Corona crisis forces more people to receive social assistance

At the end of March, the Netherlands had 413,000 people on social assistance benefits. As a result, the number of people who used the safety net on a monthly basis increased by approximately one thousand. The applications for self-employed persons in particular increased. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), there is a trend break. Since 2017, the number of people on social assistance has decreased almost every month.

At the end of March of this year, there were almost 14,000 self-employed people on benefits. There were less than 4000 in both January and February. The increase was mainly due to self-employed people who use the temporary bridging scheme for self-employed entrepreneurs, the so-called Tozo scheme. This is intended to supplement the income of self-employed workers without employees in the current crisis period.

Despite the increase from February to March, the number of beneficiaries is still about 19,000 lower than at the end of March 2019. It is the tenth quarter in a row that the number of people on social assistance is falling.

The decrease in the number of people in general assistance concerns people with a Dutch as well as a migration background. The latter group includes people with a western and non-western background.