The Policy Rules on Besluit onderstand BES have changed as of January 1st, 2016. For example, more specific costs are eligible for payment via special income support. The income threshold had already been adjusted to the level of the legal minimum wage late 2015, as a result of which more people may qualify. Furthermore, residents who receive less AOV [Algemene Ouderdomsverzekering] may qualify for financial support. In addition, it has been laid down in the rules that one should register as a job seeker with the public entity when one applies for a special income support benefit.
Special income support
State Secretary Klijnsma of Social Affairs and Labor [Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, hereafter referred to as SZW] has decided to provide extra money for special income support. As a result, more types of costs than before qualify for payment via special income support. The types of costs which currently qualify for special income support are:
o school uniforms and school supplies for secondary education
o funeral costs of people entitled to income support
o costs of medical diet
o baby supplies and equipment (new, according to the list as described in the policy rules)
o baby bed
o bed matrass or sofa bed
o washing machine
o (ceiling) fan (new, for a baby or elder)
o costs of own contribution in connection with a social security benefit (new)
o usage costs for water on temporary basis
o filling of water reservoir
o replacement of a water pump (new)
o double rent
The income threshold for special income support has been adjusted to the (monthly) minimum wage level applying to 2016. This is USD 815 for Bonaire, USD 922 for St. Eustatius and USD 931 for Saba. More information about the possibilities to qualify for special income support, is available at the RCN SZW unit, telephone number: +599 7158844, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Job seeker requirements
The policy regarding the maintenance of job seeker requirements had only been laid down in work instructions up till now. Now this also has been included in the policy rules. Persons entitled to income support are obliged to make an effort to find a job. They should register with the Public Entity as a job seeker and for example check job vacancies or register with an employment agency. The Public Entity can offer persons entitled to special income support, support in the reintegration process, such as a job programme or training. The client should cooperate in this process.
Income support allowance in case of lower AOV benefit
Anyone who does not receive a full AOV benefit (for example because they have not worked sufficient years in the Caribbean Netherlands) may qualify for income support. The maximum of this supplement is up to the level of a full AOV benefit. It is checked how much income and assets a persons has, in accordance with the income support conditions. This means that the living situation (single or a joint household) is taken into account. In this respect, an AOV benefit from another country, an AOW benefit from the Netherlands or a supplemental pension also count as income.
More information about the possibilities to qualify for income support in case of incomplete AOV is available at the RCN SZW unit, telephone number: +599 715 8844, e-mail: email@example.com
Press release RCN