Disability insurance at UWV, this is how it works

Disability insurance, arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering or AOV in Dutch, ensures you have an income if you are unable to work due to illness or an accident. You can take out AOV at the Employee Insurance agency UWV, provided you were in employment until less than 13 weeks ago.


The UWV Ziektewetverzekering (Sickness Benefits Act insurance) is especially interesting for you if you have been ill before, or still are: it is harder in those cases to find an AOV provider. Or perhaps you have a profession that involves a lot of risk. Think of construction or technical work. UWV has to accept everyone who applies. Other providers, like banks and insurance companies, do not.

These are the options at UWV:

  • The UWV Ziektewetverzekering pays from the 3rd day of illness, up to a maximum of 2 years.  
  • You can ensure yourself against longer or permanent disability with the UWV WIA insurance. The WIA starts paying after 2 years of illness and continues to do so until you have recivered, or until you reach the pension age

UWV offers Dutch information about the terms and conditions of their AOV options. You can also read more about AOV insurance in this Business.gov.nl article.

You become ill

If you do become ill, you have to notify UWV no later than your second day of illness. You have 2 'waiting days'. UWV starts paying you from the 3rd day of illness. The payment amounts to 70% of the insured sum. The Ziektewetverzekering pays for a maximum of 2 years (104 weeks). Wage tax credit (loonheffingskorting) is applicable to this payment, so you pay less wage tax. 

Are you still ill after 2 years? You can apply for a WIA insurance at UWV. A physician and labour expert will evaluate your situation to see if you can do any work, and how much income you could earn. 


  • UWV always accepts you, even if you have a history of illness or a hazardous occupation. 
  • You can deduct the premium payments in your income tax return. 


  • Even if you never use the insurance, you still have to pay the premiums. There is no refund. 
  • UWV decides whether or not you are unable to work and receive payments. 
  • UWV works with the suitable work principle. This means you have to accept work even if it does not match your education and experience. 
  • You pay a relatively high premium at UWV compared to an AOV via an insurance company. This is due to the fact that UWV accepts all applicants. You can view some premium calculations (in Dutch) on their website.

AOV and alternatives

There are other ways of insuring yourself against disability. You can take out AOV with a bank or insurance company, join a bread fund, or invest in crowdsurance. To read more about the various options, read the article Choosing the right disability insurance, 4 options

Disability | Mastering business risks

Risk assessor Norbert Bakker with B2Bsure explains the several options for disability insurance for business owners.