Growth Package for Students in Flanders

18 or over? As a student, you might still be entitled to the Growth Package. Explore the conditions that apply to Child Benefit and the Growth Package from the age of 18 onwards.
Growth Package for Students in Flanders

Growth Package for Students in Flanders

Those living in Flanders have an unconditional Growth Package entitlement up to and including the month in which their son or daughter turns 18. They can also retain this Child Benefit entitlement up until the age of 25, on the basis of the studies pursued. In most cases KidsLife receives the information pertaining to your son or daughter's school enrolment automatically.

The studies must satisfy certain conditions. Specific conditions apply to each type of education. General conditions apply to all types of education, and concern employment during the studies concerned.

Do you live with the children in Brussels or Wallonia? Then other rules apply. Check them out here:

Child benefit for students in Wallonia

Child benefit for students in Brussels 

KidsLife details these conditions below.

General conditions: Are you still entitled to the Growth Package if you're working or receiving benefits?

General conditions: Are you still entitled to the Growth Package if you're working or receiving benefits?

Working during your studies is certainly permitted, however, in some cases it may result in the suspension of your Child Benefit entitlement:

  • If you work more than 475 hours as a student (reduced social security contributions). In Belgium, this is the maximum number of hours you can work as a student in any case. Thereafter, each hour worked is counted towards the ordinary social security contributions.
  • If you work more than 80 hours a month as an employee or worker (ordinary social security contributions)
  • If you work as a self-employed person in your main profession or as a self-employed person where social security contributions apply as for a main profession.
  • If you receive a social security benefit resulting from a scheme relating to sickness, invalidity, accidents at work, occupational diseases, unemployment or a career break.

Example:
Hamza studies at the University of Antwerp. He worked 475 hours as a student during the year. All subsequent hours worked by Hamza are automatically subject to ordinary social security contributions. In November, Hamza works a further 79 hours as an interim employee. For November, he is entitled to Child Benefit.

What's permitted?

  • Work in the context of work-linked training.
  • An internship that's necessary for obtaining a diploma, certificate or attestation.
  • Work in the context of a recognised and supervised apprenticeship.
  • Employment in the context of IBO (Individual Vocational Training). If the young person additionally receives a social security benefit, this precludes entitlement.
  • Receiving a living wage.
  • Receiving a volunteer allowance.

If you suspect that your son or daughter is no longer entitled to Child Benefit because he/she does not (any longer) meet the above conditions, please inform us of this.

Type of education

Young persons pursuing non-higher education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:

They attend classes for at least 17 teaching hours a week

  • in one or more educational institutions, a training centre or via an entrepreneurship programme;
  • in full-time or part-time mainstream or special needs secondary education.

A teaching time of 50 minutes counts as 1 hour. Internships that are necessary to obtain a diploma, certificate or attestation also count as teaching time;

Please note! KidsLife automatically receives school certificates from non-higher education in Flanders and the German-speaking community.
KidsLife does not automatically receive school certificates for:

  • studies in the French-speaking community,
  • social promotion education,
  • evening classes,
  • adult education or private tuition,
  • certified training (e.g. at Syntra)

In this case, please notify us so that we can send you the correct form for the educational institution concerned.

Pursuing a VDAB training course or obtaining certificates or diplomas for the Examination Board (formerly known as the Central Jury) does not entitle you to Child Benefit.

If the young person stops attending classes during the school year, their Growth Package entitlement ceases at the end of the month in which the studies are discontinued. Thereafter, the Child Benefit for school leavers may apply for a maximum of 12 months.

Discover Growth Package for school leavers

Young persons pursuing higher education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:

  • The young person is enrolled for at least 27 credits per academic year.

If their credits drop below 27 in a given month, then their child benefit entitlement ceases at the end of that month. Thereafter, the Child Benefit for school leavers may apply for a maximum of 12 months.

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 only enrols for at least 27 credits after 30 November, then they’re entitled to Child Benefit from the month of enrolment.

If the student was enrolled by the deadline but for fewer than 27 credits (in a non-diploma year) 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.

Credits awarded for the editing of a doctoral dissertation do not count towards Growth Package entitlement.

Please note: KidsLife automatically receives the school certificates for higher education in Flanders and the German-speaking community. If your son or daughter attends lessons in the French-speaking community, then we won't automatically receive details of their school enrolment. In this case, please notify us so that we can send you the correct form for the educational institution concerned.

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Specific situation

Specific situation

Thesis or final dissertation (Diploma year)

In some cases, the young person might 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.

 

The young person is pursuing classes in both higher and non-higher education.

In that case they must be enrolled for at least 17 hours in total. A higher education credit counts as half a teaching hour.

Apprenticeship contracts

Apprenticeship contracts must be recognised and approved in order to qualify for Child Benefit. The Child Benefit entitlement may apply until the end of the apprenticeship contract.

Contact your KidsLife-advisor 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

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, provided that the programme is recognised by the foreign government.
    • If the training is not recognised by the foreign government, then the young person must prove that they’re enrolled for at least 13 hours.
    • KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document E402 (EER) 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 if the programme is recognised by the foreign government.
    • If the training is not recognised by the foreign government, then the young person must prove that they’re enrolled for at least 13 hours.
    • The duration of continued entitlement 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 or for the entire study period.

Important note!

  • The young person must remain domiciled in Flanders 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 outside the EEA 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.

Is your child going to study abroad? Or is there another change in the study situation of your son or daughter? Notify the change via My KidsLife: the online file Growth Package

Discover My KidsLife

Does Growth Package 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.

When studies in Belgium, an EEA Member State or Switzerland are preceded or followed by studies abroad, the family benefit entitlement applies for a maximum of four months during the intervening summer holiday.

Holiday periods between two study years abroad must be demonstrable and may not exceed 120 days.

If the holiday lasts longer than four months, the remaining period is covered by and deducted from the young person's 12-month school-leaver entitlement.

 

What if the young person falls ill during their studies?

Unable to enrol for your new school or academic year due to illness? Forced to terminate or limit your studies due to illness?

Then please contact KidsLife and send us your medical certificate without delay!
You might be entitled to Child Benefit for the following school year or the remainder of the current school year.

 

Young persons with a specific support need

Young persons awaiting a decision on a medical condition from FPS Social Security or Kind & Gezin, have an unconditional entitlement to basic Child Benefit and the additional supplement up to and including the month 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 care allowance.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Students must be enrolled for at least 27 credits or 17 class hours for Child Benefit and Growth Package entitlement. This only applies to children aged 18 and over. Minor children are entitled to Child Benefit or the Growth Package regardless.

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.

Child Benefit for students

 

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 2021-2022 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. 

View all situations when a young person goes abroad

The documents for the 2021-2022 school year will be sent in July 2021 if you receive Growth Package from KidsLife Flanders, otherwise you will receive them in september. 
Studying in Europe? Then we require an E402 document. Studying outside Europe? 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. 

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