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Money from wallet

Source: Leefgeld

Living allowance and food money for when you have sought asylum in the Netherlands

Last updated: 2/23/2024, 11:32 AM
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If you are still waiting for a decision on your asylum procedure and living in an AZC reception centre, you get money from the Dutch government every week for food and living. You get this money every week from employees at your reception centre.

The weekly allowance consists of different amounts

Every week you get an amount of money that consists of food money and living allowance. You receive this amount from the

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Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA)
. The food money is to buy food when the reception centre does not arrange food for you. The living allowance is for other things you need, such as clothing. If your asylum procedure has not officially started yet, you will only get the food money. As soon as your procedure starts you will get both amounts.

If you have a lot of your own money or an income from your job, you often have to help pay for the cost of your care. You then get no money or less money from the government.

The amount of food money varies from person to person

If you get all your food from the reception centre where you live, you will not receive any food money. If the reception centre provides dinner, but not breakfast and lunch, you will receive money for breakfast and lunch.

In addition to the number of meals you receive from the reception centre, the amount of food money also depends on the composition and size of your family.

Food money for people who have to cook all meals themselves
Food money for people receiving dinner from a reception centre

The amount of living allowance is the same for everyone

Once your asylum procedure begins, you often also receive living allowance. This is the same for everyone: €14.47 per week. At some locations, residents do not receive living allowance, but receive care products from COA.

If your asylum application has been rejected and you are staying in a family location or a freedom restricting location, you will not receive any living allowance.

If you are younger than 18 and you came to the Netherlands on your own, you will already receive living allowance before your asylum procedure starts. You will then already receive living allowance during the waiting period for the procedure.

You receive your weekly money on a bank card

The food money and living allowance are paid weekly by COA. You always receive this weekly money on the Monday after the week for which the money was intended. You receive the money afterwards. Only the first payment of the weekly allowance is paid in advance. This is settled in the following weeks. Therefore, the weekly allowance in the weeks after your first payment is slightly lower than the weeks after. It makes a difference of about 10%.

You never get the money in cash but always on a bank card. In the beginning you receive the money on a Moneycard. This is a card you can use to pay in stores. You can also use it to withdraw money from a cash machine. It is not possible to have a negative balance with a Moneycard. If you have been in the Netherlands longer, you can open your own Dutch bank account. Once you have your own bank account, you will receive the money on the account instead of on a Moneycard.

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