Caregiving while receiving government benefits

Do you receive government benefits while being a caregiver? In that case there are a few things you should pay attention to. In this article you can read about the effect that caregiving might have on the amount of your unemployment benefits.

Sometimes caregiving has a negative effect on your government benefits, for instance when you decide to live together. In other cases caregiving has a positive effect on your government benefits, for example when you become unemployed. What applies to all cases: make sure you are well informed. Also, discuss the possible effects of caregiving on your benefits with the local government and the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency).

Caregiving and living together

Do you take care of someone with whom you live together in the same house? That affects the amount of government benefits. As soon as two people share one household, you’ll be considered as living together – which means you fall within the scope of the cost sharing standard.

What is the cost sharing standard?

If you receive government benefits and share a house with one or more adults, then the cost sharing standard applies to your benefits. It makes no difference whether you live together in your house or in the house of the person you take care of.

The cost sharing standard applies to the following benefits:

The Care and Participation Act
Benefits for elderly unemployed workers (IOAW)
National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW)
Additional Income Provision for the Elderly (AIO)
Supplementary Benefits Act (The law that increases the income to the level of minimum income (social minimum) for people receiving WW, ZW, WIA, WAO, Wajong, WAZ, Wazo or IOW benefits).
Note: the cost sharing standard does not apply to people receiving AOW benefits.

On this central government website you can calculate the cost sharing standard. You should always contact your social security agency immediately when your living situation changes.

Temporary exemption from the duty to seek work

Do you receive unemployment benefits or social security benefits? And do you provide care (at least) three months a year, (at minimum) 20 hours a week? If so, you may be eligible for exemption of your duty to seek work. This exemption is valid for six months maximum. You must use that period of time to set up some form of replacement care.

On the government website ‘Regelhulp’ you will find more information about the rules and exceptions concerning exemption of the duty to seek work.

Caregiving allowance

Did you provide caregiving services during the years before you became unemployed? And was this paid for with money from a personal budget (pgb)? In that case you might be entitled to the caregiving allowance.

What is the caregiving allowance?

The caregiving allowance is a regulation through which half of the years during which you provided care, count as employment history relating to your government benefits. The caregiving allowance only applies to people who receive WW (unemployment) benefits or WIA (Labor Capacity Act) benefits.

On the website of the UWV you can learn more about the requirements for caregiving and the “jareneis” (years requirement) for WW (the “jareneis” is when you’ve worked four years out of five before you lost your job).

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