Self-employment and disability insurance: these are your options

2. Gift circle

A donor circle is a group of self-employed people who know and trust each other. They form an association for the purpose of supporting each other financially in case of illness. The board of the donation circle holds regular mandatory meetings to strengthen the mutual ties. Donation circles come in all shapes and sizes with members from different industries.

Are you a member of a donation circle? You will receive donations for a maximum of 2 years. Sometimes mental illnesses such as burnout in the first year are excluded from donations. There are also donation circles that require your business to be active for at least 1 year before you can participate. Are you looking for a gift? Look at the initiatives in your region and compare the conditions.


Usually you can not sign up for a donation circle. You must ask another member to join. Each member has the right to veto a new member’s membership.

If there are at least 20 participants, a donation circle can start and make donations. The size of the commitment is calculated on the basis of the average absence rate of self-employed persons. It is important that the donation circle grows to 50 members, so that everyone can receive unemployment benefits in the event of more sick leave.

When participating in a donation circle, you pay registration costs, monthly contributions and you deposit an amount in your own donation circle account. The board manages your account. Do you want a benefit of, for example, 1500 euros per month in the event of illness? Then you invest an average of 60 euros a month in addition to the contribution. The gift you receive must not exceed your average net profit plus the average fixed monthly operating expenses. You demonstrate this with your dates: income tax return or annual accounts.

Do you want to stop participating in the donation circle? Then you will receive the amount that is still in your account minus costs.

you get sick

If you can no longer work due to illness, you must report this to the board of your donation circle. After 1 month of waiting, you will receive a small amount in your account from all participants. All these small amounts add up to the total income you want to receive. This income is tax-free because you do not exceed the maximum amount of 2,274 euros that you may receive tax-free per year from 1 person. The payments that you transfer from your donation account are not deductible. You can see this as your own savings.

If a member of the donation circle illegally reports ill, the circle terminates its membership.


  • You can join a donation circle if you have a medical history.
  • There is no medical examination.
  • You know the entrepreneurs in your donation circle.
  • In case of illness, do not present a medical certificate, a donation circle works on the basis of trust.
  • You do not pay tax on the gifts you receive in case of illness.
  • The money left in your donation account after donations to the sick in the circle remains yours.
  • If you stop participating, you will receive the amount in your account minus administration costs.


  • You can not just sign up, usually you have to be asked to participate.
  • You will receive gifts from the gift circle for a maximum of 2 years. Are you still sick after 2 years? Then you can apply for social assistance. Whether you are entitled to this depends on your wealth and your partner’s possible income.
  • You will not receive guidance for illness and reintegration.
  • You usually have a 1 month waiting period until you receive the donations.

Graphic designer Marieke Riedijk is a member and co-founder of Broodfonds Parkstad in Sydlimburg. “In a donation circle, you support each other. You get to know each other better and better. This is also good for your network. As an entrepreneur, you do not easily report sick, because there must be bread on the table. If there really is anything, you have a safety net to fall back on. This has not yet been abused in our donation circle, because there is great social control. ”

Broodfonds is a trademark and can only be used if the donation circle is established in accordance with Broodfondsmaker’s conditions.

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