Unemployment benefits in the Netherlands: what you need to know 2024

We’ve previously discussed what happens if you lose your job in the Netherlands, but what about the unemployment benefit front?

We all need cash when we lose our jobs; it’s a stressful time. The good news is that you can apply for an unemployment benefit in the Netherlands, AKA the WW-uitkering (sponsored by the good bureaucrats at the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV) — try saying that 10 times fast!)

Don’t sweat it if you’re an international, you aren’t going to be left behind either. Read on to learn all there is to know about WW-uitkering. But first, are you eligible? Let’s see. 👇

✅ Am I eligible to claim unemployment benefits in the Netherlands?

  • Internationals can apply!! As long as they are legal residents of the Netherlands (😉).
  • You must have worked at least 26 weeks out of the last 36 weeks before you’ve lost your job — then you’re eligible for basic benefits covering three months of salary (de wekeneis, and not the full paycheck — more on that later on).
  • You can apply for unemployment benefits at uwv.nl. You will need a DigiD for the online application. If you don’t have one, you can send your application by post. To do this, you must personally register as a jobseeker at one of UWV offices.
  • If you lose more than five hours of your workweek, without access to financial compensation, you can apply for WW-uitkering. This is also the case if you only work ten hours a week.
  • External factors must be the reasons for losing your job. So, you can’t apply for unemployment benefits if you’ve been fired for personal misbehaviour.
  • You also can’t quit your job just to collect unemployment benefits.
  • You can apply only if you are immediately available for another paid employment (so no taking a six months trip to Thailand first).

💶 How much money is the unemployment benefit in the Netherlands?

Your benefit will be 75% of your daily wage, only for the first two months. After this period it will go down to 70%. Your payment is every four weeks. A Rekenhulp (calculation aid) to determine your exact brutto unemployment benefit on the official WW-uitkering website.

Currently unemployed? No need to stress: you can apply for unemployment benefits! Image: Depositphotos

⏱ How long can you have the unemployment benefit for?

How long someone is eligible to receive unemployment benefits in the Netherlands is determined by personal circumstances and history of past employment.

Generally, a distinction is made between eligibility for wekeneis or jareneis.

De wekeneis

As stated above, you can apply for benefits if you have worked 26/36 weeks prior for a period of three months up until a year. This is known as de wekeneis, a form of short-term support for unemployment.

De jareneis

You are eligible for long-term support of unemployment (de jareneis) when you’ve worked four years out of five before you lost your job.

This also counts if you were working in another EU country, as long as you can provide evidence. This is a lengthy process because you need to wait for the country to get back to the UWV — bug the hell out of them.

🤔 What is Werk?

Werk is the official platform where you have to be registered while on your benefits. The website helps with the job search and demonstrates that you are available and actively looking for employment.

It also includes options to request other benefits and promotes training programs to help you become more employable.

Do you have experience with unemployment benefits in the Netherlands? Help each other out and share it in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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  1. Hi, great article. Thank you. I have some questions:
    -If my contract is not renovated due to pregnancy (obviously not what the company will give as an excuse), will I still be able to collect Unemployment benefit?
    -According to the article, I would be eligible for it, except for the “If you are immediately available for another paid employment” If I am in maternity leave, how does it work?
    -While getting unemployment benefit, will I still get day care help for my other children? (2 under 4 years old).
    Thank you!!

  2. Hi, this article is really helpful ! A question please. We will move to Netherlands by summer as my husband got a job there. Unfortunately, I’m at the moment unemployed and receiving the unemployment benefit in the country we are leaving. Are there any benefits for cases like mine to receive, until we settle down and I find a job? Thank you

  3. Hi all, I need your knowledge,
    If I quit a job in the Netherlands (working for 3years) and I move abroad (EU country) to get a new job, what if I lose that new job within a month?
    Can I still get the unemployment benefit from Netherlands?
    Thank you

  4. Hi, thank for your article, it is super helpful! I have one question, is UWV (the platform) accepts foreign bank account? Indeed, I am living in the Netherlands but I don’t have a Dutch bank account.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

  5. Could we have some information regarding taxation of the unemployment payments? There is no available information about this important detail.

    • Depending on your employement history; the duration and the salary is calculated and you will see the Gross amount per month.

      When you apply to the unemployement benefit, there is a form asking you to select the option:
      – To do your taxes by yourself
      – Deducted by UWV (recommended, so you will be paid on Net amount)

      You can also check the UWV’s website or call them. Cheers.

  6. Hi,

    I am entitled to get unemployement benefit for 3 months when i lose my job due to Corona.
    Then it is extended to 8 months considering the documents i shared that proves i have 8 years experience in total with my employement history in a Non-EU country before i work in The Netherlands. (1 month for each year)
    For now even though i search for a job, it looks like it will take longer.
    If i find a job before the benefit ends, is my unemployement benefit months being kept as a right? In any later unemployement scenario?

  7. No. You can apply if you are unemployed after minimum duration of employement* in The Netherlands.

    If you dont know any Dutch these are the things you may deal with:
    1) Documents, forms and letters sent to you are Dutch. You can use translation carefully.
    2) When you call UWV, the employee can speak Dutch, but mostly they intend to help in English.
    3) Depending on your major, possible job opportunities offered by UWV or Werk.nl may be mostly for Dutch Speaking candidates.

    (*Conditions can change. To qualify for a Dutch unemployment benefit, you must meet the following conditions: you must have worked at least 26 weeks in the 36 weeks before your dismissal, and – due to your dismissal, you work at least 5 hours less per week.)

  8. If I have been working outside of the EU (Asia) and return to the Netherlands, having paid tax and insurance for 11 years in NL, would I be eligible to claim for unemployment benefit?

  9. Nothing here about “doppen” (of zoiets) which I heard dicussed a few times in NL. I’ll guess “doppen” is slang for unemployment compensation as it’s called in the USA. Maybe other readers will have something to add?


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