Q+A Sickness Benefits Act

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1 Q+A Sickness Benefits Act When do you qualify for the Sickness Benefits Act? When you fall ill and are no longer employed, you can claim sickness benefit. The Sickness Benefits Act provides for this. You need to apply for sickness benefit at the Social Security Agency (UVW). The UWV is also responsible for absence counselling and reintegration. You are insured for the Sickness Benefits Act when you satisfy the following requirements. You are: In employment (or have been); Under 65 years of age; Contractor of work, but not working in your own company; A trainee and receiving a reimbursement for your traineeship; Working from home, a musician or an artist. Separate conditions apply for this group. The Social Security Agency (UWV) can tell you more about this. When you are insured, you may claim sickness benefit in the following situations: You are a temporary worker (without a permanent contract with the temping agency); You are an on-call employee (depending on the type of on-call contract); Your temporary contract expires during your illness; You are working from home; You are receiving an allowance according to the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW) and fall ill; You become ill as a result of pregnancy or giving birth. When you are in paid employment, you are entitled, during your pregnancy leave, to an allowance according to the Work and Care Act. But if you fall ill as a result of your pregnancy before or after giving birth, you will receive sickness benefit; You donated an organ, and as a result you are temporarily unable to work; You are partially fit for work and become ill within five years of being hired. In that case your employer is not obliged to continue to pay your wages, but you will receive sickness benefit (no-risk policy). Not for self-employed Entrepreneurs and directors with majority shareholding can only claim sickness benefit when they are voluntarily insured. What is the amount of the sickness benefit? Your sickness benefit is at least 70 per cent of your daily wage. This is the average wage you were earning per day in the year before you fell ill. But note: there is a maximum: 188,88 euros gross as of 1 January The benefit is payable for up tot 104 weeks (2 years)

2 In some cases, the benefit you receive under the Sickness Benefits Act may be more than 70 percent of your daily wage: if you become ill as a result of pregnancy or giving birth before or immediately after pregnancy leave, you will receive the full amount of your daily wage; if you are unable to work due to illness resulting from an organ donation, you will receive the full amount of your daily wage; if you returned to work as an occupationally disabled person and become ill. In this case, the amount you receive will be determined by the provisions of the applicable collective labour agreement (CAO). Below social assistance level If your sickness benefit is below the social assistance level applicable to you, you can apply for a supplement according to the Supplementary Benefits Act. Other income When you receive, during your illness, other earnings besides your sickness benefit you must report this to the Social Security Agency (UWV) before the benefit is paid out. The UWV will take these other earnings into account and will not pay the full sickness benefit. The sickness benefit is then a supplement to the level of your original daily wage. Benefits will not be cut if you were already receiving these earnings before you became ill. How long will you receive sickness benefit for? Sickness benefit is payable for up to 104 weeks (two years). If in the meantime you get better, but fall ill again within four weeks, your periods of sickness will be tallied up. After two years of illness there will be a review to assess whether you are entitled to an occupational disability allowance as defined in the Work and Income according to Labour Capacity Act (WIA). The benefit will start from the first day of your illness. If you are working from home or a temporary worker (without a permanent contract with the temping agency) your entitlement to sickness benefit starts on the third day of your illness. Your benefit will stop: When you get better; When you die; When you become 65; After 104 weeks (two years) of illness. Sickness benefit during pregnancy Have you become ill during pregnancy? Then sickness benefit stops six weeks before the date the baby is due to be born and from then on you ll receive a pregnancy allowance and a maternity allowance for a period of sixteen weeks. If you re still ill after that period you ll go back to receiving sickness benefit. The duration of the benefit varies depending on the situation:

3 If your illness after giving birth is different from the illness during your pregnancy the benefit s duration could be up to 104 weeks. The period of illness during pregnancy is not deducted. If your illness after giving birth is the same one as during pregnancy the two sickness periods will be tallied up. No new period of 104 weeks will start after giving birth; the old period just continues. You are unemployed and have become ill. What should you do? If you are receiving an allowance according to the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW), you must report sick at the Social Security Agency (UWV). Your unemployment allowance will continue to be paid for the first 13 weeks of your illness. Only after 13 weeks will your unemployment allowance stop and will you receive sickness benefit. Exception: when ill because of pregnancy, giving birth or donation of an organ you will receive sickness benefit straight away. The duration of your unemployment benefits will be extended with the period in which you receive sickness benefit. In some cases you will receive sickness benefit earlier anyway, for instance if you reach the end of your unemployment benefits within the first 13 weeks of your illness. Or if you are no longer entitled to unemployment benefits for any other reason. When can you insure voluntarily for the Sickness Benefit Act? If you are not compulsory insured, you can insure voluntarily for the Sickness Benefit Act at the Social Security Agency (UWV), for instance when you become self-employed. You can also insure voluntarily when you start up a company while you are on benefits. In most cases you must insure voluntarily within four weeks of your compulsory insurance running out or within four weeks of setting up your own company. There are different situations in which you can insure voluntarily for sickness benefit: You are starting your own company or you are working in the company of your husband, spouse or partner. If you are starting out as a self-employed person, you must have been compulsory insured the year before (with maximum interruption of 60 days) against sickness and occupational disability. If you also continue to work in part-time paid employment, that period is three years (with maximum interruption of 60 days). You are receiving unemployment benefits and will (partly) become self-employed. You must have been compulsory insured against sickness and occupational disability for at least the three years before (with maximum interruption of 60 days). You are receiving a disability insurance allowance (WAO) or an occupational disability allowance (WIA) of less than 45 per cent and for the part that you are able to work you are setting up your own company. You are working as an alpha helper in home care or you are working for less than three days as (domestic) help for a private client.

4 You decide to take a break of over one month in between two employers. To bridge the gap you can insure voluntarily for up to 12 months. If you take a break to take unpaid leave (and do not change employer) the maximum period is 18 months. You are working abroad as a development aid worker. Amount and duration The sum for which you insure is to be determined by yourself. That amount can not be higher than your daily wage (the average wage you earned in the year before you became ill). It is also not allowed to exceed the maximum daily wage (a gross amount of 188,88 euros as of 1 January 2011 ). The sickness benefit is 70 per cent of the insured daily wage and will be paid from the third day of your illness for a period of no more than 104 weeks. During pregnancy you may receive a pregnancy allowance for up to 16 weeks of 100 per cent of the insured daily wage. The allowance is also 100 per cent in case of an illness caused by pregnancy or giving birth. What happens to your sickness benefit when you die? When you die, your sickness benefit will stop. Your next of kin can apply for a death grant at the Social Security Agency (UWV). This allowance equals one month of gross sickness benefit. In the event of death the UWV will also calculate the amount of holiday pay built up and will pay that. It is possible that the net amount of the sickness benefit has been paid out for a while after the passing away. In that case the excess amount paid out will be deducted from the death grant. Can you go abroad on sickness benefit? Whether or not you can go abroad while on sickness benefit, depends on the length of stay and the country of stay. Holiday If you take a holiday within the Netherlands, you have to report the period of the holiday and the holiday address to the Social Security Agency (UWV). If you re planning a holiday abroad you will have to ask the UWV for permission. UWV can determine how long you re allowed to stay abroad and may require you to report at a certain date at a doctor in the Netherlands or abroad. Living abroad It is possible to move abroad while on sickness benefit. In that case you must bear in mind the Foreign Residence Benefit Restrictions Act (Wet BEU). You can transfer your full sickness benefit to member states of the European Union (EU) and the countries of the European Economic Area, i.e. the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. You can also transfer your full sickness benefit to the Dutch Antilles and Aruba.

5 If you want to move to a country other than the ones mentioned above, what happens to your sickness benefit will depend on the treaty between the Netherlands and the country concerned. If you move to country that has no treaty with the Netherlands, your sickness benefit will cease. Allways check first with the UWV. More information If you cannot find an answer to your question on this website, you can ask the Postbus 51 Information Service by calling free number The service is available on working days from to hrs. If you are calling from abroad, the number is and the regular rate will apply. Your question will usually be answered immediately, though sometimes you will be referred to another government or non-government agency.

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