More than one third of households with the right to claim welfare benefits are not doing so – mainly freelancers, the under-27s and European workers – according to social affairs ministry inspectors.
In total, some 170,000 households could be claiming welfare (bijstand) and local authorities are not doing enough to reach them, broadcaster NOS quotes the inspectors as saying.
The coronavirus crisis had made it more important to try and reach people who were entitled to extra help, the inspectors say, adding that ‘more people run the risk of ending up in poverty’.
Many youngsters, the inspectors say, are simply not aware that they can claim benefits and European immigrants face difficulties because of the language barrier.
Others don’t consider it worth making a claim because they have a variable income or are put off by the formal language used by local councils, NOS quoted the report as saying.
The inspectors used data from national statistics agency CBS to draw their conclusions. Even though the information stems from 2018, the figures are still relevant in 2021 because the problem is a structural one, the inspectors say.
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