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Social Security Benefits

The Dutch social security system is one of the most comprehensive in the EU. The Tax Offices responsible for the implementation of income-related schemes, also known as ‘benefits’. These schemes provide for allowances that households may obtain towards the cost of health care, rent or childcare. Anyone eligible for such an allowance may file an application with the Tax and Customs Administration. At present over 6 million households receive such benefits.

Being an EU Member State, the Netherlands forms part of the European Economic Area and legally EU/EEA nationals working in the Netherlands have the same rights as Dutch persons with regard to social security benefits. Besides, everyone who is living and working in the Netherlands is required to contribute to the Dutch social security system, unless their country of origin has a special arrangement to continue make contributions in their home country like in the case of Australia and the Netherlands: Social Security Agreement between Australia and the Netherlands 

The social security system in the Netherlands is subdivided into two main parts, the social welfare benefits (sociale voorzieningen ) and social insurance benefits (sociale verzekeringen). The social welfare part comprises social assistance under the National Assistance Act is financed by the central government and aims to provide basic provision and are means-tested. On the other hand, social insurance which is compulsory is funded directly from the contributions made by employees, Meaning all those insured are automatically paying social insurance contributions.


Moreover, there is a further distinction between national insurance (volksverzekeringen ) and employee insurance (werknemersverzekeringen ) and. National insurance is not pay-related and comprises state old-age pension, survivors’ pensions, child benefit , pensions received under the General Disablement Pensions Act and benefit under the General Act on Exceptional Medical Expenses. Employee insurance is based on the pay last earned and provides coverage in the event of loss of pay because of illness which is applicable after the first year of absence and permanent incapacity for work and unemployment. More information here:

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