Backpay Scheme extended by a year

On 24 December 2015, the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) introduced the Backpay benefit scheme in consultation with the Indisch Platform. This scheme has recently been extended by a year. Applications can now be submitted to the Department for Members of the Resistance and Victims of War (V&O) of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank up to 31 December 2017

 Who qualifies for Backpay?

The aim of the Backpay scheme is to provide moral compensation for persons still alive on 15 August 2015, who were civil servants or KNIL soldiers in the service of the Dutch-East Indies government during the war, and who received little or no salary during those years. In the case of former government civil servants or KNIL soldiers who passed away on or after 15 August 2015, applications can be submitted by their heirs up to 31 December 2017.

What is the Backpay payment?

The Backpay scheme provides for a one-off tax-free payment of 25,000 euros. This benefit will not affect any Dutch rent benefit or healthcare benefit that the former government civil servant or KNIL soldier may receive. Neither will there be any consequences for entitlement to Wuv, Wubo or AOR benefits or Wiv pensions. The Department for Members of the Resistance and Victims of War has already run an automatic check on 5,000 persons to see whether they could be entitled to a payment under the Backpay scheme. So far, 550 people have been awarded a payment, including 125 people living outside the Netherlands.

Payments on the basis of the hardship clause

Under the Backpay scheme, payments may be awarded on the basis of a hardship clause.

This clause is applicable to persons whose work activities were fully or mainly subsidised by the Dutch East Indies government. This would cover, for example, teaching or nursing staff in subsidised private education or hospitals.

The hardship clause is not applicable for persons who passed away before 15 August 2015.

Please, Refer any request for information to the address in this announcement mentioned below.

How to submit a claim

An information leaflet, an application form and information on the policy of the Backpay scheme can be downloaded from the website at, or obtained from the Sociale Verzekeringsbank, Department V&O, Postbus 9575, 2300 RB Leiden, the Netherlands, telephone number + 31 71 535 6888, or you can send an email to


Download the following pdf documents to your computer, by ‘right clicking’ on the link ‘here’:

  1. Leaflet Backpay Scheme; click here
  2. Backpay Claim Form; click here





  1. I am not holding my breath, but am hopeful always. Thank you all who are working so hard to keep this alive.

    We are not even able to claim any compensation for the 3+ years that we were in a Jap concentration Camp (Banjoe-Biroe & Ambarawa 1942 – 1945) as prisoners and where many of our friends and family died from starvation and mistreatment.
    I have tried filing the papers to the Dutch agencies, but have been turned down many times, only because we have no proof or papers stating that we were for 3 years in those awful Jap camps. There are still four of us alive today, but the Dutch Gov. has decided that those concentration camps did not affect any of us in a negative or damaging way.
    I also know some people from those camps are getting a monthly amount from Holland, only because they had proof I think.
    This is a shameful stance that Nederland is showing us.
    I know that there are funds set aside for us, I know that those who administer those funds have made a nice living for many years (ambtenaartjes) from our sufferings. Today there are very few of us, who have spend three years in a Jap concentration camp as children, yet they still turn a deaf ear to our plight.
    If I did not need the funds badly, I would not even be asking.
    Too bad for us that the Japs did not keep better records for my Family …..
    Just had to get that of my chest folks. :o)

  2. Although I wouldn’t be eligible for the Backpay Scheme program, I’m making an inquiry on two subjects that may be of interest to other readers of your organization.

    1. Has anything ever been done to receive compensation from either the Dutch or Indonesian governments for those that were adversely effected by the Bersiap era?

    2. My understanding is that there was a time period that was available for former Dutch citizens who took an American spouse (after coming to the U.S.A?) to be able to get their Dutch citizenship back without having to move to the Netherlands and live there for a certain (one year?) period? Is that program still active? Was there any attempt made by the Dutch government to try to inform those that left their shores regarding the program?

    I’d appreciate receiving info on both subjects, together with points of contact via email, telephone, as well as via snail mail.

    Many thanks.

    R. Smith

    • Hello R. Smith,
      As far as we are concerned, we don’t know of any compensation either from the Dutch or Indonesian Governments for those adversely affected by the Bersiap. When you think about the Back Pay situation (70 years too little too late) and the failure of dealing with the losses of those affected by the Bersiap, it becomes a human rights violation. And maybe, it is partly our fault for not fighting hard enough or not having the will to bring up painful & horrific memories. Although, we the younger generation can and should speak up for those who can no longer do so. We hope you will join TIP is its efforts to have our voices heard.

      Re your second question, we refer you to your nearest Dutch Consulate as rules and regulations have changed in recent years, some favorable and some not so favorable towards obtaining Dutch citizenship. You can find some information at this link.

  3. Dear Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal,
    It would be fair to say that most of us feel the same as you, however, being angry and disgusted will not change things. Indos have far too long stayed silent but now the younger generations are sticking up for their parents, grandparents, their extended families. We need to support what they are doing. We need 40,000 signatures to make ourselves be heard, will you sign the petition? If you have, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You can find the petition here

  4. I am disgusted, That is stealing from the people who served their country and died for their country. In the meantime those who are in the government living in big houses and driving expensive cars. I am ashamed that I was born a Dutch citizens born in the former Dutch Indies. My father served with the KNIL and died working as a slave labourer on the Birma Rail Road on September 18 1943. Te Kuye. My mother and I with her sister and her two children were in Japanese concentration camps for three and a half year. Arriving in the Netherlands on April 25, 1946 with only the clothes on our backs. Shame on the Netherlands, they are thieves.

  5. Hello, in reading this feeble attempt to pay KNIL soldiers and other Gov workers for their years of active duty in the war, I am a bit confused. First by waiting this long, there can not be too many of these people still alive today (Good for NL).
    My Father N.F.J.Diemel was a KNIL soldier all trough the war and died about a week before the war ended, in a Japanese POW camp in Singapore.
    I spend over three years in a Jap Concentration Camp in Java, with my family and barely made it out. My mother never remarried and worked small jobs all her life as a single mom with two children. She died pretty much penny-less here in the US. The Dutch Gov. does not even recognize that we were in the Japanese Camps for 3+ years, because they can find no records (4 of us are still alive and in our mid seventies). We have recieved no compensation, living our old age barely getting by.
    And now, if I want to claim that Backpay, that my father is due for not being paid those 4 years as a POW, I have no right to it?
    Is that what this Scheme is all about?
    I am not sure that I am reading it right, my Dutch grammar is a bit roestig ….
    Emanuel, N. Diemel
    Port Orford, Oregon USA.

    • You are not confused, Emanuel. You have understood the scheme well. The Dutch Government has dragged its feet in providing compensation to people like your father for over 70 years. In effect, with each year decreasing the number of people who can qualify. Right now there is a move on by Het Indisch Platform to hold the Dutch Government accountable for what happened to any monies set aside for this purpose. If you want to sign the petition to support this initiative, please go to and sign your name and location. Even if you and I do not qualify, we can at least honor the memory of our parents in signing the petition. I hope you will do so, Emanuel. For too long we, Indos, have been reticent in speaking up for ourselves.
      Petition Link:

      More information (in English) on the background of the issue of back pay to to:

  6. Hello Eileen and others who are interested in helping the older Indos put in a claim.


    Sociale Verzekeringsbank
    Department V&O
    Postbus 9575
    2300 RB Leiden
    Telephone number + 31 71 535 6888

  7. I have been asked by a Dutch relative (lives in South Africa) if I can help her claim her father’s back pay. I do not speak Dutch, she is in her 80s and having some or all of that would help her make ends meet.
    Is there anyone who can help me understand and then put her claim in? Thanks, Eileen

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