UWV calculation method with estimates penalises cross-border commuters who are unable to work

19. June 2024

The UWV now makes it easier to receive missed benefits after all!

Some people with a disability who receive both a UWV reduced earning capacity pension and a benefit from another country receive too little money due to a calculation method used by the UWV. Another group even receives too much money.

These are cross-border commuters, i.e. people who have worked across the border.

Many people who have worked in the Netherlands and Germany receive benefits from Germany and the Netherlands. The UWV offsets these against each other, and something has gone wrong with this offsetting. The UWV has not deducted the actual German benefit, but an estimated amount. As a result, the people concerned sometimes receive less each month than they are actually entitled to. This is the imputation method that is used if the employee was last insured in the Netherlands and previously worked in another country.

Notional amounts

Benefits are adjusted for inflation during the year, which is known as indexation. In the Netherlands, this happens twice a year, whereas in other countries it happens less frequently or at different times. The UWV states that it has no overview of when these indexations take place in all countries. UWV therefore also handles the Dutch indexation for foreign pensions.

If the indexation in a country increases more than in the Netherlands, this means an advantage for the beneficiary, but if it increases less than in the Netherlands, the benefit is lower.

The latter has been the case in recent years. For example, the Netherlands increased benefits sharply in 2023, by more than 13 per cent. Germany did not do this, while the UWV assumed this in the calculation. The result: people received less money.

No more reason to lodge an objection yourself

After an affected person finally lodged a formal objection, the UWV admitted that it had made a mistake. In his case, the actual amounts from Germany will now be taken into account so that he will still receive the money.

Following earlier announcements by the UWV that it was up to each individual to lodge an appeal, the UWV has now agreed to make it easier for people who are unable to work and receive benefits from two countries to receive lost benefit money after all.

The UWV has announced that from now on it will point out the possible disadvantage in all letters to this group. If the disadvantage can then be proven, the lost amount will be paid quickly. A complicated objection procedure is then no longer necessary.

GIP next to you