Social services still owed over one billion euro

10/12/2001 10:00

The social services in the Netherlands were owed just over one billion euro in June 2001. More than ninety percent of the half a million debtors to the social services are people who receive or received income support payments. These are among the first results of Statistics Netherlands’ new social security debtor statistics.

Number of social security debts by type, June 2001

Number of social security debts by type, June 2001

Improperly received income support

More than half of cases in which money is owed to the social services concern income support granted while the claimant was not eligible for it. These include both fraudulent cases and payments to households which as yet received income for the period covered by the income support payment. There are also cases in which the social services themselves made a mistake and paid too much.

Just over a quarter of the debts are money loans. Eight percent are the consequence of recoupment procedures, often a situation in which part of the benefit paid is recovered from the claimant’s partner or ex-partner . Four percent of the debts are the consequence of a fine or reduction imposed by the social services. Eleven percent are cases based on other claims.

Average outstanding debt by type of claim, June 2001

Average outstanding debt by type of claim, June 2001

Money loans and recoupment

The highest average outstanding amounts, more than two and a half thousand euro, are loans and recoupment claims. The high level of the latter type of claim is caused by the monthly increasing debt as people fall into arrears. The outstanding amount for the fine is relatively small. It should be taken into account in this respect that in the case of fraud, only the fine imposed for the fraud is counted in this category. The fraudulently claimed benefit is recovered in a separate procedure.

Cees van der Vlis