Healthcare. A must-have, an essential. Quintessential, if you will. Having healthcare is important, yes. Having healthcare allowance is even better.
Living in Holland, and studying there too, means you have to check off certain boxes. For example, you need insurances like health insurance. In any case, you need it if you are working, but even if you aren't, it's a good idea. However, health insurance can be a bit expensive. Combined with your other, new living costs, your monthly bills can get a bit too high for your liking. Therefore, you should think about applying for healthcare allowance. So, let's talk about the mistakes you should be avoiding when applying for healthcare allowance...
1. Not knowing about healthcare allowance in the first place
Healthcare allowance (or its other alias, housing allowance) is pretty straightforward. It basically means you can receive an allowance for your health insurance; your monthly insurance bill can get (partially) covered by the Dutch government. This depends on whether or not you are eligible and meet the criteria.
But first, you need health insurance to actually apply for healthcare allowance (duh).
If you are an EU student, you might have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Then you won't need to apply for additional health insurance (though an EHIC only really covers the most basic healthcare). If you're non-EU, you'll need another type of health insurance. In this case, you could apply for a Dutch health insurance. Sometimes your own healthcare provider back home covers your stay in Holland, but this is not always the case! EU students also need health insurance if they don't have any from back home. You can now easily sign up for health insurance through College Life.
2. Not checking if you have a toeslagpartner
Wow, major mistake not checking if you have a toeslagpartner. What the hell is a toeslagpartner, you ask (so did we, check it out here). A toeslagpartner, or supplementary partner, is someone you apply for allowances with. Your partner is usually either your spouse (husband, wife, partner) or someone who is registered at the same address. This might be the most likely scenario in your case. For example, your partner could be a brother or housemate living at the same address as you.
Why does this matter, then?
The amount of allowance you can receive depends on your and your partner's income. That's why each situation is different. You can read more about toeslagpartners in this blog post, where you can also calculate the amount of allowance you can get.
3. Not knowing the requirements
Basically, before you do anything else, you should know the requirements for getting healthcare allowance. You need to be paying public health insurance in Holland (basisverzekering). You also have to study in Holland, and be under 30 years old. On the other hand, you just need to study and have an internship, part-time job or traineeship with a monthly salary.
And listen up people: if you are privately insured, you cannot apply for healthcare allowance.
4. Not knowing the application procedure
Now let's get to applying. You need one thing, really: your DigiID. This is the personalised ID you get when you get your BSN number. You need to use your DigiID to log into the allowance website to apply for your healthcare allowance. Sadly, like most government websites, it's all in Dutch; you can use Google Translate or something like that to translate the site.
5. Not getting the most out of your allowance
Applying for and receiving benefits can sometimes be a bit confusing. But, with Zorgtoeslag.nl, you can be sure that you are in good hands. They can help you calculate just how much allowance you could receive. They also offer services to help you get as much allowance as you could possibly receive. They are also there to help you manage your benefits, edit them, or even cancel them. Give them a look here.
Simple, right? Really, what we are trying to get at here, is that the mistakes you want to avoid basically just means not knowing anything about healthcare allowance... In truth, if you know what you are applying for and how the process works, you'll be absolutely fine!
Do you have any tips and tricks for applying for allowances?