I’m moving home: how will this affect my Child Benefit & Growth Package?
Belgium comprises 3 regions, which each determine their own Child Benefit payment amounts and conditions: Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. Flanders even has a new name for Child Benefit: The Growth Package.
If you move to another region, then you’ll be subject to the conditions and payment amounts associated with your new region. If you move within the same region, you’ll continue to be subject to the same conditions and amounts as before.
Will my Child Benefit payment amounts change if I move regions?
The Child Benefit payment amounts differ per region. This means that you might receive a different amount following your move. Calculate how much Child Benefit or Growth package you’ll receive in your new region.
Please note: Your new KidsLife adviser will investigate whether you’re entitled to Child Benefit or the Growth Package according to the conditions of your new region. We may need to request information in order to perform this investigation.
For example: The family of 20-year-old Maxime moves from Wallonia to Flanders on 7 March. KidsLife Flanders will assume responsibility for Maxime's file from 1 April. In Flanders, we require a school certificate for all young persons aged 18 or over in order to continue paying the Growth Package. In Wallonia, we can continue to pay up until the age of 21 without a school certificate in certain cases. KidsLife Flanders will therefore require a school certificate from Maxime in order to continue making payments.
What is an intra-regional regularisation?
Sometimes a change of address is not registered in the national register in time. This can result in a particular region paying your Child Benefit or Growth Package for too long. This triggers an intra-regional regularisation: The region that has paid too much will reclaim the overpaid Child Benefit from the new region. The new region will pay the Child Benefit with retroactive effect and transfer this amount to the old region.
For example: The Verbeek family moves from the Flanders region to the Brussels region on 15 May. The registration at the municipality is delayed and KidsLife does not receive notification of their move until 2 July as a consequence. In this case, KidsLife Flanders pays the Growth Package up to and including the month of July and subsequently transfers the file to KidsLife Brussels. KidsLife Flanders will then reclaim the Growth Package paid out in June and July from KidsLife Brussels.
5 handy tips for moving home
1. Report your change of address to the municipality
Arrange to have your address officially changed at the municipal services in your new place of residence. A community officer will visit your new home to confirm that you’re residing at your new address. Your address will subsequently be amended in the Belgian National Register. Certain agencies, such as the KidsLife Child Benefit Fund and government institutions, will automatically receive notification of your move at this point.
Handy tip: Bpost arranges mail-forwarding to your new address. This avoids the risk of unpaid invoices and prevents you from having to return to your previous home unnecessarily. You can then inform the senders of forwarded mail of your new address at your own convenience.
2. Examine your rental contract thoroughly.
It’s important to read the small print. Scrutinise all the conditions contained in your rental contract. Which costs are included in the rent, and which are not? Does the septic tank require emptying, for example, or do the trees in your garden need to be pruned? Make sure that you include these costs in your budget plan! Also check the contract duration and notice period to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
3. Utility contracts
Make sure that your contracts for telephone, internet, TV, gas and electricity are concluded prior to moving into your new home. Sometimes installers need to visit your home, so book your appointments in plenty of time. The previous tenant must first provide the gas and electricity meter readings to their energy company and terminate their contract. This is usually done via an energy transfer document, which furnishes you with the data of all parties involved. Keep this document until you receive a statement from your energy supplier.
Check whether you have any payment orders (direct debits) that require amending.
Make sure that you contact your home insurance company to amend your home contents or fire insurance. You might wish to consider taking out home removal insurance, which protects you against any damage to your belongings.
Be careful that you’re not over-insured. View our tips for managing your insurance budget.
5. authorities that you have to notify yourself!
Some institutions are automatically notified of your move, others are not.
Don’t forget to inform your employer, bank, insurance company, any associations that you’re a member of and your newspaper or magazine subscriptions, for example.
Jobseekers must also inform the VDAB (Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training)/Actiris and their payment agency.
If you have a company that’s registered at your home address and the business is moving to your new address, then you must report your change of address to the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (KBO) at an enterprise counter within one month.