The Dutch Work and Income according to Labour Capacity Act [Wet werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen; WIA] makes it possible for you to apply for a benefit if, after having been ill for over 88 weeks you are still (partially) unable to work.
The WIA contains two benefits, namely the Return to Work (Partially Disabled) Regulations [Werkhervatting Gedeeltelijk Arbeidsgeschikten; WGA] and the Full Invalidity Benefit Regulations [Inkomensvoorziening Volledig Arbeidsongeschikten; IVA].
You are entitled to a WGA-benefit if you have been ill for two years or more, but are nonetheless expected to be fit for work in the future. Another condition is that this work will earn you up to 65% of your former salary. The WGA-benefit compensates part of your loss of income and provides you with an income during your illness.
You are entitled to an IVA-benefit if you can earn up to 20% of your former salary and this situation will last. The amount of the IVA-benefit depends on the (daily) wage you earned in the year before you became ill. The calculation basis is the salary from which you pay your social contributions and tax.
After you apply for a WIA-benefit, the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency [Uitvoeringsorgaan Werkloosheidsvoorzieningen; UWV] will first consider your re-integration process. It will verify if you (and your employer) have put in every effort to get you back to work. The period for consideration is the period that runs from your first sick day until your WIA-application. If it is established that your employer has taken insufficient effort to enable your re-integration, your employer may be obliged to continue paying your wages over a maximum of one year. Your WIA-application will be handled again as soon as your employer meets these re-integration obligations.
If the UWV should judge that the re-integration obligations have been met, your health will be assessed by a UWV insurance doctor. This doctor will examine your complaints and assess whether they are temporary or persistent. If, in the view of the insurance doctor your complaints are temporary you will be invited for an interview with an occupational therapist. This does not apply to persistent complaints. Next, the occupational therapist will examine your case to establish what kind of work you could do in the future. If it should turn out that this work will earn you 65% or less of your former earnings you will receive a WIA-benefit.
The UWV decides on your WIA-application within 8 weeks. If the UWV should conclude that you are not entitled to a WIA-benefit and decide that you are more than 65% fit for work, you must consult with your employer. If it is not possible to arrive at a re-integration solution, your employer may dismiss you. In that case you may apply for a benefit under the Dutch Unemployment Insurance Act [Werkloosheidswet; WW]. For more information about the WW-benefit, consult the heading ‘Werkloosheidswet’ / Unemployment Insurance Act.
If you object to the decision made by the UWV regarding your WIA-benefit, you may file an appeal within six weeks. In that case, the UWV is obliged to re-assess your application and arrive at a decision regarding your objection. If you should object to this decision on objection, you may appeal to the court. The ultimate remedy for you is to appeal to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Netherlands Council of State [Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State].
It is important for you to call in an expert to counsel you in your proceedings straight from the objection phase.
The lawyers at Elfi Letselschade Advocaat are Social Security Law experts and will be happy to counsel you.
If you should wish to learn more about other issues of social security law, consult the heading ‘Sociaal Zekerheidsrecht’ / Social Security Law on the website of Elfi Letselschade Advocaat.