Family allowance

If 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’).

Since January 2019, the family allowance system has been managed at regional rather than federal level, which means that it is the domicile of your child that determines which system they fall under.

In this section you can find out about the:

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

  • employee of a European institution, Eurocontrol or one of the European schools
  • employee of the UN, NATO and SHAPE

Some basic principles of family allowance payments

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?The right to request family allowance goes in the following order:
  • the father;
  • the co-parent if she is older than the mother
  • the mother;
  • the step-father / step-mother
  • the oldest of the two parents if the adoptive parents are the same sex
  • the oldest of the following peopls
  • la plus âgée des personnes suivantes :
    • the mother's partner;
    • un des grands-parents de l'enfant (s'il fait partie du ménage),
    • an uncle or aunt of the child if they are domiciled together;
  • a brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister.
Who is the family allowance paid to?The family allowance is always paid to the (biological) mother.


If your child is domiciled in Brussels

Until 8 January 2020, the current system and amounts stay in place, and allowances are paid by FAMIFED, the federal agency for family allowances.

As of 8 January 2020, a new public institution Famiris will take over, and all children domiciled in Brussels will pass to the new system.

While the changes will mean that many families will receive more in family allowance, if this is not the case for you, you will continue to receive at least the same amonut as you receive now.

How to apply for family allowance?

Your application for family allowance is automatically submitted if:

  • you already have at least one child receiving family allowance; or
  • an ‘allocation de naissance’ (birth allowance) has already been paid before the birth.

You need to apply yourself if you and your children move(d) to Brussels. Find the necessary form on the website of https://brussel.famifed.be/fr.

How much do I receive and when?

Family allowance amounts are paid monthly at the latest on the 8th day following the end of the month in question.

More information?

  • www.iriscare.brussels (French) – includes a simulator to see what your family allowance amounts would be as of 8 January 2020. 

If your child is domiciled in Flanders

If your child is domiciled in Flanders, they are part of the new ‘Groeipakket’ scheme, which brings together family allowances as well as allowances related to childcare, school attendance etc.

Children born:

  • before 1 January 2019 receive a Groeipakket based on their amounts of family allowance on 31 December 2018, and can also benefit from supplements included in the Groeipakket.
  • as from 1 January 2019 receive the new amounts foreseen in the Groeipakket.

How to apply for family allowance?

Your application for family allowance for a child born in 2019 or later is automatically submitted if:

  • you already have a child receiving the Groeipakket; or
  • you have already requested a ‘startbedrag’ (birth allowance) from a payment fund of your choice.

    You will receive the startbedrag / birth allowance no earlier than two months before the anticipated date of birth, and after the birth, the family allowance will be paid into your account each month.

You need to apply yourself if you and your children move(d) to Flanders after 1 January 2019. Find the necessary form on the website of the payment fund of your choice.

How much do I receive and when?

Family allowance amounts are paid monthly at the latest on the 8th day following the end of the month in question.

More information?

https://www.groeipakket.be/en/what-is-included-in-the-groeipakket


If your child is domiciled in Wallonia

Until 1 January 2020, the current system and amounts stay in place, but since 1 January 2019, some changes have come into effect in relation to: income-linked supplements; automatic right to family allowance until the age of 21 for children turning 18 in 2019; and the right to ‘orphan’ allowance irrespective of whether or not the surviving parent remarries or officially co-habits with someone.

Children born:

  • before 1 January 2020 will keep receiving the ‘old’ amounts (subject to the changes brought in in 2019) until the end of their studies / 25th birthday;
  • as of 1 January 2020 will receive the new family allowance amounts.

How to apply for family allowance?

Your application for family allowance is automatically submitted if:

  • you already have at least one child receiving family allowance; or
  • an ‘allocation de naissance’ (birth allowance) has already been paid before the birth.

You need to apply yourself if you and your children move(d) to Brussels. Find the necessary form on the website of https://brussel.famifed.be.

How much do I receive and when?

Family allowance amounts are paid monthly at the latest on the 8th day following the end of the month in question.

More information?


If your child is domiciled within German-speaking Belgium

The new system is in place since 1 January 2019, and covers family allowance, birth allowance and adoption allowance.

More information?


Other situations

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 an employee on a Belgian contract. They live in Belgium with their three children. The family receives family allowance via Claire’s work as an employee.

An additional amount may be received from the European institution / Eurocontrol / European schools, after deduction of the amount already received from the Belgian state.


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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