If you have a low income and it is impossible for you to pay exceptional and unexpected costs, you may be entitled to extra financial support from the municipality. This is called special social assistance (bijzondere bijstand).
Special social assistance is subject to the following conditions among others:
- you are lawfully living and staying in the Netherlands.
- you do not have enough income and funds to pay the costs yourself.
- you are at least 18 years old.
- you have expenses due to an exceptional or urgent situation, such as surgery or moving house.
- you cannot cover the costs in any other way.
Your municipality can tell you what other conditions apply in your situation.
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 in your (future) place of residence
Municipality of Amsterdam: Applying for special social assistance
You can apply for special social assistance from the municipality if you:
- live in the municipality of Amsterdam
- incurred the costs in the Netherlands.
- have not yet paid the costs.
The municipality will send you a letter within 8 weeks. It will state whether you will receive special social assistance and how much you will receive. It will also state whether you will receive special welfare assistance in the form of a loan or non-repayable allowance.