The Dutch government spent 2.2 billion euro less on disability benefits for young people (Wajong benefits) in 2010. This accounts for one fifth of the country’s total spending on disability benefits. Spending on Wajong benefits rose by 6.1 percent in 2010, compared with an increase of 10.1 percent in 2009. On 31 December 2010, 205 thousand people were claiming a Wajong benefit.
Growth in Wajong spending halved since 2007
Spending on Wajong grew from 1.3 billion euro in 2004 to 2.2 billion euro in 2010. Since 2007, however, the increase has been slowing down. In 2007 the growth was more than 12 percent, by 2010 it had halved. New legislation came into effect in 2010 which has made the requirements for the benefit stricter. As a result, more claimants will receive a partial Wajong benefit instead of a full one.
Spending on Wajong benefits
Wajong accounts for one fifth of spending on disability benefits
A total 10.9 billion euro was paid in disability benefits in the Netherlands in 2010. Since 2004 spending on Wajong benefits has risen by two-thirds, while spending on other disability benefits has been reduced by nearly 12 percent. As a result, one fifth of spending on disability benefits went to Wajong benefits in 2010.
Increase in spending on disability benefits
Nearly 18 thousand new Wajong claimants in 2010
In 2010, 17.8 thousand Wajong benefits were paid to new claimants. Again, this is a rise compared with previous years. However, the figure includes relatively many old applications for a Wajong benefit. Some of these applications were submitted in response to the announcement of the new stricter legislation to be introduced in 2010.
The number of Wajong benefits ended in 2010 was 4.6 thousand. This number, too, is higher than in the previous year. The net rise in the number of Wajong claimants was 13 thousand last year, bringing the number to over 205 thousand.