Benefits for refugees in The Netherlands uitkering en toeslagen: if you get a house, you will get the uitkering: benefits or living aid. It is super if you have work and can earn your own money! Always try to do that. If not, you will get support from the local municipality with a ‘Bijstandsuitkering’, also people call it ‘Uitkering’ of ‘Bijstand’. And also you have the right to get extra aid from the Belastingdienst (tax department) for things: “Toeslagen”. This is after you got housing and are away from COA. There are some conditions. Always check this with your local municipality.
- You will also get a (partly to be paid back) amount / loan to buy furniture and equipment. About that we will make another page.
- Make sure you have an overview of your income per month and do not spend too much! It is hard!
- Keep and structure always income information, letters, tickets of the costs you spend on health care, medicines, glasses, insurances and study.
When you have to fill in your annual tax return, you might NEED the info on the letters to get tax back!
- Be careful with buying things you’ll have to pay later. Interest rates can be SUPER HIGH. Avoid being in debt (Yalla tip).
- ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP ON TIME at people you know or VWN or SOCIALE RAADSLIEDEN / GEMEENTE.
- Do not keep the letters unopened in your letter box if you do not understand them. Ask for help.
1. Living Aid or Benefits for Refugees in The Netherlands Uitkering en Toeslagen
The “uitkering” is an monthly amount that all people get who can not pay for their own life expenses, but there are some conditions. With this support, you can manage yourself until you have found a job.
1a. Who can have these Living Benefits from the Municipality (Uitkering)?
- Has a permit to stay in The Netherlands;
- Lives in The Netherlands;
- Is 18 years or older (below 23 there is a lower youth version);
- Can not earn money to live from.
1b. Conditions to have and hold the Living Benefits (Uitkering)
There are some conditions you should follow to keep the “uitkering”.
- Try to find, and take on work and try to keep it
- Register at work organisations (uitzendbureaus)
- Actively search for work in the municipality
- Be prepared to be willing to travel 3 hours per day
- The municipality can define extra conditions. Ask exactly what they are. For example do work.
1c. How Much is It?
The amount differs. It depends on your age, family situation, children and more.
- Municipality of Amsterdam.
Single and single parent: € 924,06
Family: € 1.320,09
- More information about Bijstand (in Dutch). The amount can seem high, but costs are high in The Netherlands. So be careful spending.
- If you want to have an idea what things cost, check this NIBUD page and compare your own expenses with others.
- In many municipalities you are allowed to earn on top of the aid: for example in Amsterdam. You can keep max. 199,- above your uitkering, but 25% of what you earn for maximum 6 times while you receive the uitkering. Check it (in Dutch).
It can differ per municipality. So: always work when you can!
2. Child Benefits from the SVB (Sociale Verzekeringsbank) for All People with Children (Kinderbijslag)
Four times a year – each three months – all parents or guardians receive child benefits: “Kinderbijslag”: an amount per child. How much? In 2016:
More information about child benefits (in English) is available at the site of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) (in English).
3. Special Benefits from the Municipality (Bijzondere Bijstand)
If you live with minimum aid, and you do not have savings, there are options at your municipality to get extra money for essential living expenses which are unforeseen or too expensive to pay from your monthly aid. For example:
- a washing machine when the old one is broken
- a refrigerator
- to attend sport clubs
Ask for the local possibilities at the municipality.
4. Extra Aid from the Tax Department (Belastingdienst, called Toeslagen)
- It is financial help related to your income.
- Use your DigiD to get it the moment you know what your income will be.
- You can ask for it on www.mijntoeslagen.nl and there are different Toeslagen: for kids, rent, health insurance and day care.
To pay for:
- RENT: “Huurtoeslag”: help with the costs of rent (Belastingdienst / Tax department / arrange with DigiD)
- HEALTH CARE INSURANCE: “Zorgtoeslag”: help with the costs of health insurance (Belastingdienst / Tax department / arrange with Digid)
- DAY CARE FOR KIDS: “Kinderopvangtoeslag”: help with the costs of day care for the children (Belastingdienst / Tax department / arrange with DigiD)
- KIDS: “Kindgebonden Budget”: help with costs of having kids when you do not earn a lot.
- More information: check this page about Tax Benefits in IamExpat
- Information in English about Tax Systems in The Netherlands
- You can apply for these on www.mijntoeslagen.nl