To support people on a low income, the Dutch government offers the healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag), a regular contribution to help cover the monthly premiums for Dutch health insurance (zorgverzekering).
Dutch health insurance is compulsory for everyone (within four months of arrival) and can be relatively expensive, with standard packages costing roughly 1.100 euros per year. The zorgtoeslag is designed to reduce this cost for residents with limited financial means. In 2020, monthly payments can be up to 104 euros for individuals and 199 euros for couples, depending on your income level.
Requirements for Dutch healthcare allowance
In order to qualify for the Dutch healthcare allowance, you (and your fiscal partner) need to meet the following conditions:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You have Dutch health insurance.
- You have an EU nationality, valid residence permit and/or work permit.
- You earn below a certain level (see below).
- Your assets are less than a certain amount (see below).
Income requirements for zorgtoeslag
For the majority of expats, whether or not you’re entitled to receive healthcare allowance will depend on your income. The Dutch tax authorities make a distinction between being single and having a household with two incomes:
No fiscal partner
If you don’t have a fiscal partner (toeslagpartner), your gross income may not exceed 30.481 euros per year (2020 guidelines).
With fiscal partner
If you have a fiscal partner, your collective annual income cannot be more than 38.945 euros.
The value of your assets, such as savings and shares, must also not be too high. In 2020, the asset limit is 116.613 euros for individuals and 147.459 euros (combined) for partners.
How much can I receive?
The amount of zorgtoeslag you can receive depends on your income. The healthcare allowance reduces as your salary increases. To see how much you may be entitled to receive back on a monthly basis see the Dutch tax office page on healthcare allowance monthly payments (in Dutch). On the trial calculation page from the Belastingdienst you can fill in your personal details to get an indication of how much you will receive (in Dutch).
How to apply for the healthcare allowance
You can apply for the zorgtoeslag for a specific year up until September 1 of the following year. So if you want to retroactively apply for 2019 benefits, you have until September 1, 2020.
- Visiting your local Dutch tax office.
- Calling 0800-0543 (Free in the Netherlands, Monday to Thursday 8am - 8pm & Friday 8am - 5pm).
Notes on healthcare allowance in the Netherlands
Both the zorgtoeslag website and the application forms are in Dutch. Expats can access an English translation here. Note that this is merely a guide, not an official transcript.
Finally, it is worth noting that applying for a healthcare allowance does not affect the right of residence.