De wachttijd of eigenrisicotermijn, wanneer moet de uitkering ingaan?
  • Welke risico’s zijn verzekerd en sluit dat aan bij wat je wilt verzekeren?
  • De maximale uitkeringsperiode.
  • Flexibiliteit: kan het verzekerd inkomen later nog verhoogd worden?
  • Indexatie, stijgt de uitkering mee met prijsveranderingen?

2. Voluntary sickness insurance or unemployment insurance (UWV)

The Sickness Benefits Act (ZW) and the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act offer former employees the option, subject to certain conditions, of voluntarily continuing these insurance policies with the UWV Employee Insurance Agency.

The voluntary insurance is available if you have previously been compulsorily insured as an employee for at least one year. The voluntary insurance can also be taken out by people who previously received a benefit under the employee insurance schemes.

You must apply within three months (thirteen weeks) of the end of the compulsory insurance. It is therefore essential to consider this in good time.

2. Vrijwillige ziektewetverzekering

De Ziektewet (ZW) en de Wet WIA bieden ex-werknemers onder voorwaarden de mogelijkheid deze verzekeringen vrijwillig voort te zetten bij het UWV.

De vrijwillige verzekering staat open als je daarvóór als werknemer minstens één jaar verplicht verzekerd was. De vrijwillige verzekering staat tevens open voor degenen die voorafgaand een uitkering op grond van de werknemersverzekeringen ontvingen.

Je moet je binnen drie maanden (dertien weken) na het einde van de verplichte verzekering aanmelden. Het is dus belangrijk op tijd hierover na te denken.

3. Safety net insurance

Under certain conditions, insurers offer safety net insurance, acceptance guidelines and prices for risks that are difficult to insure. This includes people who have been turned down by an insurer, who can only take out insurance with exclusions or who pay high premiums.

Social assistance

If you are made redundant from paid employment or your employer goes bankrupt, you may be eligible for unemployment benefit (WW). You can register as a job-seeker at www.werk.nl

Opting-in and Self-employment

If you become unemployed and are not entitled to unemployment benefit, you can apply for assistance from UWV WERKbedrijf in your place of residence or region. This benefit will help you through the period until you find a new job.

UWV WERKbedrijf forwards the application to the municipality. The municipal authority will decide within eight weeks and inform you of its decision in writing.

Please note: Certain conditions apply, as not everyone is entitled to assistance. You will usually not be entitled to social assistance if, for example, you have a partner who can support you or you own your own home.

Pregnancy

You are entitled to 16 weeks' paid maternity leave if you are pregnant and work in paid employment. You can start the leave six to four weeks before the expected delivery date. The UWV pays the operator your wages as compensation.

Opting-in and Self-employment

If you are pregnant and work under opting-in conditions or as a self-employed sex worker, you can apply for maternity benefit from the UWV. This benefit falls under the scheme for self-employed persons and pregnant women: the Maternity Benefit Scheme for the Self-Employed (ZEZ benefit).

Maternity benefit covers a minimum period of 16 weeks. For the duration of this leave, the same rules apply as for a sex worker in paid employment.

Pension

The General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW) is an insurance policy.

This insurance covers everyone who works (or lives) in the Netherlands. Working means that you pay income tax to the Tax and Customs Administration over your income (in paid employment, under opting-in, and as a self-employed sex worker).

Your nationality makes no difference to this. Every year you are insured, you build up 2% old-age pension (AOW pension). You receive a full AOW pension if you have always been insured in the 50 years before your age of retirement under the AOW.

If you lived or worked outside the Netherlands, you may not have been insured for some time, and your AOW pension may be lower.

The state age of retirement is currently being raised in stages to 67. The age at which you are entitled to a state pension is given at Rijksoverheid.nl.

Sekswerk is werk

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