Last year, 250 thousand people relied on special income support, i.e. approximately 2 percent of the adult population in the Netherlands. Four in ten households receiving special income support are singles and more than two in ten are single parents.
Special income support recipients
Special income support is paid to people with inadequate income sources, if municipal authorities think their incomes are too low to pay for essential costs. Special income support is most often used to buy home furnishing items or furniture followed by disability insurance or medical expenses, legal aid and domestic help or family support. Special income support involved 400 million euro in 2010.
Over-65s relatively often spend the special income support on domestic help or family support and provisions for older and disabled people. People with a non-western ethnic background relatively often use special income support to buy home furnishing articles or they receive a lump sum to cover for the cost of living.
Special income support and what it is most often spent on, 2011
Special income support for singles without children
Single parents (one-parent families) constitute 22 percent of special income recipients; 41 percent are singles without children. Hence, the majority of special income support benefits are paid to singles with or without children. Couples – whether they have children or not – rarely receive special income support.
Population and special income support, proportion by household composition, 2011
People with a non-western ethnic background constitute the largest group of special income support recipients
People with a non-western ethnic background make up 10 percent of the adult population, but account for 38 percent of requests for special income support. Proportionally, people in the 35 to 45 age bracket also often receive special income support. Recipients of special income support are relatively rare among over-65s.
Population and special income support, share by age and ethnic background, 2011
More women than men
Women more often than men rely on special income support, i.e. 60 and 40 percent respectively. This is mainly due to the fact that nine in every ten one-parent families consist of women with children.
Antoinette van Poeijer