Amsterdam fails to check hundreds of €800 energy help requests


Hundreds of Amsterdammers have been given €800 to help them pay their energy bills this month, even though it is not clear if they are entitled to it, the city’s social affairs chief Marjolein Moorman has confirmed.

Moorman has asked the group, thought to number between 654 and 891, to voluntarily return the cash. In total, the council has paid out at least €500,000 and possibly as much as €700,000 in benefits to people without checking their claims.

“We do not want to end up in the situation that the money has been spent and people get into difficulty trying to pay it back,” Moorman said when quizzed by VVD and D66 councillors about the mistake. Instead, the council will ask those concerned to repay the money without obligation.

The money has been sent to people who were entitled to extra help last year but who failed to deliver an income check this year. It could be that they are entitled to the money again “but we would have to check that,” Moorman said.

In total, 79,000 Amsterdam households were automatically sent the extra payment in October, costing the council over €78 million.

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