Can I get income support from the Netherlands

A large number of independent entrepreneurs may face financial problems due to loss of income as a result of the coronavirus measures. The Dutch government has created a support package for self-employed persons which includes income support. How this works is explained below.

Income support (‘Algemene bijstand’)

If you live in the Netherlands and you can no longer provide for yourself due to loss of income, you may be eligible for income support under the Participation Act. The amount you can get depends on your family situation. 

For example, if you live alone, you can get up to €999.70 a month. Whether you can get income support, and how much, depends on your financial situation. Your income and that of your partner, if applicable, is taken into account, as well as any assets and savings. You can apply for income support to the municipality where you live or online at werk.nl.

NB: if you receive a bridging benefit from Germany or Belgium, it must be deducted from your income support.

Temporary bridging scheme for self-employed entrepreneurs (Tozo)

If you are self-employed, it has been possible since 1 March 2020 to apply for extra financial support under the Temporary bridging scheme for self-employed entrepreneurs (Tozo). The benefit is paid to top up your income to the guaranteed minimum level (the minimum amount of income needed for an acceptable standard of living). It can be paid for up to 3 months. In determining your income, your partner's income and assets (for example, savings), are not taken into account. 

NB: in principle, you can only get extra financial support under the Tozo scheme if you live AND work in the Netherlands. However, there is a special arrangement under which the Tozo scheme can sometimes apply to self-employed cross-border workers.

  • Besides extra financial support, the Tozo scheme also provides for a loan for business capital. But only if your businesses is established in the Netherlands. If you live in the Netherlands but your business is in another country, you cannot get a Tozo loan for business capital. But you can get a Tozo benefit towards your living expenses.
  • If you live outside the Netherlands but your business is in the Netherlands, you cannot get a Tozo benefit for your living expenses. But you can get a business capital loan under the Tozo scheme. You can apply for the loan to the municipality of Maastricht.
The Tozo scheme has been extended by 4 months starting from 1 June 2020. However, the conditions for the extended scheme (Tozo 2), have changed. The most important change is that under Tozo 2, your partner’s income is now taken into account in determining the amount you can receive.
As from 1 October 2020, the Tozo scheme (Tozo 3) will be extended again until 30 June 2021. Starting from 1 January 2021, the Dutch municipalities will help those who are self-employed to retrain or re-orient themselves on the job market.