The number of people wrongly receiving invalidity benefits is estimated at 150,000, doctors working for benefits agency UWV said on Thursday.
The main reason is the lack of reassessements, the doctors’ union Novag said.
Most people on invalidity benefits are not reassessed for years and have recovered in the meantime, according to Novag.
The UWV will carry out 32,000 reassessments this year. ‘Far too few,’ Novag’s Wim van Pelt told Trouw. ‘It can happen that someone who, for instance, undergoes an operation and recovers receives benefits for ten years,’ he said.
Around 800,000 people claim invalidity benefits, most of them in the WGA which covers people who are temporarily totally unfit to work. Each year, 15,000 new WGA claimants are accepted for this benefit.
Research shows that 58% of these claimants are assessed as having a positive short or long-term recovery prognosis, and 28% recover fully.
However, most claimants do not return to work when they are partly or fully recovered and this is putting a strain on the invalidity benefits system, Trouw said.
In a reaction, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said he is shocked by the number of people wrongly receiving the benefit.
He said he will talk to the UWV to see if they agree with the figures.
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