Cross-border workers, more pensioners now eligible for state aid
Cross-border workers and state pensioners in the Netherlands are set to be added to the Tozo scheme, a form of government support aimed at self-employed workers, including independent contractors and entrepreneurs, who were hard-hit by the global pandemic, Tamara van Ark, the state secretary for Social Affairs and Employment confirmed on Friday. In effect, this measure is meant to give relief to self-employed people over the age of 65 who receive Algemene Ouderdomswet (AOW) state pensions, people resident in the Netherlands but operating a business elsewhere in the EU, and those residing in the European Union who run a business in the Netherlands.
"Self-employed persons at the state pension age can also soon apply for a business loan at a low interest rate within the Tozo scheme. The loan has a term of three years and does not have to be repaid until January 2021," the ministry said in a statement.
Cross-border workers qualify for different benefits depending on their situations. Those living in the Netherlands with a business in another EU country qualify for a subsidy which can bump up their monthly income to the subsistence level to help make ends meet, but may not take out a loan to help their businesses run smoothly. Those in the EU who run a Dutch business can access a loan to give them the short-term cash they need to keep their companies running, but they do not qualify for the income supplement.
Final details of the plan were expected to be completed by the end of the month. One sticking point is how those people who are not resident in the Netherlands will apply for the Tozo benefit, considering the process is supposed to be handled by the municipality where the applicant resides.
Living support is intended to carry a person's minimum living expenses with an amount that hovers between 1,050 and 1,500 euros per month, depending on whether or not the person is single. The benefit is paid for any three-month period between March and the end of August, and may be paid out retroactively. The working capital loan, which cannot exceed 10,157 euros, is intended to support the operating liquidity available to a business.
Since Tozo came became available in late-March, municipalities have received approximately 300,000 applications to date, according to the government.