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How does the Dutch social security system work?

All residents are insured under national insurance schemes (volksverzekeringen) covering old age, death, long-term invalidity, certain medical expenses and child benefit. In addition employees are insured against illness, disablement and unemployment. Individuals with insufficient means to cover basic living expenses are entitled to claim supplementary benefit (sociale bijstand).

There are the following national insurance schemes (for all residents):

  • Old age pension = "Algemene Ouderdomswet" (AOW)
  • Widows/ers pension = "Algemene Nabestaandenwet" (ANW)
  • Disability benefit = "Alg. Arbeidsongeschiktheidswet" (AAW)
  • Child benefit = "Algemeen Kinderbijslagwet" (AKW)
  • Special Medical Expenses = "Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten" (AWBZ)

There are also the following employee insurance schemes:

  • Statutory sick pay = "Ziektewet" (ZW)
  • Unemployment benefit = "Werkloosheidswet" (WW)
  • Disablement benefit = "Wet op de Arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering" (WAO) and since 2006 also "Wet werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen" (WIA), replacing the WAO in due time.
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Comments (3)
Comment by jan sim-oliver on Wed, Feb 15th, 2012 at 2:24 PM
there is also wia (for all residents) for long term/chronic illness.
Comment by rain on Sat, Mar 17th, 2012 at 1:17 AM
in the post, it has been stated that all the residents are insured under national insurance schemes. what does resident mean? if we are from a non-eu country and had no registration in ind and has no work permit in nl, but holding a priveledged id card, and working in an international organization and receiving grant and paying tax and sosial sontributions, are they also insured under the dutch law?
Comment by arjan enneman on Thu, Mar 29th, 2012 at 2:15 PM
resident as living in a country. for employees at international organisations or with a so called a1 declaration other rules will indeed apply which means that they are insured in their home country or under an internal system. your employer will be able to inform you about this.
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