Number of disability benefits down by more than 100 thousand in half a decade

By the end of November last year, 597 thousand disability benefits were paid out, a decrease by 109 thousand from five years ago. The total amount paid out has risen by more than 300 million euro in the past five years.

Disability benefits for employees

Disability benefits for employees

Number of WAO benefits down by more than 200 thousand

Until the end of 2005, the Occupational Disability Act (WAO) provided social security to disabled employees. Subsequently, the WAO was replaced by the Labour Capacity Act (WIA). After 2005, the WAO still applied to those who already received disability benefits.

At the end of November last year, 489 thousand WAO benefits were paid out. The number of WAO benefits has been reduced by over 217 thousand since 2006. Benefits were terminated because the recipients died, reached the age of 65 or recovered.

Expenditure on disability benefits, period January–November

Expenditure on disability benefits, period January–November

Total WAO amount only 11 percent down

Over the first eleven months of 2006, the amount paid out under the WAO and WIA acts totalled 7.6 billion euro versus 7.9 billion in the same period in 2010. Proportionally, expenditure on WAO benefits dropped relatively slowly by only 11 percent, because the number of WAO benefits was reduced by 30 percent in the same period. Expenditure on WIA benefits increased at the same rate as the number of benefits.

New and terminated WIA benefits, period January–November

disabled, social security, employees

More than 100 thousand WIA benefits

At the end of November last year, 108 thousand WIA benefits were paid out. In the period early 2006–November 2010, 130 thousand new benefits were registered and more than 23 thousand running WIA benefits were terminated. The number of new as well as terminated WIA benefits is growing each year. 

The WIA predominantly focuses on labour market reintegration. There is a separate scheme for people who have been diagnosed as completely and permanently disabled, i.e. the scheme Income Provisions for Completely Disabled (IVA). All other disabled employees rely on the scheme Work Resumption Partially Disabled (WGA). Employees in this category are encouraged to find jobs that fit their capacity to work.

Ton van Maanen and Harrie Hartman