Energy assistance payment? This is what you can do as a student!

Coronavirus and International Students Energy assistance payment? This is what you can do as a student! Student Helpline Participation Research agency

Frequently asked question

Do you have any further questions about the energy assistance payment, applying for it or taking legal action? Check out our page with frequently asked questions

Unjustified exclusion

You probably have noticed that the cost for energy has risen enormously in recent months. Maybe you have had problems paying your energy bills. To support people with low incomes, the government is providing a one-time energy assistance payment of 1300 euros. Municipalities are excluding students from this allowance – based on advice from the Ministry of Social Affairs. The National Student Union (LSVb) does not think this is fair, because students often belong to the lowest incomes. Moreover, lawyers claim that excluding students is not legally allowed. This is why we want you to still apply for the energy assistance payment and to object if you are rejected. You can apply at your municipality.

What does which municipality do with energy assistance?

If you want to know if your municipality grants the energy assistance payment to students and whether the LSVb or another student union has started a lawsuit against your municipality, view the map below:

How do you apply for the energy assistance payment as a student?

Step 1: Application. Apply for an energy assistance payment at your municipality. This can often be done at the website of your municipality. If the form immediately tells you that you are not eligible because you are a student, indicate in the explanation box why you disagree. You can use the sample letter at the right of this page (or at the bottom if you are using a mobile device) and you can refer to this article. Sometimes they won’t let you fill in the form because you are a student. Do not lie about your situation if this happens. Instead, email the sample letter to your municipality and explain that you are a student and you are still applying for the energy assistance payment.

Step 2: Objection. If you receive a letter that your application has been rejected, you must object to this decision within 6 weeks. This can often be done via the website of your municipality or by email. Your objection must be answered within 8 weeks. For this objection, you can use the letter we prepared for you. Has the municipality not answered within the 8 week deadline? You can declare the municipality ‘in default’. You can do this by sending them the letter for ‘in gebreke stellen’ that you can find on this page.

Step 3: To court. Has your objected also been rejected? Then you can appeal the decision to the court. You do this by drawing up a notice of appeal. Our lawyer can help you with this. This costs 50 euros for students, but you will get this money back if the court rules in your favour. According to legal experts, there is a considerable chance that the court will rule in your favour. Our legal team can help you with this. Please fill in our form to let us know you are taking it to court, so we can contact you.

When can you do this?

To be able to apply for an energy assistance payment and to object, you must meet a few criteria:

  • Your income is less than 1310,05 euros (single) or 1871,50 euros (living together) per month
  • You are 21 years old or older.

Are you younger than 21 years old?

Legally, you are still the financial responsibility of your parents or guardians. People under 21 can therefore be legally excluded from the energy assistance payment. However, you can still apply if you want to. Your municipality may make an exception for your situation. The LSVb believes students under 21 should receive the energy assistance payment, because they can still get into financial trouble because of the rising energy prices. We will continue to fight for this in politics and the media.

When are you entitled to the energy assistance payment?

On Prinsjesdag, the cabinet announced that it would allocate to help students who have their own energy contract and meet all before mentioned criteria. You can apply for Special Individual Assistance (Bijzondere Individuele Bijslag) at your municipality for this. The LSVb still thinks this is far too little, especially since the maximum student loan (even if you do not loan) is included in your income. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government.