Critical report: working in addition to benefits causes financial problems

As a result, people can receive insufficient benefits for months. “If you live on the social minimum, it matters: you can no longer pay bills,” says De Visser. The other way around is also possible: people receive an excessive benefit and have to pay it back after six months. “Then you get an additional tax and you sometimes have to pay back thousands of euros.”

The problems do not only lie with the implementing party, such as the UWV and the municipalities, says researcher De Visser. It is also due to the task given to implementing organizations: on the one hand, they must provide sufficient income and, on the other, minimize the use of benefits as much as possible.


61 percent of the respondents in the survey indicated that they had run into financial problems due to the settlement of their income. The uncertainty and unpredictability of such additional tax assessments are particularly problematic. “The calculation is very opaque”, says Sanne Ooms. She has a Wajong benefit because she is unable to work full-time due to a chronic illness.

“There is a calculation tool from the UWV, but it is difficult to estimate in advance how much you have to spend when you work. If you do not work, it is much clearer, but I don’t want that. It makes me unhappy. ” She works for the national government on employee networks: this makes it easier for employees with a labor specialization to come into contact with each other.

Moniek van der Meij also has experience with this. She has a Wajong benefit because of her autism and works part-time at the Hogeschool van Arnhem and Nijmegen. “Last year I received a benefit that was too low. I got money back twice, 300 euros and 400 euros. So that was not enough, and on my income that’s a lot of money.”

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