Residents of the Netherlands will be able to apply for the STAP budget again starting on Friday, March 17, said benefits agency UWV. The website to apply for the budget was supposed to open back up last Tuesday, but the online web portal was not accessible due to technical errors and because too many people tried to log in simultaneously.
According to the UWV, about 300,000 people tried to queue up an hour before the web portal opened up so they could apply for the 1,000 euro training budget. A technical update also led to a malfunction.
The benefits agency said it has now diagnosed the problem and is working on a solution. The web portal is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. on the March 17. The UWV now thinks it can handle “extreme” numbers of online users.
“Next week, we will carry out additional tests to really make sure everything works.” The UWV also wants to give interested parties time to properly prepare for the new application date, which is why the choice was made for March 17.
The UWV once again apologized for the chaos. “We had to disappoint a lot of citizens and educators,” said STAP manager Ronald van Zijp. “We are very sorry about that.” It became clear “quite quickly” that a solution would not be immediately available.
Anyone aged 18 and older can apply for the budget, provided they do not receive a State pension. However, there are now stricter requirements for educators and training providers to prevent scams and abuse of the system. Providers are not allowed to admit more than 300 participants per course each year. Trainers who offer trips or gifts as sweeteners to get students to register with them can also be punished.
Reporting by ANP