The birth allowance ('prime de naissance' / 'kraamgeld') is a one-off payment from the Belgian state for each child that is born, paid by a family allowance agency.
Within the Belgian system, different family allowance systems - with similar rules and amounts - are in place for:
Note: The terminology for this allowance can differ - in French it is sometimes called a 'prime', sometimes an 'allocation'.
Employees in the Belgian system
|Who submits the application?||
When possible, the birth allowance is requested by the father if he is an employee (or unemployed, on a career break or long-term sick leave, or retired)
If the father is not in a position to make the request, another family member who is an employee and part of the same household can make the request, e.g. the mother, a grandparent, and aunt/uncle.
If no-one in your household is an employee, how you request the birth allowance will depend on whether you are a Belgian civil servant, self-employed or fall into one of the other categories that is entitled to the birth allowance.
|How do I apply?||
You can apply for the birth allowance as of the 6th month of pregnancy, or you can apply after the birth (you have 5 years from the date of the birth to claim the birth allowance).
If you have never received family allowance or a birth allowance
You have to request the allowance from the family allowance agency your employer is linked to - ask your employer to provide you with the relevant form. Part of the form needs to be completed by your gynaecologist or midwife. Complete and return the form.
If you apply:
If you already receive family allowance for another child
You have to request the allowance from the agency that currently pays you family allowance. No form is needed, and if you apply:
|How much do I receive and when?||
For your first birth, you will receive lump sum of around €1220 per child born, i.e. for triplets you receive €1220 x 3 = €3660.
For subsequent births the sum decreases slightly (currently €920)
The sum can only be paid into a bank account to which the biological mother has access (your bank will need to sign a form to this effect).
If you apply before the birth, the payment is made around the 7th month of pregnancy (no earlier than 2 months before the due date). In the case of a stillbirth, the bonus is still paid provided that the pregnancy lasted at least 180 days.
If you apply after the birth, the payment is made as soon as the family allowance agency receives the application and birth certificate from you.
Read more about the birth allowance (in French).
If no-one in your household is an employee, but you and/or your partner are Belgian civil servants, you can apply for the birth/adoption allowance through the family allowance agency specific to your service. Ask your HR department for more information.
If no-one in your household is an employee or a Belgian civil servant, but you and/or your partner are self-employed, you can apply for the birth/adoption allowance through your ‘caisse d’assurances sociales’ / ‘socialeverzekeringsfonds’ (social security agency).
If you do not fall under any of the categories mentioned here, contact the Office national d’allocations familiales pour travailleurs salariés (ONAFTS) / Rijksdienst voor Kinderbijslag voor Werknemers (RKW) to find out if and how you are entitled to a birth allowance. Some examples of other situations are: teachers, students, workers in the catering industry.