What is a WIA benefit?
A WIA benefit is a temporary safety net in the event of loss of income if you are unable to work or can no longer work fully due to long-term illness. WIA stands for Work and Income according to Capacity for Work Act. Until 2006, the previous version of this law was known as the WAO (Occupational Disability Insurance Act).
A WIA benefit can be two types of benefits: a WGA benefit or an IVA benefit. You are entitled to WGA benefit - which stands for Resumption of Work for Partially Disabled People - if you have been ill for 2 years or more and there is a reasonable chance of recovery. This WGA benefit consists of three phases: the wage-related phase, the wage supplement phase and the follow-up phase.
The IVA benefit stands for Income Provision for Completely Incapacitated for Work and is granted if you are unable or hardly able to work and there is little or no chance that you will recover.
Am I eligible for a WIA benefit?
If you become incapacitated for work, you will of course want to know if and when you can apply for WIA benefit. Normally, your employer is obliged to continue to pay your wages for a maximum of two years in case of illness. If you are still sick after this period, your employer's wage payment will stop and you may be able to apply for WIA benefit. Whether you are eligible for WIA benefit depends on several conditions.
The main conditions are as follows:
- You must be insured for the WIA;
- You must have been ill for at least 104 weeks;
- You must be at least 35% incapacitated for work, which means that you cannot earn more than 65% of the wages you earned before you became incapacitated for work;
- If it appears that you can no longer recover, you may be able to apply for an early WIA benefit.
When are you insured for the WIA?
You are insured for the WIA in the following cases:
- If you work on the basis of an employment contract with a Dutch employer;
- If you are a civil servant;
- If you receive unemployment benefits, ZW or WAO benefits and live in the Netherlands;
- If you are a home worker, musician, artist or intern, or if you are working on the basis of a work-learning agreement;
- If you are voluntarily insured.
What can I expect when I apply for WIA benefit?
Are you still sick after 88 weeks? Then you will receive an application form from the UWV. As an employee, you apply for the WIA benefit yourself from the UWV. This completed application, of course provided with the necessary information, must be received by the UWV no later than the 93rd week of illness.
The UWV then assesses whether the reintegration activities have gone well. Does the UWV think that your employer has made insufficient effort for your reintegration? Then the UWV may impose a wage sanction on your employer for a maximum of 1 year. This means that your employer is obliged to continue to pay your wages for a maximum of 1 year. Dismissal after two years of illness is not possible in this case.
Are the efforts made good? Then the further WIA assessment follows. You will be invited by the UWV for a meeting with the insurance doctor. This assesses whether you can still work with your health complaints and what your limitations are. This is all recorded in an FML - a Functional Feature List.
This is followed by a conversation with an occupational health expert. This expert uses the FML to see what kind of work you can still do. Three positions with the highest wage value emerge from this. The middle wage value is decisive for determining your remaining earning capacity.
How is the amount and duration of the WIA benefit determined?
The amount of your WIA benefit - or WGA benefit / IVA benefit - is determined on the basis of a number of factors. Naturally, the degree of incapacity for work plays an enormous role. After all, this determines to what extent you can (possibly) return to work. These remaining factors include:
- What you earned at your employer when you were not yet incapacitated for work;
- What your residual earning capacity is.
The duration of the WIA benefit depends on the type of WIA benefit you receive. There is again a difference between a WGA benefit and an IVA benefit. You will find more information about the types of benefits and what the duration is here .