Spending on disablement assistance for young people up

Spending on disablement assistence for young people (Wajong) have been rising in recent years. In 2003 spending amounted to nearly 1.3 billion euro, while in 2008 this had increased to nearly 1.9 billion euro. By the end of 2008 some 178 thousand benefits were paid to young disabled people. In total spending on occupational disablement benefits in 2008 reached 10.8 billion euro.

Spending on Disablement Assistance for Handicapped Young Persons

Spending on Disablement Assistance for Handicapped Young Persons

Several causes for the spending increase

The increase in spending on Disablement Assistance for Handicapped Young Persons is partly because students from special secondary education and from practical training enter Wajong. Also people on welfare benefits may claim Wajong. Furthermore there is the improved recognition of relatively new syndromes such as autism and ADHD.

The Disablement Assistance Act for Handicapped Young Persons is adapted to reduce the number of claimants, so a new Act is being prepared Wajong Work Provision Act. It is to provide support in finding and retaining work and is expected to become active on 1 January 2010.

Spending on Disability Insurance Benefits rising again since 2007

In 2008 8.5 billion euro was spent on disability insurance benefits for employees (WAO and WIA). In 2003 this was 9.6 billion euro.

Spending fell 1.5 billion euro between 2003 and 2006 due to measures to curb long absences due to sickness and strict re-examinations. In 2005 the influx of occupationally disabled people fell in a one-off situation because employers had to pay these employees two years of wages instead of one year. The introduction of WIA in 2006 further reduced the influx due to stricter admission criteria.

In 2007 spending started to rise again while the number of benefits is slightly lower. This is because the benefits for fully occupationally disabled people was raised from 70 to 75 percent. Furthermore benefits for the partially occupationally disabled were increased by 5 percent for the first two months as of 1 January 2008. Spending also increased because in 2007 and 2008 as people aged 45-50 claiming WAO were re-examined based on pre-2004 criteria.

Spending on Disability Insurance WAO-WIA

Spending on Disability Insurance WAO-WIA

Spending on WAZ dwindling

In 2008 367 million was spent on benefits for occupationally disabled self-employed people. This is still under the WAZ Act that ended as per 1 August 2004. Self-employed people can now decide whether or not they want to take out private insurance against occupational disability. 1 July 2008 saw a new provision financed by the state which entitles self-employed women to maternity benefits.

Linda Peters