What’s the difference between Child Benefit in Brussels prior to and after 2020: new legislation and photo amount.

The Child Benefit scheme in Brussels was revised with effect from 01/01/2020. If you were receiving Child Benefit prior to 2020, then a transitional measure currently applies. This means that you’ll continue to receive the same amount as before, providing that the new amount is less than the old one. In other words, you’ll always receive the higher amount. We refer to that higher amount as the ‘photo amount’.

We’ll continue to pay this photo amount until the amount calculated in the new scheme is the same or higher.

When will this amount be re-evaluated?

The photo amount is re-evaluated upon changes to your family circumstances: 

  • A child is born
  • A child leaves the family
  • A child is no longer entitled to Child Benefit
  • A child is suspended (for example: a student working more than 240 hours per quarter)
  • An entitlement to supplementary allowance applies

These transitional measures apply for 5 years with effect from 1/1/2020.

Want to know how much Child Benefit you’re entitled to? Then take a look at My KidsLife, your online Child Benefit file from KidsLife

Difference between the photo amount and the new Child Benefit amount

These measures can sometimes be confusing. We’ve therefore endeavoured to explain them more clearly in the 2 examples below:

Example 1: A family with 4 children that was receiving Child Benefit prior to 2020.
This is the calculation that’s used to determine the higher amount.

 

Calculation rules prior to 2020

 

Calculation rules from 2020

Child 1

97.72

Child 1

142.8

Child 2

180.81

Child 2

142.8

Child 3

269.96

Child 3

142.8

Child 4

269.96

Child 4

142.8

Total

818.45

Total

572.2

The amount of 818.45 (the photo amount) is higher than the other amounts.

A child is born on 15/02/2020. We compare the 'photo' to the new amounts resulting from the birth of the fifth child.

 

Calculation rules prior to 2020

 

Calculation rules from 2020

Child 1

97.72

Child 1

142.80

Child 2

180.81

Child 2

142.80

Child 3

269.96

Child 3

142.80

Child 4

269.96

Child 4

142.80

   

Child 5

142.80

Total

818.45

Total

714

Here too, the amount of 818.45 is higher than the other amounts.

The transitional measure based on 4 children remains higher than the new Child Benefit amount.
The family therefore continues to receive the 'photo amount.' Whilst it might look like the 5th child doesn’t receive any Child Benefit, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Example 2: Standard Child Benefit was paid up until the transition on 1/1/2020, as both parents work. 1,088.41 euros was paid for the month of December.

 

Calculation rules prior to 2020

 

Calculation rules from 2020

Child 1

97.72

Child 1

142.80

Child 2

180.81

Child 2

142.80

Child 3

269.96

Child 3

142.80

Child 4

269.96

Child 4

142.80

Child 5

269.96

Child 5

142.80

Total

1088.41

Total

714.00

The photo amount of 1,088.41 is therefore higher.

This family is eligible for the Social Allowance due to a low income. An investigation reveals that from 1/1/2020 their income falls within ceiling 2 (between 31,620 euros and 45,900 euros per annum).

 

Calculation rules prior to 2020

 

Calculation rules from 2020

Child 1

97.72

Child 1

142.80+73.44

Child 2

180.81

Child 2

142.80+73.44

Child 3

269.96

Child 3

142.80+73.44

Child 4

269.96

Child 4

142.80+73.44

Child 5

269.96

Child 5

142.80+73.44

Total

1088.41

Total

1081.20

Although their income has decreased and the family is entitled to a Social Allowance, the transitional measure on the standard scale remains higher than the amounts under the new legislation. These families don’t receive a COVID premium either, yet continue to receive the highest possible amount.

Got questions related to your Child Benefit? Then please contact your KidsLife adviser.

Contact us

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my Growth Package or Child Benefit?

Child Benefit is always paid on the 8th of each month. If the 8th falls on a weekend, then we will pay it on the last working day prior to that weekend. Please check our payment calendar for the various payment dates. 
 

What happens after your entitlement to Child Benefit ceases?

The maximum age for Child Benefit and Growth Package entitlement is 25 years. From the age of 18 upwards, you must satisfy certain criteria in order to retain your Child Benefit and Growth Package entitlement. No regular or automatic substitute applies once your entitlement to Child Benefit has ceased. If your child was entitled to a Care Allowance due to a specific support requirement, then they may be entitled to a Disability Allowance once their Child Benefit entitlement has ceased.  Please note that this is not an automatic entitlement. It must be requested and the application subsequently investigated.

What if my child is residing in an institution?

If your child resides in an institution, then 2/3 of their child benefit will be paid to the institution or the Agency responsible for the placement. The remaining 1/3rd of their child benefit can be paid to the beneficiary(ies), a specific individual or an escrow account in the child's name. This is determined according to the child’s individual situation. Your KidsLife adviser will perform the necessary in your file, based on the information received from the institution or agency responsible for the placement. 
Do you have any questions related to Child Benefit for children residing in an institution? Please contact your KidsLife adviser

How can I contact my KidsLife adviser?

Already receiving your Child Benefit or Growth Package payments from KidsLife? Or have only just applied? 
Our KidsLife advisers are at your service. You can reach them via

  1. Contact form: this instantly provides us with all your personal information and enables us to respond swiftly to your enquiry.
     
  2. By phone: our KidsLife advisers are happy to help you over the phone. Please have your National Register number to hand, to enable us to provide prompt assistance.
     
  3. My KidsLife: your online Child Benefit and Growth Package file is available 24/7. Want to report a change in your circumstances or download a certificate? You can do all this and more in your My KidsLife online file.  
     
  4. Your local KidsLife office: regardless where you live, you’ll always find a KidsLife office nearby. Locate an office near you here. In many cases, we can help you without necessitating a visit to our offices. 

And you can obviously refer to the answers in this extensive list of frequently asked questions from our customers. 

Contact your KidsLife adviser

What happens to my Child Benefit or Growth Package payments if I change jobs?

Live in Belgium? Then changing jobs won’t affect your Child Benefit or Growth Package payments in any way. However, if your family income decreases as a result of changing jobs, then you may be entitled to a Social Allowance.

Check the eligibility criteria for a Social Allowance here. 

You or your children not living in Belgium? Then you’ll continue to receive your Child Benefit or Growth Package payments from KidsLife as usual. Is your new employer located in a different region (Flanders - Brussels - Wallonia) from your previous one? Then you’ll still receive Child Benefit, but based on the new region’s legislation. Each region has its own legislation.

Read all about Child Benefit in Belgium and the regional differences here. 

Going to work abroad? Then please contact your KidsLife adviser. This is a special situation. We’ll investigate your Child Benefit entitlement to ensure that you don’t miss out on any benefits (and to prevent you from having to refund any Child Benefit payments that you may have received in error).

All situations for a foreign file