What is a bilateral agreement?
You work in Belgium and your children live outside Europe
If your children live outside the European Economic Area, there may be a bilateral treaty on Child Benefit between Belgium and the country where they live. Such an agreement is called a "bilateral agreement".
This type of agreement determines the specific conditions that must be met to be entitled to Child Benefit in Belgium if the children live abroad.
- If you apply for Child Benefit in Belgium and it relates to a country Belgium has such an agreement with, the Child Benefit fund must take the agreement into account.
- If payments can be made in Belgium, the amounts are also determined by this agreement. The amounts from a bilateral agreement are not necessarily the same as those for children living in Belgium.
A bilateral agreement exists with these countries:
Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Israel, Morocco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey.
If you think a bilateral agreement applies in your situation, please contact KidsLife. We will check whether you are entitled to child benefit for your children.
An example: Morocco
The new agreement between Belgium and Morocco
The new bilateral agreement between Morocco and Belgium was concluded on 18 February 2014. The administrative arrangement (terms and conditions for applying the agreement) was signed on 23 May 2022. These two texts came into force on 1 June 2022 and replace the previous agreement, which dated from 1968.
This agreement only applies if the following two conditions are met:
- A (step)parent is subject to the social security laws of Belgium or Morocco. This is particularly the case when the person works in one of these countries.
OR a (step)parent is entitled to Belgian or Moroccan benefits and resides in the state that grants these benefits.
Examples of benefits: sickness benefit in the event of incapacity/disability, benefits linked to an accident at work, retirement pension,...
- The child resides in the territory of the other State that has signed the agreement.
Please note: self-employed people are not entitled to Child Benefit.
What will change under the new agreement?
- Nationality will no longer be taken into account when determining entitlement to child benefit;
- School records of children will no longer be checked from 14 years old, but from 18 years old.
A bilateral agreement is a kind of very detailed contract. Therefore, we cannot list all the information here about every situation.
However, if you believe this applies to your situation, please contact KidsLife.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is no longer part of the EEA after Brexit.
European regulations therefore no longer apply when it comes to entitlement to Child Benefit.
However, the withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the UK guarantees certain social security rights, including Child Benefit. Be this under specific conditions. You can find more information here.
Of course, you can contact KidsLife for questions about your specific situation.
See our frequently asked questions
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.
Grandparents can receive Child Benefit for their grandchildren if they are registered at their address. This is on the condition that the parents are not registered at this same address.
The maximum Growth Package and Child Benefit entitlement is up to and including the month of your 25th birthday. The final payment will therefore take place at the beginning of the month following your 25th birthday. Please note that from the age of 18 upwards you must satisfy a number of criteria in order to retain your Child Benefit entitlement.