What happens if you are self-employed or have your own business and you fall sick

Of course it is important to stay at home if you are sick. Follow the rules on protecting your health and the health of others in the country where you live. Below, we explain what will happen if you are self-employed and you fall sick. This will depend on your situation.

If you are sick, you will receive a basic incapacity benefit (primaire arbeidsongeschiktheidsuitkering) from your health insurance fund (mutualiteit). You can only get this benefit (called ‘forfaitaire uitkering’) if you have been incapacitated for work for longer than 7 days. You will receive a fixed amount for each day that you are incapacitated for work. The fixed mount will depend on your family situation. If you live alone, for example, you will get €49.68 per day.

Your health insurance fund (mutualiteit) will pay the benefit as from the first day that the doctor treating you (usually your family doctor or GP) signs a doctor’s statement (getuigschrift van arbeidsongeschiktheid) to say that you are incapacitated for work. If you live in the Netherlands, the statement will have to be issued by a medical adviser from the Institute for Employee Benefit Schemes (UWV). Your benefit will then start as from the date of issue.

Your health insurance fund (mutualiteit) will request a statement from your family doctor or GP, but doctors are not obliged to give it. In that case, you can get a doctor’s statement from the Institute for Employee Benefit Schemes (UWV). To do this, you must report sick to the UWV by telephone within 2 days after the sickness started. The UWV will ask you for the name of your health insurance fund (mutualiteit) and your Belgian identification number (rijksregisternummer).

You can call the UWV on 088 898 9294. Contact will be more difficult than usual because of the coronavirus measures. You can also let them know that you have reported sick via Mijn Berichten at Mijn UWV. Mijn UWV is your secure, personal area. Use your DigiD to log in.

A UWV doctor in the Netherlands will check your report of sickness. Normally, the doctor can also ask you to go for a medical assessment at one of the UWV offices. This is not possible at the moment because of the coronavirus measures. Instead, the doctor may phone you to get an idea of your complaints and make a diagnosis. The UWV doctor will send the results of the assessment to the doctor at your health insurance fund (mutualiteit). 

As soon as you are better and able to work again, you must inform the UWV and your health insurance fund (mutualiteit).

If you are placed in quarantine by the Gesundheitsamt (the German health authority) you can get compensation under the German Infection Protection Act (Gesetz zur Verhütung und Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten). For the first 6 weeks, the benefit is based on your annual income as recorded by the tax authorities. After 6 weeks, you will get the same amount as the statutory sickness benefit (Krankengeld).

Your health insurance fund (Krankenkasse) will request a statement from your family doctor or GP, but doctors are not obliged to give it. In that case, you can get a doctor’s statement from the Institute for Employee Benefit Schemes (UWV). To do this, you must report sick to the UWV by telephone within 2 days after the sickness started. The UWV will ask you for the name of your Krankenkasse and your German identification number.Institute for Employee Benefit Schemes (UWV)

You can call the UWV on 088 898 9294. Contact will be more difficult than usual because of the coronavirus measures. You can also let them know that you have reported sick via Mijn Berichten at Mijn UWV. Mijn UWV is your secure, personal area. Use your DigiD to log in.

A UWV doctor in the Netherlands will check your report of sickness. Normally, the doctor can also ask you to go for a medical assessment at one of the UWV offices. This is not possible at the moment because of the coronavirus measures. Instead, the doctor may phone you to get an idea of your complaints and make a diagnosis. The UWV doctor will send the results of the assessment to the doctor at your Krankenkasse. 

As soon as you are better and able to work again, you must inform the UWV and your Krankenkasse.

If you are self-employed in the Netherlands, you are not covered by Dutch state insurance for loss of income through long-term illness or incapacity for work. If you have taken out private insurance, check your insurance policy or contact your health insurer to see what benefits you are entitled to. 

If you can no longer provide for yourself due to loss of income, you may be eligible for income support (‘leefloon’). The amount you can get depends on your family situation. For example, if you live alone, you can get up to €940 a month. 

Whether you can get ‘leefloon’, 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 ‘leefloon’ to the Public Centre for Social Welfare (OCMW) in the municipality where you live.

NB: if the OCMW tells you (before you submit an application) that you do not qualify for ‘leefloon’ because you work in the Netherlands, please contact us and let us know who you spoke to at the OCMW. We may then be able to assist you.

If you are self-employed in the Netherlands, you are not covered by Dutch state insurance for loss of income through long-term illness or incapacity for work. If you have taken out private insurance, check your insurance policy or contact your health insurer to see what benefits you are entitled to.

If you can no longer provide for yourself due to loss of income, you may be eligible for Arbeitslosengeld II. If you apply for Arbeitslosengeld II between 1 March and 30 June 2020, your assets will not be taken into account for the first 6 months if they are under a certain limit. During the first 6 months, your benefit will be based on the actual amount you pay for rent and heating (instead of on a ‘reasonable amount’).