New rules slash youngsters’ invalidity benefit claims 90%

saving two euros in a piggy bankThe number of new claims for invalidity benefit under the Wajong scheme has dropped 90% since new rules were introduced at the beginning of this year.

In the first four months of 2014, 5,109 youngsters were found to be entitled to the benefit, compared with just 515 in the first four months of this year.

The Wajong benefit is aimed at people who are considered to be unable to work because of illness or handicap at a young age. Since the beginning of this year, only people who cannot work at all are entitled to claim.

Others who used to be entitled to help, such as people who hold down a small part-time job or people with Down syndrome, have to apply to their local authority for welfare benefits (bijstand) instead.

Elsevier magazine reported last week that 820,330 people in the Netherlands are considered unable to work and are receiving some form of invalidity benefit. The total Dutch working population is 7.2 million.

Some 250,000 of them claim Wajong benefits, of whom almost 80% have behavioural issues such as ADHD or autism, Elsevier said.

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