Entitlement to child benefit

Are you raising one or more children in Belgium?
If so, you may well be entitled to a monthly financial boost.

Are you entitled to child benefit?

You are unconditionally entitled to child benefit until your child is 18. From September of the year in which your child turns 18, a number of conditions apply to continue receiving child benefit. You can maintain your entitlement to child benefit until your child is 25 if he/she follows sufficient classes, enrolls for enough credits or registers as a school leaver looking for a job. You can find the conditions that apply to your child under (Employed) student or School leaver.

Who receives the child benefit?

Who receives the child benefit depends on your family situation. We pay the child benefit to the person or institution who raises the child:

  • This is usually the mother, but this is not always the case. We base our decision on the population register. The actual situation may sometimes differ from this information; please therefore contact us as soon as possible if the payment has not been executed correctly.
  • In the case of separated parents, the regulation is different. Who receives the child benefit depends entirely on the legislation surrounding your situation. You can also contact us if you wish to dispute the payment decision.
  • If the child has no parental figure or institution, we pay the child benefit directly to the child itself. That happens in the following situations:
    • The child is married.
    • The child is emancipated.
    • The child is 16 or older, lives alone and no-one in the family looks after his/her upbringing.
    • The child receives the child benefit for his/her own child(ren).

If we pay the benefit directly to the child, he/she may also nominate a parent, adoptive parent, step-parent or parent-in-law as the recipient. This may be advantageous as this person may be entitled to a higher amount.

For which children can you apply for child benefit?

You can apply for child benefit for children with whom you have a family connection or a legal connection. There are some exceptions whereby you are entitled to child benefit even without a family connection.

Family connection

You may be entitled to child benefit through your family connection for the following children in your family:

  • Your own children
    We consider children of your spouse as well as joint children to be your own children.
  • Your adopted and foster children
    We also take children of your spouse into account here.
  • Your nieces and nephews (children of your brother or sister)
    Nieces and nephews of your spouse or partner are also counted as children in your family.
  • Your (great-)grandchildren
    (Great-)grandchildren of your spouse or partner are also counted as children in your family.
  • Your (half-)brothers or (half-)sisters
  • Children of the person with whom you legally live together or form a family
  • Children who are entrusted to you or your partner by the courts or the government

If none of the above situations apply to your child, you should contact our child benefit coaches.

Exceptions

Without a family connection, you may still be entitled to child benefit:

  • For children to whom you are not related, if these children live with your family and are younger than 12.
  • For children older than 12 years of age, you may be entitled to child benefit if they are blood relatives of up to the fourth degree.
  • For children for whom the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment allows individual dispensation. Please contact us to apply for individual dispensation.