People struggling with debt asked to call benefits agency UWV

empty wallet. (Picture: Twitter/@SeaEph)

Benefits agency UWV has decided to play a more active role in helping those who are receiving a benefit and are struggling with debt, by asking people to report their debt to them. This is decision was based on the results of a study commissioned by UWV.

The study showed that that benefit recipients with debts find it much harder to find work than benefit recipients without debts, NU reports. Benefit recipients that are in debt are also fined three times as often than their peers without debts. About 10 percent of the 1.4 million UWV benefit recipients have debts, ranging from arrears to seizure of revenue.

Having debts demands a lot of attention and often causes stress. This interferes with job hunting. Benefit recipients with debts are also less attractive to employers, who are faced with administrative burdens when there is seizure of income. The debt-stress also increases the risk of absenteeism and reduced productivity.

These results have led UWV to take a more active roll in identifying debts. The organization will now also do a follow-up study that will scrutinized the effects of referral to the municipality, which has a statutory duty to help people in debt.