Amsterdam lottery winners face losing welfare benefits

postcode lottery 1107Dozens of people who won money in this year’s Postcode Lottery New Year draw may lose their welfare benefits or have their winnings taken by Amsterdam city council to repay debts, the Telegraaf says on Monday.

Sources told the paper hundreds of the 1,600 winners are on benefits, while others have debts totalling €2m. By law, their winnings should go to the council and their benefits should be halted, the paper says.

This year’s big prize went to postcode area 1107 in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district.

A spokesman for the council declined to tell the Telegraaf how many people face losing their prize out of ‘privacy considerations’.

It is not yet clear if the council will follow the letter of the law, the paper says. A spokesman for social security alderman Arjen Vliegenhart said the council wants to follow the law but also take into account the ‘personal situation of the prize winners’.

The council is in contact with the winners in order to ‘make a new appointment about repayment schedules and to refer them to the asset check’. Single people with assets of more than €5,895 are no longer entitled to welfare benefits. The asset limit is double for a family or single parent.

Seven people in the Steenderenstraat divided up the main prize of €21.8m, winning between €1.9m and €6.3m each. The other half of the prize was split between 1,600 people.

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