Being an international student in the Netherlands requires a lot of arranging which can lead to frustrations. EM provides tips and tricks to ease your stay in the Netherlands. This week in our Survival Guide: applying for healthcare allowance (in Dutch: zorgtoeslag).
It could be that you need Dutch healthcare insurance, for instance because you have part-time job next to your studies. This monthly healthcare insurance fee can be expensive. But, it does not have to be. Did you know that if you have to be insured through the Dutch healthcare system you could be eligible to receive healthcare allowance?
What is healthcare allowance?
Healthcare allowance is a monthly payment from the Dutch government to support low income citizens with paying their monthly healthcare insurance fee.
Make sure you check the requirements for receiving healthcare allowance carefully in order to make sure that you eligible to receive healthcare allowance. If you do apply and receive the monthly payment you might have to pay all of it back.
Who is eligible to receive healthcare allowance?
You are qualified to receive healthcare allowance if you pay at least for the Dutch public healthcare insurance (in Dutch: basisverzekering).
Two situations that can apply
If one of the following two situations applies to you, you are eligible to receive healthcare allowance:
- You study in the Netherlands and are 30 years or older.
- You study in the Netherlands and have a part-time job or traineeship which provides you with a monthly salary.
In order to be entitled to healthcare allowance your income should meet the following requirements:
- Do you live alone? Then your income may not be higher than € 35.059 per year.
- Do you live with your partner? Then your combined income may not be higher than € 51.691 per year.
If you are in the Netherlands solely for study purposes, you are not eligible to receive healthcare allowance. This means that you do not have a part-time job or traineeship which provides you with salary next to your studies. This even applies if you do have a Dutch healthcare insurance.
Important note: Children until 18 years old cannot receive healthcare allowance. This is due to the fact that until their 18th birthday, children are insured with their parents for free in the Netherlands.
How much healthcare allowance can you get?
The amount of monthly payment you may receive depends on two factors.
The Dutch tax and customs administration (in Dutch: belastingdienst) does not speak of a partner but of a toeslagpartner. Your toeslagpartner is the person that you apply for healthcare allowance, or any other forms of allowances for that matter, with. It is important to know if you have a toeslagpartner and who this is, since it affects the amount of healthcare insurance you are eligible to receive.
Who is your toeslagpartner?
If you are married or have a registered partnership, that person is your toeslagpartner. Is this not the case? Then someone who is registered at the same address could also be your toeslagpartner. You have to meet one of the following requirements:
- You are each others fiscal partner for the income taxes.
- You have a child together.
- You live together with someone who was also your toeslagpartner last year.
- You are pension partners.
- You bought a house together and are both responsible for the mortgage.
Are you still not completely sure if you have a toeslagpartner or not, use this question and answer program to make sure. These questions are only available in Dutch, so make sure to have a Dutch speaking friend help you out if you do not speak the language yourself.
In order to find out how much healthcare insurance you could get on a monthly basis, you can use this calculation program. This gives you an indication on the amount you are qualified to receive. In general, the amount varies somewhere between € 0, – and € 70, – per month.
Where to apply for healthcare allowance?
You apply at the Dutch tax and customs administration or Belastingdienst.
How to apply for healthcare allowance?
Phone and post
If you do not have a DigiD account, you will have to fill in the forms by hand. You can call the tax phone (0800-0543) and have them send you the forms by post. Once you filled them in you send it back.
Applying by post takes longer than by post. So, if you can apply online it is advices to do that.
Important note: Online all the forms and information is provided only in Dutch. Also, if you contact them by phone employees are not allowed to speak to you in any other language than Dutch in order to avoid misunderstandings. Therefore, make sure you have a Dutch speaking friend to help you with filling out the forms online or have them call for you. This way, you can apply in the fastest way for your healthcare allowance. NdB