The Central Appeals Board (CRvB) finally had to intervene today, but there is – finally, but still – a settlement between the municipality of Coevorden and the chronically ill Jessica Poel.

    “Everything I’ve been fighting for for three years now has been confirmed. This is a holiday. My daughter has hung the garlands,” says Poel delightedly. “We have finally reached a settlement.” The municipality also announces that ‘the battle between the municipality of Coevorden and Mrs Poel’ has been resolved.

    For almost three years now, the chronically ill Poel has been fighting for an adjustment to her home that she had requested through the Social Support Act (Wmo), but time and again her request was rejected by the municipality of Coevorden. The resident of Dalen has a serious back condition and is therefore unable to sit, walk or stand for very long. Because of an awkward threshold between the kitchen and the utility room and narrow door frames in her house, she has no way out.

    So the objections committee of the municipality was visited several times and even went to court, but that did not lead to a solution either. Earlier this year, Poel was still gloomy after the council of the municipality of Coevorden decided to go to the Central Appeals Board (CRvB): “This will take a while.” The Central Appeals Board is the highest judicial body in the Netherlands that adjudicates on appeals on disputes, for example in the field of social benefits.

    Just under six months later – fortunately for Poel – the world looks very different. There is a settlement she can agree to. The municipality reserves an amount (20,000 euros, ed.) for the renovation of Poel’s home. The invoices for that renovation go to the municipality, which apparently is doing quite well in this situation.

    “I can decide for myself who I will approach to prepare my kitchen and how I will proceed in terms of renovation. This is all I wanted,” she says. Poel says he collapsed and ‘went to hell’ during the trial. “I was heard and then I knew: this will be fine. I don’t have to leave my house. It’s so fantastic,” she explains as tears of joy can be heard through the phone. “There is light again”, she concludes emotionally.