This page contains the information that the AAOF has gathered over the years about special education, welfare support (PGB) and the healthcare organisation MEE in the Netherlands. A lot of information is available online (mainly in Dutch, but with the help of well-known online translation tools this is no longer a big issue), so it's advisable to visit the LINKS section too.
MEE is an organisation with specialists who can help answer questions on matters related to education, upbringing, housing, employment, social facilities, income, transport and leisure-time activities for anyone with a handicap, functional disability or chronic illness.
This organisation is funded by the Dutch government and its services are available free of charge.
The website is exclusively in Dutch, but MEE provided a brochure with general information in English (PDF document).
Address: find the nearest MEE office in your area
PGB (Persoonsgebonden Budget) and Zorg in Natura
A PGB (Personal Budget) enables individuals to buy the care and services that they need and decide themselves how, when and by whom the care is provided.
Care and services can take the form of that given by recognised medical professionals, in which case the money is paid directly to the professionals involved by the Healthcare System (Zorg in Natura), or less formal care such as respite or regular child care, in which case the budget holder directly administers a personal budget (PGB).
PGB is not intended for (strictly) medical care or school education, but for personal care, nursing, support in daily activities or domestic help.
There are 4 types of PGB, depending on the care you need. :
- PGB from the Jeugdwet (Youth Act) - for children up to the age of 18 who require care such as personal care, nursing or supervision in daily activities.
- PGB from the Wmo - Wet maatschappelijke ondersteuning (Social Support Act) - the Wmo arranges help if someone needs help, guidance or care at home and nearby.
- PGB from the Wlz - Wet langdurige zorg (Long-term Care Act) - the Wlz is for individuals who need intensive care or supervision throughout the day.
- PGB from the Zvw - Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Insurance Act) - the Zvw is for people who need nursing and care and the healthcare insurer arranges the services.
Applying for a PGB
You can apply for a PGB to your gemeente (municipality), to a Zorgkantoor (care office) or to your zorgverzekeraar (healthcare insurer). To do this, it must first be determined exactly what care you need. This is called an indicatie (indication) and sometimes you need a medical report or a specialist referral for this.
- if you need help from the Jeugdwet or the Wmo, you request an indicatie to your gemeente
- if you need help from the Wlz (long-term care), you request the indicatie to the Ciz - Centrum Indicatiestelling Zorg, then the CIZ sends that indication to the zorgkantoor in your region
- if you need nursing and care at home under the Zvw, you request a referral from your wijkverpleegkundige (district nurse) or apply for a so-called Zvw budget to your healt insurance company.
If you are entitled to a PGB, you are the budgethouder (budget holder) and this means that you choose a zorgverlener (care provider) yourself and make a zorgovereenkomst (care agreement) over tasks, times and pay amount of the care.
You will not receive the PGB in your own account. The Sociale Verzekeringsbank arranges the payments based on the care agreements you have made with the care providers but you remain in control of the care you purchase.
More detailed information about applying for a PGB:
- Per Saldo
Dutch association of people who organise their care with a PGB
Dutch healthcare insurance broker for expats, providing general information over the healthcare system
It is extremely important to remember that the system is very complicated and it is highly recommended that help is sought. Not only they can help you get the best from the system, but they can advise you of changes which are constantly taking place.
When applying for care or assistance, you are entitled to independent client-support. Here are some organisations:
- MEE offers client support for people with disabilities
- Advice center Zorgbelang Nederland provides help with questions or complaints about healthcare
- Social Work Netherlands
- Stichting PVP (patient confidants) supports clients in mental healthcare institutions (GGZ).
[ translated from the SVB website ]
Useful websites which will hopefully provide you with some information about PGB
- From the Government website (Rijksoverheid):
- SVB - Sociale Verzekeringsbank
The Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) implements national insurance schemes in the Netherlands.
Through the Dienstverlening PGB (PGB service center) the SVB administers the budget and pays the care providers on behalf of people with a PGB.
SVB - Dienstverlening PGB
- PGB Portaal
The PGB Portaal is the digital gateway to manage the entire PGB administration. Budget holders, care providers, care offices (zorgkantoor), municipalities and the SVB work with the PGB Portaal.
The introduction of the PGB Portaal will take place in steps. According to the schedule, all budget holders will be able to work with it by mid-2022.
- Per Saldo
Per Saldo is the Netherlands association of people who organise their care with a PGB (personal budget). Per Saldo publishes booklets, leaflets and other publications on a whole range of matters relating to PGB, organises discussion forums on the Internet, arranges information meetings throughout the country and holds courses on PGB for budget holders and service providers.
- Jeugdzorg Nederland
This site provides general information about child and youth welfare in the Netherlands.
MEE offers information, advice and support for anyone with a disability. MEE can assist you with the paperwork involved in applying with the PGB
- CIZ (Centrum Indicatiestelling Zorg)
This organization helps people to find if they are entitled to get cares under the Wlz - Wet langdurige zorg (Long-term Care Law)
The Zorgkantoor (care office) arranges long-term care for individuals that have a Wlz indication from the Ciz.
Student organization, based in Groningen, that offers tutoring for children and young people with a PGB at school, at home and in sport associations. Tutors are mostly students attending relevant training, such as psychology or educational sciences.
Organization that provides counseling/tutoring to children, adolescents and young adults with a psychiatric disorder, a mental and/or physical disability, giving students in Psychology/Pedagogy/Social Services the opportunity to gain practical experience through a study-related part-time job.
- List of PGB-related websites
PASSEND ONDERWIJS - Appropriate Education
In August 2014 a new Appropriate Education Act (Wet Passend Onderwijs) came into effect in The Netherlands.
Schools now have the responsibility to provide a suitable learning place to every child (Zorgplicht).
All schools for mainstream and special education (excluding cluster 1 and 2) are part of regional Samenwerkingsverbanden (partnerships). In total there are 152 Samenwerkingsverbanden: 77 for primary education and 75 in secondary education.
Samenwerkingsverbanden receive the funds for any kind of support and help both parents and schools to find the proper place for the student in the school system. They are really good with mediation and provide information (to both school and parents) about the passend onderwijs system and what needs to be done.
Each school has an Educational Support Profile (Schoolondersteuningsprofiel). If a school is not able to provide the suitable education to a child, the school’s board of governors concerned must offer a place at another school for mainstream (if needed with extra support in the class room) or special needs education within the Regional Alliance.