Informal help in a local setting: The Dutch Social Support Act in practice

Eline Berkers*, Mariëlle Cloin, Ioana Pop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The Dutch Social Support Act provides municipal social support for people that experience limitations in daily life and cannot rely on informal help from their social network to compensate these limitations. In this paper, we study whether the probability and intensity (number of services) of receiving municipal social support for daily limitations is affected by informal help by the social network (i.e. family, friends and neighbors).

This study took place in Breda, a middle large city in the South of the Netherlands. We combined data from the Municipal Personal Records Database, the registration containing information on demographics and municipal social support receipt of all inhabitants, with data from the Municipality Policy Monitor, a survey containing information on daily limitations and informal help (n = 5256).

We find that people experiencing daily limitations are more likely to receive municipal social support and also receive a higher number of support services (intensity). However, the perceived help from family and friends does not decrease either the probability or intensity of receiving municipal social support. Informal help from neighbors decreased the likelihood of receiving of municipal social support, but not the intensity. This implies that the overall relation between daily limitations and municipal social support is not different for people who indicate that they can or cannot rely on their informal network for help.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • ADL
  • CARE
  • Daily limitations
  • Informal help
  • Local government
  • Municipal social support
  • Netherlands
  • Social network


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