Smoother rules for people who make a mistake when applying for benefits: ‘Sometimes too harsh’

The cabinet is going to relax two measures in social security. Civil servants from municipal benefit agencies, the Social Insurance Bank and the UWV are more likely to decide to make a debt settlement with people with benefits. They can also agree on an installment period of three instead of one year.

Secretary of State Wiersma writes to the House of Representatives that there must be โ€œappropriateโ€ response to โ€œexceptionsโ€, people who accidentally make a mistake when applying for benefits and have therefore received too much money. โ€œIt has been found that enforcement in social security is too harsh in some situations, in which the citizen does not seem to be central, but enforcement in itself.โ€

‘Shinning situations’

Wiersma wants to watch for โ€œharrowing situationsโ€ and has decided that it will be possible to make wider repayment arrangements for the next six months. After that period, it is examined whether a period of three years to repay debts โ€œgives enough spaceโ€, or whether more substantial changes are needed.

He also decided to provide officials with retroactive effect until 15 November to offer a regular debt settlement, unless, for example, there is โ€œgross debtโ€ and someone has consciously made a mistake. That measure would actually apply from 1 January, but will therefore take effect one and a half months earlier.