Child Benefits and Growth Package for Ukrainian families in Belgium

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia is not straightforward. For people who have fled their country, a lot of things are uncertain. In Belgium, we are trying to take care of these people as best we can. You can even take a Ukrainian family or young person into your home.
Ukrainian families may be entitled to the Growth Package and Child Benefits. What documents do they have to present? Does it have an impact on your own child benefits if you are hosting a Ukrainian family? We are happy to explain it all to you.

May I assist a Ukrainian family with their application for a Growth Package or Child Benefit?  

In Belgium, children are entitled to a financial contribution in order to support families in raising their children. We refer to the Growth Package in Flanders and Child Benefits in Wallonia and Brussels.

Every child that lives in Belgium and is a Belgian national or has a residence permit is entitled to the Child Benefit. Extra conditions apply from the age of 18 regarding the child benefit. (e.g. studying)

The Ukrainian family has to do three things in order to receive child benefit.

Do you want to go through this process step-by-step with a Ukrainian?

View this step-by-step process in Ukrainian

1

Register the legal residence in Belgium using the certificate of temporary protection.

2

Obtain a Belgian bank account number

3

Apply for the Growth Package or Child Benefit!

The Ukrainian family has to do three things in order to receive child benefit.

Step 1: register the legal residence in Belgium using the certificate of temporary protection.

Someone who has fled from Ukraine may request a certificate of temporary protection at the Registration centre in Hall 8 (Brussels Expo, Heysel/Heizel). This certificate acts as a legal right of residence. Using this certificate, you must register in the municipality in which you are staying. The registration is proof that you are living in Belgium. 

Once registered in Belgium as a person who is temporarily protected, there is a right to child benefit.

Consult the practical steps in order to apply for legal residence.

Step 2: obtain a Belgian bank account number.

All Belgian banks offer a basic service to Ukrainian residents who had to leave their country because of the war. The condition is that the Ukrainian family has a certificate of temporary protection.

Thanks to the basic banking service, you can open a current account with a Belgian bank for a limited amount for the execution of basic transactions such as cash withdrawals, payments by bank transfer or via a payment card and the creation of standing orders and direct debit.

Each Belgian credit institution offers such a basic service.

How can you request this?

  • Fill in the application form at the bank of your choice.
  • The Ukrainian family members must be able to prove their identity on the basis of their certificate of temporary protection.

Step 3: apply for the Growth Package or Child Benefit!

The last step is the actual application for the Growth Package or Child Benefit. Requesting your Child Benefit online is quick and easy at KidsLife.

Apply here (Also in Ukrainian language)

If you prefer to apply on paper. No problem! Download the Growth Package or Child Benefit application form and send it back to us duly completed.

What is the impact on your own child benefits if you host a Ukrainian family? 

Under normal circumstances, it may have an impact on the amount of your Child Benefit or Growth Package if other people suddenly come to live in your family. An exception is made if you are hosting people from Ukraine. 
 

  • If you host a whole family (children + parent(s) or guardian(s)) in your family, your family and the family that you are hosting are considered to be two separate families. Your situation will then not affect the Child Benefit or Growth Package of the family you are hosting. Conversely, the situation of the family you are hosting will not affect your child benefit. 
     
  • If you take an unaccompanied minor into your family, the child will be considered part of your family. The child benefit for the young person may be paid to you, if you so request. An extra child in your family may affect the amount you receive and the way your file is handled. Please contact your KidsLife adviser regarding your specific situation. 

Example: You yourself receive the child benefit for two minors. You have been taking care of a Ukrainian family with three children and their parents since 10 March 2022. You continue to receive the same amount of child benefit for your own children. The Ukrainian family will, independently of our situation, be able to request and receive child benefit for their own three children on their own Belgian bank account.

What must I do if the family goes back to Ukraine?

If the family that you have taken in returns to Ukraine, the payment of the child benefit in Belgium will be stopped. Inform KidsLife as soon as possible about their departure so as to limit any excess payment. Ensure that the Population Department of your municipality is aware of the situation. 

Frequently asked questions

If the parents or guardians of the children are present in the Ukrainian family, they receive the Growth Package or Child Benefit for their children. 

If you are taking care of a Ukrainian child, who has no parents or Ukrainian guardians, in your family, you may then apply for the child benefit for that child yourself. 

Example: 15-year-old Andrej comes to live in your family on 8 March 2022. You must apply to KidsLife to be able to receive the child benefit for Andrej. 

Check here all about Child benefit for Ukrainian families

No, you do not need to notify us. We automatically receive all changes in your family situation via the national register, once the Ukrainian family has been registered as living at your address. 

The Ukrainian family still has to apply in order to receive the Child Benefit or Growth Package.  

See all conditions for entitlement to child benefit as Ukrainian family here

The Ukrainian children are entitled to the Growth Package from the month in which their certificate of temporary protection is received. In practice, the earliest is from March 2022. In Brussels and Wallonia, the payments start from the month following the right of residence . Therefore, the payment will be made from April at the earliest. 

Note: the Growth Package or the Child Benefit for a given month is always paid at the beginning of the following month. We pay the child benefit for March at the beginning of April.  

Example for Flanders.
A Ukrainian family starts to live with a Flemish host family on 28 February 2022. They receive their certificates of temporary residence on 10 March 2022, with which they register in the municipality giving their address as that of the host family. Kidslife receives the application for the Growth Package during the course of April. The file will be opened in May 2022 and we may start to make payments retroactively from March 2022. 

Brussels and Walloon examples
A Ukrainian family starts to live with a Brussels or Walloon host family on 28 February 2022. They receive their certificates of temporary residence on 10 March 2022, with which they register in the municipality giving their address as that of the host family. Kidslife receives the application for the Growth Package during the course of April. The file will be opened in May 2022 and we can start payments retroactively from March 2022. 

View all information for host families here

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The basic amount: monthly Child Benefit amounts per child.

The basic amount: monthly Child Benefit amounts per child.

Children who are entitled to the Growth Package or Child Benefit receive a basic monthly amount. This basic amount can be topped up with supplementary allowances or premiums. Your basic amount is based on a number of conditions and may vary per child. 
The basic amount: monthly Child Benefit amounts per child.
School allowance

School allowance

In certain circumstances children who attend pre-, primary or secondary school are entitled to the Study Allowance. This allowance is also referred to as the selective participation allowance and is intended for families on low incomes. You receive this in addition to the school premium or school bonus that’s paid out in August. 
School allowance