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Family allowance

Family allowanceIf you and/or your partner are part of the Belgian social security system (e.g. by working as an employee, being self-employed, or on unemployment benefits) you should be entitled to receive monthly family allowance payments ('allocations familiales' / 'kinderbijslag').

Within the Belgian system, different family allowance systems - with similar rules and amounts - are in place for:

Other conditions may exist for families where one or more parent is an:

Employees in the Belgian system

Am I entitled to receive family allowance?                                                                             

You are entitled to family allowance payments for each child in your household until the child reaches the age of 18 (or for those still studying, following an apprenticeship or seeking work until the age of 25).

Children with a handicap are entitled to higher payments until the age of 21.

The child must live in Belgium, in another EU country, or a country with which Belgium has an agreement regarding family allowance.

Who submits the application?

When possible, family 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 family allowance will depend on whether you are a Belgian civil servantself-employed or fall into one of the other categories that is entitled to Belgian family allowance (e.g. unemployed).

How do I apply for family allowance?                                     

If you have never received family allowance and have not yet received the birth allowance

Ask your employer to provide you with the relevant form to request the family allowance, and complete and return the form to the family allowance agency your employer is linked to.

You can do this either during the pregnancy or after the birth.

If you apply:

    • during pregnancy, you will need to send the family allowance agency the special birth certificate you will receive from the commune for applying for family allowance.

    • after the birth, send this copy of the birth certificate with your application.


If you already receive family allowance for another child or have received the birth allowance

In this case, no form is needed - you only need to send your family allowance agency the special birth certificate you will receive from the commune for applying for family allowance. Clearly indicate your dossier number when you send this.

Based on this, the family allowance agency will determine your right to receive family allowance.

How much do I receive and when?                                                            

At June 2013, the standard amounts per child are as follows:

    • for the first child: €90.28 
    • for the second child: €167.05 
    • for the third and subsequent children: €249.41

This means that if you have three children, you receive €90.28 + €167.05 + €249.41 = €506.74 per month.

For other situations (e.g. single-parent families, parent(s) who are long-term unemployed), other amounts may apply.

The right to family allowance is established one month after the birth, and the first payment is made one month after that.

From then on, the family allowance is paid towards the beginning of each month, usually directly to a Belgian bank account to which the mother also has access (when applying, your bank will need to sign a form to this effect).

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Belgian civil servants ('fonctionnaire' / 'ambtenaar')

If no-one in your household is an employee, but you and/or your partner are Belgian civil servants, you can apply for family allowance through the family allowance agency specific to your service. Ask your HR department for more information.

The same rules and amounts apply as for employees.

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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 family allowance through your ‘caisse d’assurances sociales’ / ‘socialeverzekeringsfonds’ (social security agency).

The rules are the the same, and there is only a small difference in the amounts received.

Read more about family allowance for self-employed parents (link to Xerius website).

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Employees of the European institutions, Eurocontrol and the European schools

If either you or your partner work for a European institution, Eurocontrol or one of the European schools, your right to Belgian family allowance via an employee or Belgian civil servant has priority over your right to any family allowance from your employer.

For example, John works for the European Commission and Claire is a Belgian civil servant. They live in Belgium with their three children. The family receives family allowance via Claire's work as a Belgian civil servant. 

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Employees of the UN, NATO and SHAPE

If either you or your partner work for the UN, NATO or SHAPE, your right to family allowance from one of these three organisations has priority over any right to Belgian family allowance.

You may still be entitled to receive Belgian family allowance via the professional activity of another member of the household. However, the amount receive from the UN, NATO or SHAPE is deducted from the amount you receive from the Belgian state.

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