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Corona and unemployment benefits

Many temporary workers are out of work due to the coronacrisis. Does this also apply to you and do you want to know whether you are entitled to unemployment benefit, how to apply for unemployment benefit or what are your obligations? We have listed the answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you can not find the answer to your specific question, visit the UWV website.

I have been fired. Should the temporary employment agency make use of the NOW (Emergency measure for maintaining employment)? Or can I claim for an unemployment benefit?

The employment agency is not obliged to use the NOW. You can claim for an unemployment benefit. Whether you receive unemployment benefit is assessed by UWV.

I am unemployed. When am I entitled to unemployment benefit?

You can only claim an unemployment benefit if you have become unemployed through no fault of your own. In addition, you must have worked at least 26 weeks in the past 36 weeks. You must be missing at least five working hours / at least half of the average number of working hours per week You must also be immediately available for a new job.

What do I have to consider when applying for an unemployment benefit?

An unemployment benefit is a temporary income in the event of unemployment. You can apply for an unemployment benefit online at You will need a DigiD for the online application. If you don’t have a DigiD, you may also send your application by mail. To do so, in a normal situation, you must personally register as a jobseeker at one of the UWV offices. Due to the measures taken by the government due to the Corona crisis, this is not possible. You can therefore contact UWV by telephone.

UWV determines if you qualify for an unemployment benefit. If you are entitled to unemployment benefit, you will receive it for a minimum of three months or longer. The duration of your benefit depends on your work experience. The amount of your benefit depends on the income you have earned in the year prior to your unemployment. If you receive an unemployment benefit you have several rights and obligations. Visit the UWV website in your language for more information about the unemployment benefit.

What are my our most important rights and obligations while receiving the unemployment benefit?

You must do your best to find a new job as soon as possible by actively sending applications and accepting suitable work. Every 4 weeks you must inform UWV of at least 4 job applications. Also, each month you must fill in the Income statement (“Inkomstenopgave”) for the previous month. You must provide UWV with correct information about yourself and your circumstances. Any changes must be reported to UWV within one week.

Please note: If you do not fulfil your obligations, your benefit will be temporarily cut down or withdrawn and/or you will be fined.

I am unemployed. Am I still obliged to actively apply for jobs, despite the corona related measures?

The obligation to actively search for a new job remains valid. UWV understands that it can be difficult to meet this obligation due to the corona crisis. UWV takes this into account as much as possible.

Are you struggling to meet the obligation to apply for a new job in these times? Please contact a work advisor from UWV to discuss about this. You can send an online message. Or call via UWV Telephone for Employees. You will find the telephone number under Service & contact on the UWV website.

Do I keep my unemployment benefit if I go to another country?

If you want to go abroad, you can usually not take your unemployment benefit with you. There are some exceptions.

  • You may take a maximum of 20 vacation days per year. This can also be less. This depends on the date on which your unemployment benefit started (the later after January 1st, the fewer vacation days). You can read more about this and how to inform UWV about your holiday, on the UWV website, under Ik ga met vakantie. If you go on vacation you must notify UWV about it.
  • Within the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland, you may take your unemployment benefit with you for a maximum of three months, maintaining the obligation to actively seek work and only after permission from UWV. A number of conditions apply to this as well.

Can I look for work in another country, while receiving an unemployment benefit?

After permission from UWV, you may keep your unemployment benefit for a maximum of three months while looking for a job in another member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.