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Adaptation disability law for people handicapped since they were young (nWajong)

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
The nWajong (2010) is an adaption of the disability benefits act for people with disabilities since they were under 18. This innovation has increased the focus of this act on participation in work of the partially handicapped and has introduced various curative measures as well as obligations to look for work.
Target group
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2010
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: Structural
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: 210,000 (January 2014)
  • Spatial coverage: National
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
This reform is meant to increase the activating effect of this benefit. For new claimants, it has introduced a new system for determining partial disability, whereas before all recipients were considered to be completely incapacitated for work. There are three kinds of benefits: the ?benefit arrangement? for completely handicapped (75% of minimum wage). This group is not required to look for work. The ?work benefit? for people with remaining working capacity (75%) who are obliged to look for work and the ?study benefit? (25% of minimum wage). People with the work benefit are allowed to supplement their benefit up to the minimum wage when they earn more than 20% of the minimum wage. The law has also introduced the ?participation plan? as well as various supportive measures to find work.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
New reforms have been agreed upon for 2015, when eligibility for this benefit for partially handicapped will be abolished.
Type of innovation
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit eligibility
  • benefit level
  • job guidance, coaching and/or counselling
Intended target group
Unemployed people with disabilities since they were young (under 18).
Working age population
  • employment situation (Mostly unemployed, although a part of the recipients work parttime)
  • main source of income: social protection (Disability Benefits for young (Wajong))
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Implementation)
  • central state (Regulation)
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial) (Delivery of actual re-integration services and programs)
Intended output
  • benefit eligibility
  • benefit level
  • job guidance, coaching and counselling
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
In 2012 the nWAJONG only applied to 14% of all Wajong recipients, given that for most the old regulations still applied. During the first two years labour of this act, participation work of recipients has not increased: a stable 25% of benefit recipients works, 60% of them supported by wage subsidies or guidance. Outflow out of the benefits hardly exists. The number of benefit recipients has continued to grow, but the inflow of new recipients has been reduced since the new act. ?Work-able? disabled will not enter the Wajong anymore from 2015 onwards, but will enter the new participation act. Overall, it appears the act has had a prevention effect (although we don?t know whether recipients have entered other benefits). In general, the results are considered to be disappointing. The activation effect is still very modest. In 2015 the act will be reformed again and the people with remaining working capacity will fall under the new participation law, although some rules of this law will not apply to them (such as means-testing).
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