Catshuis Childcare Benefit Scheme
In December 2020, the Dutch government decided to expedite and increase the compensation for affected parents. This is the Catshuis Childcare Benefit Scheme. Part of the scheme is that all affected parents will receive €30,000 as soon as possible. We expect this will help more than half of the affected parents. Parents entitled to a larger amount will still receive it, once their individual cases have been reassessed.
Questions about the Catshuis Childcare Benefit Scheme
We have received a lot of questions about this new scheme. We have answered the most frequently asked questions below.
Target groups for the Catshuis scheme
Who is eligible for €30,000? We set out below who is and who is not eligible.
If your situation is not listed or you have doubts, we advise you to call our Service Team and register despite of this. We will subject your application to a short assessment to see if you belong to the target group.
Am I eligible for €30,000?
You are eligible if:
- You have registered with us and
- Your childcare benefit was unduly stopped between 2005 and 2019 and/or you were unduly required to repay childcare benefit and
- You had to repay at least €1,500 in childcare benefit, or your entitlement to childcare benefit was reduced by at least €1,500, or you did not receive a personal payment plan for a recovery of at least €1,500.
In which cases was stopping or repaying childcare benefit 'undue'?
We will carry out a short assessment to establish whether you were unduly required to repay childcare benefits, or whether your childcare benefits were unduly stopped. We cannot say with certainty if this was the case beforehand, since that depends on your personal situation.
We can however give some examples of situations where benefit was stopped unduly or repayments were demanded unduly. For example:
- You were involved in a group investigation into benefit abuse (a CAF investigation) and your childcare benefit was stopped before the evidence was assessed;
- You had to keep providing evidence and invoices to prove something;
- You had to pay back the entire child care benefit for one year, because a receipt was missing for one month;
- Someone else committed fraud with your personal data;
- You were not offered a personal payment schedule to pay off your debts to Benefits (Toeslagen).
Who is not eligible for €30,000?
- Parents who were rightly required to repay childcare benefit. This could be because their income had changed, or because their child was no longer receiving day care;
- People who had problems with the supplementary child benefit, or healthcare benefit, or rent benefit;
- People who never had children or have never taken their children to day care.
We make a maximum single payment of €30,000 for each affected household. That means that it is not paid to both partners, nor to former partners.
I received the €750 waiting allowance. Does this mean I automatically qualify for €30,000?
No, not automatically. The €750 allowance was a compensation for the long wait for an assessment. However, not everyone who is still waiting for an assessment is also entitled to compensation.
Please note! It is important that you register with us as an affected parent. There are parents who have received €750 without having actively registered. We have called on these parents to come forward. This was mentioned in the letter that accompanied the payment of €750. Those letters were sent in November and December 2020.
Is the compensation also for those who have received supplementary child benefit, rent benefit and healthcare benefit?
No. The €30,000 is only meant for people who found themselves in difficulties with the childcare benefit. Recovery arrangements for problems with other benefits will be made, but these are unlikely to include a sum of €30,000.
I already received a compensation in 2020. Do I also qualify for €30,000?
If you have already received a final payment that was less than € 30,000, you will receive a supplement taking the total amount to €30,000.
If your final compensation was more than €30,000, you will not receive a supplementary amount.
How does this work for separated parents?
We make one payment of €30,000 per (former) household. The compensation goes to the person who applied for the childcare benefit.
We urge parents who have separated to make agreements on how to share the payment. Read more about the ex-partner scheme.
How does it work?
You must register with the Allowance Restoration Organisation (UHT). What happens next? When will you receive €30,000, and what happens if you are entitled to more money?
How do I register?
You can register with our Service Team by calling 0800 2 358 358 (free of charge). You can do this until 1 January 2024.
Are you calling from abroad? Dial +31 555 385 385. Mind that these are fixed lines. You pay the local cost of your country. Contact your provider for more information about the costs. Would you prefer to be called back? Please fill out the contact form on our Dutch website.
Our Service Team is available from Monday to Thursday between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm. On Friday between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm.
Have you previously applied for reassessment? If so, you do not have to register again.
What happens after I register?
We will first perform a short assessment to see whether you are part of the target group. This short assessment is largely computerised, which is why it can be completed quickly. For example, we check whether you have actually ever applied for childcare benefit and, if so, whether it has been unduly stopped. We also check whether you were unduly required to repay the benefit. You do not need to provide new evidence or receipts for this.
After this we will contact you by phone to tell you the outcome of the short assessment. You will also receive a letter about this. We refer to this as a "notification". If you are eligible for €30,000 you will be paid this amount straight away. If you prefer to receive the money at a later date, you can indicate this during the phone call.
It is for you to decide whether you feel the €30,000 is enough compensation. If €30,000 is enough for you, we will close your personal case file. Should you like your case to be fully reassessed, you will be assigned a personal case officer, who will review your entire personal case file and ascertain which amount you are entitled to. Please note: this will take more time.
You are still entitled to have your case fully reassessed even if the short assessment shows that you are not eligible for €30,000.
My case is already being processed. How does the new scheme affect me?
Do you currently have a personal case officer working on your case? If so, this reassessment will continue. The personal case officer is your point of contact, also concerning the €30,000.
I am entitled to more/less compensation
The government expects the sum of €30,000 to provide adequate compensation for about half of those affected. In some cases this is more than adequate. However, some parents are entitled to more compensation. What is being done for them?
What if I am entitled to more compensation?
Do you think that you are possibly entitled to more than €30,000? You will always receive €30,000 as a first payment. This is followed by a full reassessment of your situation. This means that we comprehensively study your personal case file. You will be assigned a personal case officer to guide you during this process. The Allowance Restoration Organisation (UHT) will make an in depth analysis, and assess what you are entitled to. If that amount is higher than €30,000, you will be paid the additional amount. However, this process will take more time.
You are always entitled to have your case fully reassessed.
What if I am actually entitled to less money?
You will still be paid €30,000. You don't have to repay the excess amount.
Offsets and debts
Some parents wonder if amounts they have previously received will be set off against the €30,000. Or if this amount will be set off against outstanding debts with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. We have explained these issues below.
State Secretary Van Huffelen announced in January 2021 that the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and Benefits would write off the debts of affected parents. She is asking other major creditors to do the same. More information will follow.
Will the €750 waiting allowance be set off against the €30,000?
No. The €750 was compensation for the long wait. We will never set off this allowance.
I received an advance on my compensation in 2020. Do I now also qualify for €30,000?
If your case is already being processed, it is possible that you have already received an advance on your compensation. We will set off this advance against the €30,000.
For example: you have already received an advance of €5000. In that case, you will receive €25,000 instead of €30,000. If you are entitled to more compensation you will receive it at a later date.
I received money from the emergency fund in 2020. Will that be set off against €30,000?
If you faced acute financial difficulties you may have been given a small amount of money as an emergency measure. We will not set off this amount against the €30,000.
Will the €30,000 be set off against my outstanding debts to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration?
No. If you qualify for €30,000, you will receive it in full. We are not withholding any payment because you still have an outstanding debt.
Will my debts with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and Benefits be cancelled?
The €30,000 will not be set off against outstanding debts to Benefits or the Tax and Customs Administration. On 18 January 2021, State Secretary Van Huffelen announced that the Tax and Customs Administration and Benefits would cancel the outstanding debts of affected parents.
Will the compensation go straight to my creditors?
If you have other debts besides those to the Tax and Customs Administration, it will indeed be possible for your creditors to lay claim to all or some of the €30,000.
We are currently working on a debt resolution plan. We are discussing this with large creditors in the Netherlands, such as DUO (the Education Executive Agency), the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency), the CAK (Central Administration Office for Exceptional Medical Expenses) and the municipal authorities (gemeenten). But also with organisations such as banks and energy companies.
It may be advisable for you not to have the €30,000 paid out until this plan is in place. Are you in debt? Please let us know when we call to inform you about the €30,000 compensation. During this phone call, you can tell us that you would prefer to receive the compensation at a later date.
Recovering from the childcare benefit issue is primarily a matter for the parents, but children and young people have also suffered. The child scheme has been set up for them.
Help from other organisations
There are other organisations that may provide help. For example, your municipal authority, if you live in the Netherlands. The Catshuis agreement does not alter this.
What if I need help from others, for example from my municipal authority?
The compensation from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will remain the same regardless of the help your municipality provides. This includes agreements on debt assistance. Your municipal authority may provide help in all sorts of areas, such as work, health or family. Read more about the role of municipalities.
What is the role of the Committee on Actual Damages?
You can only apply to the Committee on Actual Damages if you have had a full reassessment. That is a complete review of your personal case file. After this full assessment, you will receive a detailed statement about the compensation you are entitled to.