The Netherlands

People in debt often get wrongly no help from the municipality. Applications are often rejected on the basis of general rules, though they should be assessed individually.


Until this year, people could go to the Credit Bank of the Municipality. Since 1 January the social district teams should check whether the person is eligible for assistance. According to researchers at the University of Utrecht, many community teams lack enough expertise, losing the individual out of sight.

The signals that people with debts are dismissed too often have reached Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment. She advises people who are rejected for the wrong reasons to go for an objection to the municipality, or even go to court. For other measures Klijnsma thinks it is too early. The evaluation of the Law for Debt Relief granted by the Municipality is only just put in motion and will not be ready until July next year.

(source: – 22 August 2015)