Dutch households miss out on unclaimed benefits and allowances

One in seven households in the Netherlands don’t claim the healthcare, rental or childcare allowance they’re entitled to, losing out on an average of 1.300 euros.

According to research by Bokkz presented by VARA, the average family receives 636 euros in healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag), 2.105 euros in rental allowance (huurtoeslag) and 3.639 euros in childcare allowance (kinderopvangtoeslag).

Lower incomes over-represented

Out of the 5.100 households that participated in the survey, 15 percent did not apply for the government benefits they could receive. 24,8 percent of people with a low income (up to 10.000 euros) or a negative income (52 percent) did not seek the allowances they’re entitled to. Among people older than 60, 16,6 percent did not apply.

Need for better information

Jurgen de Vries of the Dutch tax payer’s association (Bond van Belastingbetalers) calls for a system where people are informed directly of the allowances they’re eligible for on their tax return. Currently it’s up to tax payers to do the research and to apply for each allowance and benefit.

Municipal benefits

Bokkz also looked into allowances on the municipal level, and found that Dutch cities have different approaches which makes it confusing and difficult to know what to apply for.

The city of Amsterdam admitted as much and calls for a nationwide solution to the problem.

4 million households receive benefits

According to recent data from the Central Bureau for Statistics, in 2013 more than half of Dutch households (about four million) received at least one allowance or benefit from the government. 40 percent, or almost 3 million households, received some type of income-related support.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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