Language requirement when receiving benefits

If you are receiving welfare benefits, the government requires that you be able to understand, read, speak and write Dutch reasonably well. Finding work is easier if you have a sufficient command of Dutch.

You are considered to have a reasonable command of Dutch if you have attended a Dutch school or  educational programme. For example:

  • primary or secondary school
  • practical training
  • adult education
  • vocational education (MBO), professional higher education (HBO) or research-oriented education (WO)
  • private education abroad
  • civic integration course

Proof of language level

The municipality will ask you to declare whether you have attended a Dutch school or earned an integration diploma. If so, this is proof that you have reasonable command of Dutch and meet the language requirement. The municipality may verify your declaration. You will need to complete the declaration when you have an appointment at the municipality to discuss your benefits.

Language test

If you have little or no Dutch education, the municipality could ask you to take a language test. This test is free of charge.

Improving your Dutch

Do you have an insufficient command of the language? Then you will need to work to improve your Dutch, for example by taking a language course or by studying on your own. You can discuss the options with a municipal staff member.

Consequence for your benefits

Would you rather not improve your Dutch? Or you are not making enough of an effort? This could have consequences for your benefits. If you have not been successful at improving your Dutch despite your efforts, your welfare benefits will not be adversely affected.

Participation Act

The language requirement is part of the Participation Act. If you apply for benefits on or after 1 January 2016, you will be subject to the language requirement. Were you receiving benefits in 2015? Then the language requirement will take effect as of 1 July 2016.

Also see

Le PDF ci-dessous décrit les nouvelles exigences linguistiques du néerlandais en cas d’assistance sociale.

Exigence linguistique en cas d'assistance sociale (PDF, 66,2 kB)

Aşağıdaki PDF dosyasında yardım için başvuranlara yönelik yeni Hollandaca dil gereklilikleri açıklanmıştır.

Yardım almak için dil gereklilikleri (PDF, 65,6 kB)

يصف ملفPDF التالي المتطلبات اللغوية الجديدة الخاصة باللغة الهولندية والتي يلزم توفرها للمتقدمين للحصول على الفائدة.

الاشتراطات اللغوية (PDF, 146,4 kB)

Gepubliceerd: 1 February 2016Laatste wijziging: 8 August 2017