Recovery double payments WAO-benefits

Year of publication

2009


Year of publication

171


Reference

Central Appeals Tribunal 30 September 2009, www.rechtspraak.nl, ljn: BJ9764


Decision

The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) paid WAO benefits (incapacity to work benefits) to an employee over the period from 28 April 2004 to 1 August 2005, while the employer (who was self-insured) had also paid WAO benefits over that same period. This concerned an amount of somewhat over € 11,000. The UWV therefore reclaimed the payment from the em-ployee, but she objected to the UWV’s decision and, when that objection was rejected, ap-pealed to the Court.

The employee stated that, due to her mental condition, she was unable, for a longer period, to acknowledge that she was in fact receiving excess WAO benefits, and therefore in all reason-ableness it was not clear to her that she was receiving too much money. The UWV was there-fore not obliged to recover the excess payment. Also, according to the employee, the UWV was aware much earlier that benefits were being paid unjustly or in excess, and therefore re-covering the benefits is contrary to the principles of sound administration.

These arguments did not, however, impress the Court, nor, in the appeal, the Central Appeals Tribunal. The criterion that recovery does not have to take place because it was in all reasona-bleness not clear to the employee that he was receiving an excess amount, only applies to re-covery after adjustments or withdrawal of benefits. That does not apply in this case. This case deals with payments not owed for other reasons. According to the Court and the Central Ap-peals Tribunal, there is no conflict with the principles of good administration.


Comments

The ruling of the Central Appeals Tribunal appears quite common. Of course someone who receives benefits twice, has to pay one back. But in the past the UWV has tried to place the obligation to recover benefits with the employer. With this ruling, the UWV can be made aware of the possibility (and the obligation) to recover from the employee itself. This problem does not occur with employers who are self-insured for WGA-benefits. Unless stated otherwise by the employer, the UWV shall pay the WGA-benefits and recover the costs from the self-insured employer.



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