Widows and orphans

The state government wants to ensure that surviving relatives are assured of a basic income. If the deceased was  residing in the Caribbean Netherlands at the time of death, widows, widowers and (half) orphans are entitled to benefits under the General Widows and Orphans Benefits Act (AWW).

Notice: If you receive AWW from the Caribbean Netherlands but you no longer live on Bonaire, Saba or St. Eustatius, you normally submit a proof of life (Attestatie de Vita) to the RCN-unit for Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) twice a year. Because many organizations are closed due to measures related to the coronavirus, you do not have to submit a proof of life for the period of November 1st - December 15th, 2020. You will continue to receive your AWW pension.

If you are a widow or widower, you are entitled to AWW until your reach the AOV age. If you are a (half) orphan and are taking full time education, you are entitled to AWW up to the age of 25. The contribution is paid out by the RCN SZW unit. You must apply for the AWW.

AWW applications

If you are a widow, a widower or a (half) orphan, you can go to the SZW during consulting hours to apply for AWW. You will need to take with you:

  • Your passport or ID card (sedula)
  • The death certificate
  • Your marriage certificate (trouwboek or familieboek).
  • Proof of your bank account details
  • For orphans: your school certificate

It is also possible to apply for AWW online. Download  the application form for Widows Pension or the application form for Orphans Pension. Send the completed forms together with a scan of the documents listed above to pensioen@rijksdienstcn.com.

AWW amounts

Click here for an overview of the AWW amounts.

Attestation de Vita

If you, as a widow or widower, receive AWW from the Caribbean Netherlands but do not live on Bonaire, Saba or St. Eustatius, you must submit an Attestation de Vita (proof of life) twice a year to the RCN unit of Social Affairs and Employment. You must submit this document between the 1st of May and the 15th of June and between the 1st of November and the 15th of December.

You can request your proof of life from a competent organization such as:

• Your municipality;
• A notary;
• A Dutch embassy;
• A Dutch consulate;
• The Social Insurance Bank (SVB);
• Social Health Insurance Sint Maarten (SZV)

With this letter you can request your Attestation de Vita free of charge from an authorized organization. They can use the attached format or use a similar own format.

If the Attestatie de Vita is not received on time, the payment will be suspended. When the document is received, payment can be made with a maximum retroactive effect of two years.

School statement

If you, as an orphan, receive AWW from the Caribbean Netherlands, you must submit a school statement twice a year to the RCN unit Sociale Zaken en Werkwoningen (SZW). It does not matter whether you live in Bonaire, Saba or St. Eustatius, or abroad. You must always hand in this document between the 1st of May and the 15th of June and between the 1st of November and the 15th of December..

If the school statement is not received on time, the benefit will be suspended. When the document is still received, payment can be made with a maximum retroactive effect of two years.

AWW payment date

The benefit starts on the first day of the month following the month in which the death occurred. The exact date of payment may differ. However, the AWW is always paid before the first of the month.

For further information, please see the official laws and regulations governing the General Widows and Orphans Benefits Act (AWW).

One-time payment

As a surviving dependent you can apply for a single payment up to 6 months following the date of  passing. For this purpose you can go to the SZW unit. It is also possible to apply online. Download the application form for Eenmalige uitkering. Send the completed forms together with a scan of the required attachments to pensioen@rijksdienstcn.com.