Child Benefit for Students in Brussels
Those living in Brussels have an unconditional Child Benefit entitlement up to and including August of the year in which their son or daughter turns 18. They can also retain their Child Benefit entitlement up to the age of 25 on the basis of the studies pursued.
Specific conditions apply to each type of education. General conditions apply to all types of education, and concern employment during the studies concerned.
2 reminders for Brussels students!
- Since January 2023,1st it is possible to work 600 hours per year instead of 475 hours per year at the "student rate" (reduced social security contributions). To keep family allowances, please note: max 240 hours per quarter, regardless of the type of contract. Except the 3rd trimester which does not count in the event of re-registration in September.
- The student completes as many hours of internship (paid or unpaid) as desired. They do not count towards the limit of 240 hours per quarter of gainful activities to keep family allowances.
Type of education
Young persons pursuing secondary education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:
- The young person attends secondary education, evening classes or private tuition, or one or more educational institutions that practise a system of work-linked training (entrepreneurship training).
- The young person pursues part-time (special needs) mainstream education or certified training (e.g. Syntra Brussels).
- The young person pursues special needs education.
Pursuing an Actiris training course or obtaining certificates or diplomas for the Examination Board (formerly known as the Central Jury) does not entitle you to Child Benefit.
Students with an unjustified school absence are not entitled to Child Benefit for the days of that absence.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued on an annual basis. Document P7B must be completed by the parents and the school or educational institution.
Is the youngster no longer in school? Then there may still be a right to Child Benefit as a school leaver.
Students pursuing higher education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:
- The student is enrolled for at least 27 credits for the entire year.
If the number of credits drops below 27 from a certain month onwards, then Child Benefit entitlement ceases at the end of that month.
The young person must be enrolled for at least 27 credits prior to 30 November, in order to receive Child Benefit throughout the academic year. If the student enrols for at least 27 credits after 30 November, then they’re entitled to Child Benefit from the month following enrolment.
If the student was enrolled by the deadline but for fewer than 27 credits and the number of credits increases to 27 or more during the academic year, then we’re able to make a retrospective Child Benefit payment for the entire school year.
Not every type of higher education is expressed in credits. In that case, the student must attend at least 13 hours of lessons per week.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued on an annual basis. Document P7B must be completed by the parents and the school or educational institution. However, most universities and colleges have their own standard certificate, which contains all the necessary information. This can be submitted to KidsLife in place of the P7B form.
Is the youngster no longer in school? Then there may still be a right to Child Benefit as a school leaver.
Thesis or final dissertation
In some cases, the young person may still be entitled to Child Benefit even if they’re enrolled for fewer than 27 credits:
- If the school confirms that it concerns a year in which the student must submit a thesis, final dissertation or internship report in order to graduate.
The student may be able to retain their entitlement until the end of the summer holidays or the submission of their thesis or internship report with a maximum period of 1 year.
You’re only entitled to Child Benefit on the basis of a thesis year once per specialisation.
An apprenticeship contract affords young persons the opportunity to learn a profession by pursuing practical training in the trainer's company. In addition to practical training, the apprentice pursues theoretical training one day a week.
Apprenticeship contracts must be recognised and approved in order to qualify for Child Benefit.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document P9BIS must be completed by the parents, the trainer and the school or educational institution.
Contact KidsLife if:
- the apprenticeship contract is terminated, is no longer recognised or recognition of the apprenticeship contract is refused.
- the apprentice falls sick or has an accident during the apprenticeship contract.
There’s no holiday period at the end of the apprenticeship contract. This means that an apprenticeship contract entitles you to Child Benefit up to 30 June or until termination of the apprenticeship contract.
Studying abroad may still entitle you to Belgian Child Benefit in some cases:
- the same conditions apply to an Erasmus programme or exchange programme that’s run via a Belgian educational institution as to a standard Belgian educational programme.
- A young person studying in a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) or a country with which Belgium has a bilateral agreement is entitled to Child Benefit, providing they satisfy the conditions that apply to Belgian education or the programme is recognised by the foreign government.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document European P7 (previously E402) or a specific document pertaining to the bilateral agreements must be completed by the school or educational institution.
- A student who is studying in a country outside the European Economic Area and with which there is also no bilateral agreement, may retain their Child Benefit entitlement under certain conditions. This depends on the highest qualification that the student attained in Belgium and the level of the foreign studies concerned. The entitlement can subsequently be granted for either a maximum of one year.
- The young person must remain domiciled in Brussels during their studies outside the EEA, unless the foreign stay and studies are in the context of an employee secondment.
- The (step-)parents or the parent's partner are not permitted to work in the country in which the young person is studying (except for secondments). In other words, there’s no Child Benefit entitlement abroad.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document P7INT must be completed by the parents and the school or educational institution.
What if the young person falls ill during their studies?
A student who is unable to attend classes or enrol as a student due to illness, can retain their Child Benefit entitlement under certain conditions. Please contact KidsLife for more information.
Does Child Benefit entitlement apply during the holiday(s)?
The young person is also entitled to Child Benefit during the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays, providing they satisfy the general conditions. Summer holidays for students in non-higher education start on 1 July and run until 31 August. For students in higher education, they run from 1 July to 30 September.
Young persons awaiting a decision on a medical condition from IRISCARE, have an unconditional entitlement to basic Child Benefit and the additional supplement up to and including August of the year in which they turn 18. Thereafter, they have an unconditional entitlement to basic Child Benefit until the end of the decision term (up to the age of 21). The conditions for students as described above exclusively affect payment of the additional supplement.
The only exception: Working in a sheltered workplace, social workplace or an adapted work company (companies that employ people who are unable to participate in the open labour market) does not preclude Child Benefit entitlement.
If the young person continues to study after the age of 21, then all standard conditions for students apply.
If your son or daughter is pursuing higher education, then please contact KidsLife so that we can send you a form for the school.
General conditions: Are you still entitled to the Growth Package if you're working or receiving benefits?
Specific conditions apply to each type of education. General conditions apply to all types of education, and concern work or the receipt of benefits during the studies concerned. The Child Benefit entitlement can be suspended in some cases:
- the young person may work a maximum of 240 hours per quarter in order to retain their Child Benefit entitlement*
If the young person works more than 240 hours, they lose their Child Benefit entitlement for the full quarter. Please note: The young person may work more than 240 hours in the 3rd quarter (the summer months of July, August and September), provided that they resume classes from the start of the next school or academic year.
- If the young person performs a self-employed activity for which contributions are payable as a self-employed person in their main occupation, the Child Benefit entitlement is suspended. (The suspension starts from the start of the quarter in which the activity commenced)
- The young person receives unemployment benefit.
Child Benefit entitlement is suspended as soon as the young person receives unemployment benefit. The benefit amount or the number of days is irrelevant.
- The young person receives a social security benefit due to illness, accident or hospitalisation.
If the student receives a social security benefit for sickness, disability, an industrial accident or an occupational disease that’s the result of an unauthorised activity in the previous quarter (more than 240 hours or self-employed activity), then their Child Benefit payments will cease during the months in which the social security benefit is paid.
* COVID-19 UPDATE!
In the context of the Corona crisis, the Brussels government has decided not to limit the working hours of students and job seekers from the third quarter of 2020 until 30/06/2021. Thus, students and job seekers may exceptionally work more than 240 hours per quarter or engage in a self-employed activity, even if the student does not continue studying the following school year.
This exception is no longer applicable for the 3rd quarter 2021. As of July 2021, the general conditions are again in effect.
Report a change in the study situation? You can easily do so via My KidsLife, the online file Growth Package! Do you have any other questions about adult children and the right to the Growth Package?
Frequently asked questions
A diploma year is the higher education academic year in which a student can obtain a diploma for the training cycle in which they’re enrolled. If the student is enrolled for fewer than 27 credits, but in their diploma year, then they’ll retain their Child Benefit or Growth Package entitlement for 1 year. This is typically a year in which they’re only required to submit their thesis or internship report.
Studying abroad? Then the KidsLife Child Benefit Fund will request a document completed by the foreign school concerned on an annual basis (document E402 or P7INT)
If you receive the Growth Package from KidsLife Flanders, then the documents for the 2023-2024 school year will be sent in the month of July.
We currently suspect that the young person concerned is studying abroad. An E402 document is used for schools in Europe. You’ll receive a P7INT form in the event that your child is enrolled in a school outside of Europe.
In order to retain your Growth Package or Child Benefit entitlement for a 'student abroad', we require a completed school certificate (E402 or P7INT) from the foreign school concerned. Payments may temporarily be paused as of the new school year, pending receipt of this form.
The documents for the 2021-2022 school year will be sent in July 2021 if you receive Growth Package from KidsLife Flanders. Do you live in Brussels or Wallonia, you will receive the documents in september.
Is the young person concerned not studying abroad? Then please contact your KidsLife adviser, who will be happy to look into this for you.
If you are a young person studying abroad, you may be further entitled to Child Benefit or Growth Package. To establish the entitlement, we need a school certificate (document E402 or P7INT) from the school abroad each school year.
Studying within the European Union? Then we require an E402 document. Studying outside the European Union? Then we require a P7INT document.
Is the young person going to study abroad for the first time? Communicate this via My KidsLife, the online Growth package file.