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).
This is how it works for you
Here is some information from your municipality.
Municipality of Groningen: Applying for social assistance
Please note. You can only apply for 'bijstand' if you live in the Netherlands and are registered with a municipality.
You can apply for welfare benefits from the municipality if these additional conditions apply to you:
- You live in the municipality.
- You are not yet receiving AOW.
- Do you live with your partner or do you have a joint household with someone? If so, that person's income and savings also count.
- You participate in activities offered to you by the municipality to find work (you are registered as a jobseeker at werk.nl).
- You must understand, speak, read and write sufficient Dutch. You are entitled to 'bijstand' even if your Dutch is not good enough. However, the municipality may reduce your benefit if you do not do your best to learn Dutch.
- Are you between 18 and 27 years of age? In that case you can also apply for benefit under the condition that you first actively look for work or education for 4 weeks.
You will need to attach supporting documents to a number of questions. You can easily attach these. Preferably as a pdf file. A photo or other type of file is also allowed. Make sure that the document is clearly legible.
To determine whether you are entitled to assistance, we need information from you. For example:
- Information about your income and assets.
- A copy of your rental contract or mortgage.
- Bank statements.
- An overview of your job applications.
You can apply for social assistance benefits online. You will need a DigiD to do this. There are no possibilities yet to do this without a DigiD.
You can also visit the Office for Work and Income (Harm Buiterplein 1). You can make an appointment online via the website - the form not available in English. Or call 050 367 50 00.
We understand that not everyone is handy with a computer. That is why you can also visit a WIJ team in your area. We have PCs and scanning equipment at all locations and employees who will be happy to help you on your way.
You will hear within 8 weeks whether you will receive the benefit. You will receive assistance from the day of application.