Why did my Child Benefit drop significantly ?
One of my children is no longer entitled to Child Benefit or Growth Package.
In Flanders, there is an unconditional right to Growth Package until the age of 18. In Brussels and Wallonia, there is an unconditional right to Child Benefit until August of the year in which the child turns 18. Thereafter, under certain conditions, there may still be an entitlement to Growth Package or Child Benefit until the age of 25 if the child continues studying or meets the conditions for a (job-seeking) school leaver after the studies.
If your child is no longer entitled to Growth Package or Child Benefit, the amount you get for that young person falls away.
Eg: Erika has 2 adult children, Jan and Pieter. Jan and Pieter are both studying at university. Pieter turns 25 in April. From May, he is no longer entitled to Growth Package or Child Benefit.
Your Child Benefit has been reduced because you are no longer entitled to a supplement.
There are a lot of supplements that can be paid on top of your basic amount of Child Benefits. Some supplements are paid based on conditions specific to your family (e.g. based on your family income). Other supplements are linked to the child's situation (because they have a medical condition, for example). It is possible that you were entitled to a supplement and are now no longer entitled to it because your financial or family situation has changed.
A change in rank can reduce your Child Benefit (Wallonia and Brussels)
If all your children were born before 2020, the amount you receive per child depends on their 'rank' within the family. This means that your eldest child is entitled to a lower amount than your 2nd child. In turn, your 2nd child is entitled to a lower amount than your 3rd child. From your third child onwards, the amount remains the same for each child that would follow. in other words, there is no rank 4, rank 5, etc.
- Oldest child = rank 1
- 2nd child = rank 2
- 3rd and each subsequent child = rank 3
From 2020, the system of ranks no longer exists.
Example for a family with 4 children, all born before 2020:
Imagine a family of 4 children, where the oldest child Theo is no longer entitled to child benefit because he is working and no longer meets the conditions. In a family, a rank is assigned to each child who is entitled to child benefit. The amount of child benefit for the family is reduced not just by €112.25 but by a total of €310.11. This is because his brothers and sister have also changed rank, and their child benefits have diminished as a result. Even though Théo still lives with the family!
- Total amount (excluding supplements) before changes = 940.17 euros
- New total amount (excluding supplements) = 630.06 euros
Please note that his reduction in amount also occurs if payments for Theo are temporarily suspended, for example while awaiting information about his income. Once the missing information is known, the child benefit will be adjusted if necessary.
|Date of birth
|15 january 2000
|no longer entitled
|2 may 2006
|21 december 2009
|14 april 2012
Example for a family with 3 children, one of whom was born after 2020.
In this example, the parents are separated, and the mother receives child benefit. However, the eldest daughter Inès lives with her father. He has asked to receive the child benefits for his daughter. From the month following the father's claim, the total amount of the mother's benefit decreases:
- Total amount for mom (excluding supplements) before changes = 501.56 euros
- New total amount for mom (excluding supplements) = 293.86 euros
Take note: in this example, if another child had been born after Lila, that child would also be entitled to €181.61. The system of rank ceased to exist after 2020.
|Date of birth
|28 march 2013
|No longer entitled
|2 august 2016
|10 june 2021
Reduction of Growth Package due to halving of age supplement (Flanders)
Your Growth Package may reduce because your oldest eligible child can only receive a maximum of half the age supplement. Sounds complicated? No worries, we'll explain what this means.
A brief history.
On 1 January 2019, the child benefit legislation was reformed. We have been talking about the Growth Package in Flanders ever since. All children born from this date are entitled to a fixed basic amount.
However, if you were previously receiving child benefit, you will continue to receive the same amounts after January 2019.
In the old child benefit legislation, you could be entitled to a basic child benefit + an age benefit when your child turned 6, 12 or 18, respectively. The age benefit has been abolished for all new children from 2019, but remains for children still under the old child benefit legislation.
Oldest entitled child
A child entitled to Growth Package is called an entitled child. Children who have a potential entitlement to Growth Package are also called entitled children.
Eg. Inna is 15 years old. Tess is 13 years old. Both have an unconditional right to Growth Package until the age of 18. Inna and Tess are both entitled children, but Inna is the oldest entitled child.
Eg. Anwar is 20 years old. He graduated on 30 June and has been working since then. Anwar may still be entitled to Growth Package after his studies as a school leaver. His payments have been suspended because he is working. Until the end of his period as a school leaver, we do still examine his potential entitlement to Growth Package. Anwar is an entitled child until the end of his period as a school leaver.
Halved age supplement.
1 of the provisions from the old regulations is that you can only get a maximum of half the age supplement for your oldest entitled child.
This also means that if your eldest child no longer has any entitlement to Growth Package, your next child takes over his place as 'eldest, entitled child'. Resulting in the halved age supplement for that child.
E.g. Els has two children: a 14-year-old daughter Billie and a 19-year-old son Jasper. Billie is unconditionally entitled to Growth Package until she turns 18. Jasper started working full-time after his secondary studies. Jasper is considered a school leaver for the period from 1/9/2022 to 31/08/2023.
During this entire period, no more Growth Package was paid for Jasper as he is working. Nevertheless, Jasper remains the 'oldest, entitled child' for this period. After all, his potential entitlement to Growth Package is still under investigation. And if payments could have been made for Jasper, his age allowance would thus have been halved.
From 1/9/2023, Jasper will no longer be entitled to Growth Package at all. Consequently, from 01/09/2023, Billie becomes the 'oldest, entitled child' and her age supplement will be halved.
When is the age supplement not halved?
If you are entitled to the social allowance, the age allowance of your oldest entitled child will not be halved.
My situation has changed and I want to recalculate my Child Benefit
Use our handy calculation tool to simulate the amount your children are entitled to.
Frequently asked questions
Children who lose a parent are entitled to increased Child Benefit or Growth Package. The Orphan’s Allowance is automatically paid monthly if you are entitled to it.
There are some conditions attached to receiving the orphan allowance. The payment of the Orphan’s Allowance is stopped:
- If the child for whom you receive the Orphan’s Allowance is no longer entitled to Growth Package or child benefit. (For example, when it turns 25)
- If you adopt the orphan child. (full adoption)
- If the absent or deceased declared parent should return.
Important: Did the parent already pass away before 01/01/2019? Then you were already receiving the increased Orphan’s Allowance in the old child benefit legislation at that time (Art. 50bis AKBW). In that case, you will also lose the Orphan’s Allowance if the surviving parent starts living together again. (with a partner who is not a relative or blood relative up to the 3rd degree).
This is the case in Flanders and Wallonia. In Brussels, however, this rule is abolished from 1/1/2020.