What is Zorgtoeslag?
Have you ever heard of Zorgtoeslag? This is a state benefit payment for people who generate low income. In short, the Belastingdienst office (specifically the Toeslagen office) pays a subsidy for the compulsory health insurance in the Netherlands. So, if your annual income does not exceed EUR 30,000, you can obtain an additional payment from the state office. It is legal and the benefit is non-refundable. This is why when you submit a tax declaration, you should also apply for the Zorgtoeslag benefit because you can receive an average of up to EUR 780 more in the return.
How much can you receive for 2020?
The table for 2020 is presented below. The first column presents the payout amount for the taxpayer, and the second column for the tax partner.
If you do not earn more than EUR 21,000 throughout 2020, you will receive EUR 104 for each month of insurance. Thus, working all year round in the Netherlands, you will receive a payment of 12x EUR 104, i.e. a total of EUR 1248. Not bad, right?
How much time do I have to submit my application?
If you worked in the Netherlands in 2019 for instance, you can submit your application only until 31 August 2020. If you work in the Netherlands in 2020, you can submit your application until 31 August 2021, and so on. Please note that if you submit your application after this date, the office will most likely not process it. You need to have really strong arguments for the office to process your application after the deadline (e.g. illness and hospital stay).
Health and social insurance
Many people confuse health and social insurance in the Netherlands. Although you are obliged to pay premiums for this insurance, the method of collecting them is different. In the case of social insurance, the advance payment is collected together with the tax by your employer. Then, in the final tax decision, the tax office calculates the amount of the premium (Premie volkverzekeringen), which on average amounts to 27% of the base.
With health insurance, you are required to pay a monthly premium to a private fund. The health insurance is not calculated with the income tax according to the decision of Aanslag. Very often, premiums are automatically paid by the employer to the fund with which they have a contract, but remember that in this case you still have the right to apply for a the Zorgtoeslag benefit because the funding is due to you and not the employer. The health insurance premium must be paid for each month of employment and the benefit is then paid out by the office.
Note Toeslagen's automated decisions
Do you know a story that despite the lack of employment in the Netherlands, the office is willing to pay you benefits? As you probably know, Belastgindienst is equally eager to ask for your money back. So why does the office pay e.g. Zorgtoeslag in advance for the tax year, since you did not submit any application? This is the result of automatic decisions which can be painful for non-residents of the Netherlands. The Office, wanting to simplify the formal aspects as well as the number of applications, recognizes that if you have applied for Zorgtoeslag once, you will certainly do it in the following years. However, if you have left the Netherlands in the meantime, the benefit should no longer be paid out.
Therefore, it is worth remembering that when applying for a Zorgtoeslag, you should also submit an application for withholding payments at the end of the tax year. Hardly anyone remembers it, and it helps to avoid unpleasant experiences related to the need to return the entire amount with interest.
How to apply for a Zorgtoeslag?
If you have permanent residence in the Netherlands and access to DIGID, you can do it through your profile on the official website. However, if you are not registered and you are a temporary employee, there are two options:
- apply for funding on a paper application
- apply online through a commercial programme
While the first option is free of charge and you can handle it yourself, it generates a lot of problems. You have to order the form at the office, then fill in the application (book) and send it by letter to the office. A paper application is processed much slower than online. Additionally, you do not have any confirmation of receipt of the application by the office.
Therefore, we recommend to choose applying online. In our application, you can easily apply for funding without enclosing any documents.