Child Benefit for Students in Wallonia
Those living in Wallonia have an unconditional Child Benefit entitlement up to and including August of the year in which their son or daughter turns 18.
Under certain conditions, young persons born prior to 1 January 2001 can retain their Child Benefit entitlement up to the age of 25, providing they continue their studies or register as a job-seeker at FOREM following their studies.
Young persons born from 1 January 2001 onwards have a semi-automatic Child Benefit entitlement. This entitlement supersedes their unconditional entitlement and applies up until the age of 21. Thereafter, continued Child Benefit entitlement depends on the circumstances of the young person concerned and is granted under the same conditions as young persons born prior to 1 January 2001.
Do you live with the children in Flanders or Brusels? Then other rules apply. Check them out here:
KidsLife details these conditions below.
Young persons pursuing secondary education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:
- The young person attends secondary education, social promotion education, evening classes or private tuition for at least 17 teaching hours a week and works no more than 240 hours per quarter.
- The young person completes at least 17 teaching hours per week in one or more educational institutions that practise a system of work-linked training or entrepreneurial training and earns no more than EUR 715,46 per child per month euros gross per month.
- The young person pursues part-time (special needs) mainstream education, work-linked training or certified training and earns no more than 715,46 euros gross per month.
- The young person pursues special needs education.
Important: The conditions for maximum income or hours worked do not apply in the 3rd quarter (the summer months of July, August and September), provided that the young person resumes classes from the start of the next school or academic year. (even if this concerns a year that doesn’t satisfy the conditions)
Pursuing FOREM training courses or obtaining certificates or diplomas for the Examination Board (formerly known as the Central Jury) does not entitle you to Child Benefit.
Students with an unjustified school absence are not entitled to Child Benefit for the days of that absence.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued on an annual basis. Document P7B must be completed by the parents and the school or educational institution.
Is the youngster no longer in school? Then there may still be a right to Child Benefit as a school leaver.
Young persons pursuing higher education are entitled to Child Benefit up until their 25th birthday, providing they satisfy the following conditions:
- The student is enrolled for at least 27 credits for the entire year and works no more than 240 hours per quarter.
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 enrols for at least 27 credits after 30 November, then they’re entitled to Child Benefit from the month following their enrolment.
If the number of credits drops below 27 from a certain month onwards, then Child Benefit entitlement ceases at the end of that month.
If the student was enrolled by the deadline but for fewer than 27 credits 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.
Important: The conditions for maximum income or hours worked do not apply in the 3rd quarter (the summer months of July, August and September), provided that the young person resumes classes from the start of the next academic year. (even if this concerns a year that doesn’t satisfy the conditions)
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued on an annual basis. Document P7B must be completed by the parents and the school or educational institution. However, most universities and colleges have their own standard certificate, which contains all the necessary information. This can be submitted to KidsLife in place of the P7B form.
Is the youngster no longer in school? Then there may still be a right to Child Benefit as a school leaver.
Thesis or final dissertation
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.
An apprenticeship contract affords young persons the opportunity to learn a profession by pursuing practical training in the trainer's company. In addition to practical training, the apprentice pursues theoretical training one day a week.
For Child Benefit entitlement, the apprenticeship contract must be recognised and approved by IFAMPE, the Walloon Institute for work-linked training, the self-employed and small businesses.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document P9BIS must be completed by the parents, the trainer and the school or educational institution.
Contact KidsLife 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.
Please note: The apprenticeship contract must have commenced prior to 1 September 2015, otherwise it concerns a work-linked training agreement to which part-time education conditions apply.
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 providing they satisfy the conditions that apply to Belgian education or the programme is recognised by the foreign government.
KidsLife requests the school certificate which serves as proof of the studies pursued. Document E402 (EEA) 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’s also no bilateral agreement, may retain their Child Benefit entitlement under certain conditions. This 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.
- The young person must remain domiciled in Wallonia during their studies outside the EEA, unless the foreign stay and studies concern an employee secondment.
- The (step-)parents or the parent's partner are not permitted to work in the country 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.
What if the young person falls ill during their studies?
A student who is unable to attend classes or enrol as a student due to illness, can retain their Child Benefit entitlement under certain conditions. Please contact KidsLife for more information.
Does Child Benefit 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 conditions that apply to the education concerned. 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.
Young persons awaiting a decision on a medical condition from FPS Social Security, have an unconditional entitlement to basic Child Benefit and the additional supplement up to and including August of the year 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 additional supplement.
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. KidsLife will send a letter clearly explaining everything 9 months prior to the student's 21st birthday.
A child born on or after 1 January 2001 has an unconditional Child Benefit entitlement until the August of the year in which they turn 18. Thereafter, they have a semi-automatic Child benefit entitlement until the end of the month in which they turn 21. This means that the young person is entitled to Child Benefit regardless of whether they're still studying or registered as a job-seeker, except in the following cases:
- If the young person is in receipt of unemployment or interruption benefit.
- If the young person works more than 240 hours per quarter. (hours worked as a student, unpaid internships and work-linked training do not count)
- If the young person works as a self-employed person and pays contributions on the basis of a self-employed person in a main occupation, unless they can prove that they work under 240 hours per quarter.
- If the young person is taking an entrepreneurial or work-linked training course with a salary of more than 715,46 euros per month.
- If the young person is in receipt of social security benefits for sickness, invalidity, workplace accident or occupational disease resulting from an unauthorised activity mentioned above. (more than 240h/quarter or self-employed activity)
The young person can retain their Child Benefit entitlement after the age of 21, providing they continue their qualifying studies or are registered as a job-seeker with FOREM and satisfy the same conditions as young persons born prior to 1 January 2001.