Youth incapacity benefit overhauled

Social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner is to overhaul the incapacity benefit system for the under-27s, reducing benefits and getting an estimated two-thirds of claimants into some sort of work, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Donner is taking action because of the sharp rise in claimants, the paper says. In 2007 there were 167,000 people claiming the WAjong benefit and without action that figure will rise to 450,000 by 2050.
Donner’s planned reforms mean only those who are totally incapable of work – around one-third of claimants – will get benefits of 75% of the minimum wage until they reach 65. The rest will face tougher health checks and will have to earn at least €200 a month themselves.
The government will top this up to 70% of the minimum wage (around €1,300 for the over-23s). Those who earn more than €200 can keep one out of every two euros they make. The new rules will come into effect in 2010.

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