Applying for social assistance
If you have too little money to get by, you may be entitled to social assistance (bijstand). You can apply for social assistance at your municipality or the werk.nl website, an online work platform operated by the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV (Employee Insurance Agency).
You are entitled to social assistance if you:
are a Dutch citizen or lawfully resident in the Netherlands, and;
are aged 18 or over;
do not have enough income or funds to get by. Your (joint) income must be below the social assistance standard (in Dutch);
cannot claim any other provision or benefit;
are not in prison or in a detention house.
There are also a number of obligations when you receive social assistance (in Dutch).
If you have any questions about your situation, contact your municipality. You can also contact the Sociaal Raadslieden (social counsellors) in your municipality. They provide free information and advice on legal problems. If there are none in your municipality find Sociaal Raadslieden closest to you (in Dutch) on the Sociaal Werk Nederland website.
You can also get free legal advice in English from Het Juridisch Loket (Legal Services Counter) (link in Dutch). Het Juridisch Loket provides clients with advice and information on all areas of law. All consultations are confidential and free of charge.
This is how it works for you
Here is some information from your municipality.
Municipality of Bergen op Zoom: Applying for social assistance
Please note: you can only apply for bijstand (social assistance) if you live in the Netherlands and are registered with a municipality.
You can apply for social assistance from the municipality of xxx if you meet the following additional conditions:
- You live in the municipality.
- You do not yet receive an Algemene Ouderdomswet – AOW (State Pension).
- Do you live with your partner or have a joint household with someone? If so, the income and savings of that person are also taken into account.
- You are participating in activities offered to you by the municipality to find work.
- You must understand, speak, read and write Dutch to a sufficient standard. You are entitled to social welfare assistance even if your Dutch is not good enough. However, the municipality may reduce your welfare benefit if you do not do your best to learn Dutch.
- Are you between 18 and 27 years old? If so, you can also apply for social assistance on the condition that, first, you actively look for work or education for 4 weeks.
You will find out within 8 weeks whether you will receive social assistance. You will receive social assistance from the date of the application.
Questions about this topic?
Contact the Municipality of Bergen op Zoom
Jacob Obrechtlaan 4
4611AR Bergen op Zoom