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 Tiel: Applying for special social assistance
Special assistance is for necessary costs that you cannot pay yourself. Anyone with a low income and little wealth can apply for special assistance. Also people with, for example, a minimum wage, unemployment benefit or state pension. You can apply for special assistance for costs that are special and that you really have to incur. These are costs that do not occur every day and are necessary. For example, costs of a lawyer, costs due to illness and costs for an administrator. Are you unable to pay these costs yourself? And the costs are not paid in any other way, for example by your health insurance. Special assistance is not for costs that everyone has, such as rent, energy costs, telephone costs, clothing, medical costs, ID costs and damage.
Please note: you can apply for bijzondere bijstand (special social assistance) only if you live in the Netherlands and are registered with a municipality.
Every situation is different. We assess based on your personal and financial situation. The municipality is also looking at the following questions:
- Are you actually going to incur the costs?
- Are the costs necessary (for example for medical reasons, or a declaration of urgency)?
- Are you unable to pay the costs (in full) yourself?
- Were you unable to save (unexpected costs)?
- Is there no other institution that pays the costs, such as your health insurance company?
Apply for special assistance before you incur the costs. An employee of the municipality will assess whether the costs will be reimbursed through special assistance. Then you can be sure that you will not be faced with high costs afterwards that you may not be able to afford.
Keep all bills and receipts safe! You will only receive special assistance if you can show that you actually incur the costs.
Are you unsure or do you have questions about special assistance? Please contact the Sociale poort, telephone number: +31344637220. Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you think you can get special assistance? Then fill in the application form and add the requested supporting documents.
You can apply for special assistance in the following ways:
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.
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