I'm a skilled migrant working in the NL with a non-EU citizenship. My 2-year contract is about to expire; I'll be extending my residence for an "orientation year". I understand I should be eligible for unemployment benefits, but:

  • How much are they (or rather, what's the formula by which they're calculated)?
  • How and when do I apply for them?
  • How soon and for how long do I get them?

1 Answer 1


Apply for it

Before becoming unemployed, make sure you have a DigiD code (issuing one takes several days).

If the first day of unemployment is known, you can apply online by visiting UWV. For the application you will need your DigiD as well as your BSN. A complete guide with all the steps you need to follow in order to apply online can be found at your local office. Note that although both the website and application form are in Dutch, employees may assist expats in many languages including English.

Within a few days after your application you will receive a call from the Institute for Employee Benefit Schemes (UWV) to arrange an appointment with a job advisor assigned by the local employment office.

In addition, a letter is sent to the applicant's home address enclosing an application form (Wijzigingsformulier WW). In that way, you can resend the application if some of the information has changed and / or is incorrect.

The applicant should also send:

  • Letter / Contract of termination
  • Certified copy of last salary (wage slip)
  • Original employment contract
  • Official document clearly showing BSN
  • Valid proof of identity (not driving licence)
  • A notification for this procedure is to be expected.

Four weeks after the online application for the WW benefit, UWV will confirm their decision via mail. The WW subsidy will start on your first day of unemployment. Receiving an advanced payment if UVW cannot consider the unemployment benefit request within those four weeks is also possible.


As soon as you receive the unemployment benefit, you are obliged to look for a job. Consequently, it is absolutely essential to show proof of job applications. The type of proof and frequency of job applications have to be agreed with the personal job advisors assigned by UWV.

"26 out of 36 weeks" ruling

To be eligible for WW benefit you need to satisfy the "26 out of 36 weeks" ruling, which states that you must have been employed for at least 26 out of the 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment as well as under 65 years old and available for work.

WW weeks requirement

A former employee, who meets only the required number of weeks, will receive WW benefit up to a maximum of three months.

WW years requirement

An employee who has been made redundant and who has received wages for at least 52 days for four (out of the five) last calendar years from the year of unemployment, is eligible for the unemployment benefit. In this case, the duration of the benefit depends on the unemployment history. The benefit will be payable for as many months as the number of years the person was employed.

New unemployment legislation (2015)

On July 1, 2015, the Dutch government made alterations to the unemployment system. The most important changes include:

Introduction of job transition allowance The new transition payment (transitievergoeding) replaces the single severance payment (ontslagvergoeding) for workers who are made redundant after two or more years with the same employer and is intended to help people bridge the period between jobs with training or professional development.

This transition allowance (which is separate from the WW unemployment benefit) can be up to a total value of 75.000 euros or one year’s salary and is also available for employees whose temporary contracts are not renewed after a period of two years.

Obligation to work after six months People who receive the WW unemployment benefit are obliged to accept any job offer after six months, regardless of role or salary.

Income while on WW benefits People who do work in conjunction with their WW benefit will be entitled to keep 30 percent (bruto) of what they earn. This revision has the aim of encouraging more benefit recipients to pursue part-time work.

Duration & Rates

The duration of an unemployment benefit depends on how long you were previously employed. As a basic rule, each year of work in the Netherlands entitles you to one month of unemployment benefits, with a minimum duration of three months and a maximum duration of 38 months (three years and two months).

The value of your unemployment benefit is calculated based on your last salary in the Netherlands. For the first two months, you will receive 75 percent of your last earned wage, and 70 percent thereafter. For 2017, the maximum daily "wage" (dagloon) is set at 207.60 euros.



  • I applied. Notes: 1. The maximum daily is for a workday, not a calendar day. 2. You can apply no earlier than 1 week before your employment ends 3. You should apply no later than 1 week after your employment ends, otherwise you might lose eligibility days. But you don't absolutely have to apply immediately on the day you stopped working.
    – einpoklum
    Sep 20, 2017 at 8:32

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