Social security law

What is social security law?

Just about everyone is affected by social security law, which regulates the rights and obligations of employees, employers and the elderly, as well as people who are unfit for work, the unemployed and the self-employed. Social security is all about income earned from sources other than work. Social security is a financial safety net for those who are unable to work for certain reasons.

Executive agencies

In the Netherlands, social security law is enforced by bodies such as the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank), local councils and the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, generally known as UWV). You may be affected by decisions taken by one of these bodies, for instance if you apply to UWV for a supplementary benefit under the Supplementary Benefits Act (Toeslagenwet). If your application is rejected, you have six weeks in which to contest the decision, which you must do in writing. If your objection is turned down, you have a further period of six weeks in which to appeal to a court of law. The subsequent appeal procedure generally takes about a year to complete. Should the court reject your appeal, you can appeal against this decision to the Central Appeals Tribunal (Centrale Raad van Beroep).


If you are planning to embark on one of the procedures referred to above, we would recommend that you engage the services of a lawyer who knows what to do. Cases involving social security law often qualify for legal aid, which means that the cost is relatively low. 

If you have any questions about social security law, or if you disagree with a decision taken by one of the executive agencies, do feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll be more than pleased to help.

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