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
Sometimes you have to spend money for something you didn't expect. For example, because you unexpectedly need a lawyer. Or because you need to spend money on a meal service or for travel expenses to the hospital. If you have a low income and few assets, you may be able to apply for special assistance. This is extra money for special expenses that you urgently need to incur but will not be reimbursed. So you cannot put off the expenses. Special assistance is not only for people with benefits. Even if you have a low salary or pension, you can apply for it. We look at your income and then decide how high the amount will be. Special assistance is a money loan or a gift.
Apply for special assistance on time. You can no longer apply if you have already received the bill.
The conditions include:
- You are a Dutch citizen.
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- You live in our municipality.
- You have a low income and few assets.
- You can prove that you have to make the costs urgently.
- You will not receive money from insurance or another benefit for it.
- You make the application before you spend the money.
Are you 18, 19 or 20 years old? Then see if your parents can help you first.
We will make the decision within 8 weeks after we receive your application. We may extend this period 1 time.
Do you disagree with the decision? You can file an objection with the municipality. Do this within 6 weeks after you receive the decision. If you then disagree with the decision on your objection, you can appeal. You can do this with the court.