Extra support

The 'startbedrag', the basic amount and the school bonus are available for each child.  Some children however also need extra support in order to develop. For them, there is the care allowance and the social allowance:

Social allowance

The social allowance is for families for whom it is more difficult with their income to bear the cost of upbringing. The allowance aims to increase the capacity of less wealthy families and depends on income and family size. The amount is allocated automatically as soon as you are entitled.

ANNUAL INCOME ≤ €30,984.00 €30,984.00 to €61,200.00
1 or 2 children €51.00 per child, per month no allowance
More than 2 children €81.60 per child, per month €61.20 per child, per month

Who is entitled to the social allowance?

The first income limit (≤ €30,984.00) applies to all families.

The second income limit applies to families with three or more children of whom at least one child was born from 2019.

How much is the allowance?

The parents of children born from 2019 will receive the new amounts (see table).

The parents of children born before 2019 will retain the amounts of the social allowance from the old child benefit rules adjusted to their basic amount.

What happens in the event of divorce (new situation from 2019)?

  • The child lives an equal amount of time with each parent.

If the child’s accommodation is divided equally between the parents (50/50), the income of both parents will be considered separately, within their newly composed family. If you are entitled to the social allowance, the amount will be determined based on the family size. Children living an equal amount of time with both parents will be fully taken into account in the newly composed family. Both parents, one of them or none of them may be entitled to a social allowance. If both parents are entitled, each will receive half the amount. If only one parent is entitled to the social allowance, that parent will receive half the amount of the allowance. The amount will then be paid into the account number provided by that parent apart from the account number into which the basic amount and other allowances are paid.

  • The child lives more time with one parent than the other.

If the child’s accommodation is not divided equally between the parents, the income of the parent with whom the child lives most time will be taken into account within his/her newly composed family. If this parent is entitled to the social allowance, he/she will receive the full amount of the allowance.

If a child lives in a foster family, he/she will be fully counted in the foster family for the calculation of the social allowance and the family size.

If placed in an institution, the child will be fully counted for the calculation of the allowance and the family size in the family where he/she lived before the placement unless the court decides otherwise.

Income

The income will be set automatically based on the last assessment notice for the duration of one year (allocation year). The right to a social allowance will apply for this entire allocation year unless the family situation changes (new child, different family composition, etc.). The allocation year runs from 1 October to 30 September of the following calendar year.

Family income consists of:

  1. taxable income before deduction of: 
    • professional income:
      • as wages: before the deduction of professional costs
      • as a freelancer: after the deduction of professional costs multiplied by a factor of 100/80;
    • payments from the health insurance;
    • unemployment benefit;
    • pensions;
  2. 80% of maintenance money received;
  3. income from real estate (CI (cadastral income)* outside use and for own professional purposes);
  4. income replacement allowance allocated to persons with a disability;
  5. income support (or equivalent);
  6. income allocated to personnel of a European or other international institution for their total contribution, minus the personal contributions for the insurance organized by this institution for covering social security risks.

*Note: the CI will not be taken into account until October 2019; the income will then be calculated in the same way both for the social allowance and the school allowance.

Alarm bell procedure

The assessment notice does not always accurately reflect your income situation (normally income from two years ago). Circumstances can sometimes lead to a sudden heavy loss in wages or your family situation may change drastically (e.g. becoming single) in which case you would actually be entitled to a social allowance.

The allowance can then also be allocated in this manner:

  • Electronically: if one parent receives income support, an income replacement allowance or an income guarantee for parents, the payment fund will automatically allocate the social allowance for these months.
  • Manual: for this, you demonstrate yourself to your payment fund that your income has been below the stated income limit for at least six consecutive months.  The social allowance will then be paid for the indicated period up to the beginning of the next allocation year.

An allocation year runs from 1 October up to and including 30 September of the next calendar year.

Back to top

Care allowance

The care allowance aims at providing extra support for orphans, half orphans, foster children and children with specific support needs.

A child has lost one or both parents

The sum of €163.20 (100% of the monthly basic amount extra) will be paid with respect to a child who has lost both parents. The sum of €81.60 (50% of the monthly basic amount extra) will be paid with respect to a child who has lost one parent.

Both allowances will be paid as long as there is an entitlement to family benefits therefore also for the children of whom the surviving parent possibly forms a new family.

For the orphan’s allowance, the time of death is taken into account. Children who lost their parents before 2019 will retain their orphan’s allowance according to the current rules (increased orphan’s allowance) as long as the surviving parent does not cohabit or remarry.

An example: Patrick, Marijke’s husband died on 5 May 2017. She is entitled to the increased orphan’s allowance for their son Senne. On 10 March 2019, Marijke goes to live with her new partner Michaël. The normal orphan’s allowance is payable with respect to Senne from April 2019. Marijke goes back to living alone on 6 July 2019. The increased orphan’s allowance is once more payable with respect to Senne.

Children who lose their parents after 1 January 2019 come under the new system.

An example: Luca is born on 6 April 2019. Her mother Oana dies on 9 September 2019. Luca lives with her dad Ivan and an orphan’s allowance of €81.60 per month is payable for her from September 2019. Ivan goes to live with his girlfriend Jitske on 29 July 2020. The orphan’s allowance of €81.60 continues to be payable with respect to Luca.

Back to top

Foster children

If a child is placed in a foster family from 2019, a foster care allowance of €63.03 will be payable. This amount is paid in full to the foster parent if this is a case of foster care offering perspective (= foster care of a continuous and long-term nature). In the case of perspective-seeking foster care (= foster care of a short-term nature), the allowance is paid to the beneficiary for the placement.

The person drawing the allowance for the placement will continue to receive the foster care allowance if this is permitted before 1 January 2019 as long as there is no change in the placement.

Back top top

Children with disabilities or illnesses

In addition to the basic amount, an allowance is also payable with respect to a child with a disability or illness for children with specific support needs (in the old system: “increased child benefits”). The amount of the allowance depends on the level with which the specific support needs has consequences for the child himself/herself as well as his family.

Kind en Gezin will handle the application files from 1 January 2019. A physician recognized by Kind en Gezin will assess the consequences of the specific support needs. The physician uses the three-pillar system for this. This system is now also used by the physicians from the Directorate-General for the Disabled. 

The result of the assessment is a score of a maximum of 36 points. The higher the score, the higher the amount of the allowance.

Seriousness of the illness Monthly amount
At least 4 points in the 1st pillar and fewer than 6 points over the 3 pillars € 82,37
6 - 8 points over the 3 pillars and fewer than 4 points in the 1st pillar € 109,70
6 - 8 points over the 3 pillars and at least 4 points in the 1st pillar € 422,56
9 - 11 points over the 3 pillars and fewer than 4 points in the 1st pillar € 255,99
9 - 11 points in the 3 pillars and at least 4 points in the 1st pillar € 422,56
12 - 14 points over the 3 pillars € 422,56
15 - 17 points over the 3 pillars € 480,48
18 - 20 points over the 3 pillars € 514,80
+ 20 points over the 3 pillars € 549,12

Nothing changes for the families. Families currently receiving an increased child allowance, a basic support budget and/or a care budget for severely dependent persons will also receive these allowances after 1 January 2019.

Contact your payment fund if you still do not receive increased child allowance on 1 January 2019 and you believe you should receive this care allowance for your child. Your payment fund will submit your request to Kind en Gezin and they will then put you in contact with a physician who will assess your child’s specific support needs. Kind en Gezin will then forward the result of the assessment to the payment fund. The payment fund will then determine the amount of the allowance based on this.

There is a transition rule up to 1 January 2020 for those who already have a case pending with FPS Social Security. The payment fund will forward requests for case review to FPS Social Security.

For those who during 2019 submit a request for assistance via the intersectoral access portal for minors, a check will be carried out at the same time to ascertain whether a care allowance is payable for the child.  

Back to top