My income has decreased: what am I entitled to?

Working part-time, unemployed or currently on sick leave? These all have an impact on your family budget. Fortunately, in some situations, a number of other financial benefits can offset your loss. KidsLife ensures that you don’t miss out on any benefits.

1. Social Allowance on top of your Child Benefit and Growth Package.

A Social Allowance is a supplementary monthly allowance that you receive on top of your Child Benefit and Growth Package. Those on a low income are eligible for this allowance. The other conditions for entitlement to this Social Allowance depend on the region in which you live

  • In Flanders, a Social Allowance entitlement on top of your Growth Package depends on your income and the size of your family.
  • The amount ranges from 54,12 euros to 86,59 euros per child per month.
  • Annual gross taxable family income threshold amounts.
    • 32.882,77​​​​​​​ euros
    • 64.945,93​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​euros*
    • If your family income is less than the threshold amounts, then you're entitled to the allowance.
    • * for children born after 01/01/2019
  • ​​​​​​​The children's dates of birth affect the amounts: depending on whether they were born prior to or after 01/01/2019.
  • Special family circumstances (child born prior to 01/01/2019): single-parent family, unemployed parent or parent on long-term sick leave and in the event that a new child is added to the family composition after 01/01/2019.

Social Allowance in Flanders

  • In Brussels, Social Allowance entitlement depends on your family income, the age of your children and the number of children in your family.
  • The amount of Social Allowance in Brussels ranges from 28,72 euros to 160,82 euros per child per month.
  • Annual gross taxable family income threshold amounts.
    • 36.001,76 euros
    • 52.260,62 euros*
    • If your family income is less than the threshold amounts, then you're entitled to the allowance.
    • * a minimum of 2 children in the family
  • The children's dates of birth affect the amounts: depending on whether they were born prior to or after 01/01/2020. You always receive the highest amount thanks to the 'snapshot amount' rules.
  • Special family circumstances: single-parent family, family with 2 children, family with 3 or more children

Income-related allowance in Brussels

  •  In Wallonia, Social Allowance entitlement depends on your family income.
  • The amount of this allowance varies between 6,10 euros and 120,53 euros per child per month.
  • Annual gross taxable family income threshold amounts.
    • 31.603,68 euros
    • 51.000 euros*
    • If your family income is less than the threshold amounts, then you're entitled to the allowance.
    • * for children born after 01/01/2020
  • ​​​​​​​The children's dates of birth affect the amounts: depending on whether they were born prior to or after 01/01/2020
  • Special family circumstances: single parent, large family (child born after 2020), parent with a disability or an enhanced intervention beneficiary.

Social Allowance in Wallonia

Please note: We always take your family income into account. So if you live with someone who is not related to you, then this person’s income is also included in the total amount.

2. School Allowance: supplementary allowance on top of the Growth Package for low-income families.

I live in Flanders: the Study Allowance

If you receive the Growth Package, then you'll automatically receive the School Allowance if you're entitled to it. If you suffer a loss of or reduction in income, then you may be entitled to the School Allowance for the coming (or previous) school year.

You automatically receive this from KidsLife in all scenarios, so you needn’t submit an application for it yourself.

We re-examine this entitlement every school year. So, even if you weren't eligible the previous year, we still investigate whether you satisfy the conditions for the following school year.

Discover everything you need to know about the School Allowance here

And what about children in higher education?

A decrease in income can also mean that you’re entitled to a Study Grant or Education Allowance. You must request this Study Grant or Education Allowance for Higher Education from the Flemish Government.
You can find all the conditions related to the young person’s Study Grant for Higher Education on the Flemish Government website.

I live in Brussels or Wallonia: the Study Grant

A decrease in income can mean that you’re now entitled to a Study Grant or Education Allowance. You must request this Study Grant from your government’s education department yourself. They’ll subsequently investigate your entitlement to the grant.

Are your children attending a Dutch-language school in Flanders or Brussels? And is your family on a low income? Then you may be entitled to the School Allowance from the Flemish Government. The KidsLife Child Benefit Fund pays this Study Allowance automatically. If you don't live in Flanders, then you must actively request this Study Allowance from KidsLife.

Discover everything you need to know about the School Allowance here

3. Maximum billing for all medical expenses

Maximum billing ensures that your annual medical costs are limited to a specific ceiling amount. Once your family’s medical care costs reach the annual ceiling, you'll receive a full refund of all future costs for that year.

You needn’t do anything in order to receive this benefit. Your Health Insurance fund will activate maximum billing if you're eligible for this benefit.

If you satisfy the conditions for maximum billing, then you can also reduce your annual health insurance bill.

The CM health fund and La Mutualité Neutre lists all conditions related to maximum billing.

4. Entitlement to social assistance via the OCMW (Public Centre for Social Welfare)

The OCMW is another organisation that provides help for low-income families. They can assist your family where needed: by providing financial support, food stamps and advice on relevant benefits, for example.

Locate an OCMW office near you

Check your municipality’s website

Many towns and cities provide additional support measures for low-income families. In some municipalities, for example, you're entitled to one free roll of refuse sacks per year, children’s education vouchers or a reduction in city taxes.

Check your municipality’s website for the latest updates regarding these benefits.

5. Social tariff for water, gas and electricity

In some situations, you may be eligible for a social tariff on the costs of your domestic water, gas and electricity. In that case, you'll receive a discounted tariff and need no longer pay for your meter rental.

You'll also receive this benefit automatically if you're entitled to it. So in most situations, you needn’t submit an application.

To be eligible, you must fall under one of the scenarios described in detail on the Belgian government website.

You may also qualify for a social tariff on your internet connection and subscriptions, such as your mobile phone subscription. The same conditions apply as for a social tariff on your energy connections.

Simply submit an application to your provider, and they'll do the rest.

6. Public transport discount.

De Lijn, MIVB, TEC and NMBS all apply discounted rates for low-income family members.

You can view these discounted rates on the websites of the public transport companies concerned. We recommend visiting the public transport company’s customer service desk to submit your application. They can check whether you qualify for a discounted rate based on the information specified on your identity card.

7. Returning to adult education?

Keen to throw yourself into a new career? Or ready to achieve your full potential? Then adult education could be for you.

Adult education can be significantly cheaper or even completely free for those on a low income. You can request an exemption from the enrolment fee from your educational institution. Inform yourself about the costs well in advance (such as the cost of study materials, for example), to avoid unnecessary expense.

The KidsLife Child Benefit Fund ensures that your family never misses out on any benefits. You always receive the maximum amount of Child Benefit and Growth Package that you’re entitled to and we proactively investigate any additional benefits.

And, you’ll also receive handy tips tailored to your precise family circumstances.

Switch to the KidsLife Child Benefit Fund for your Child Benefit and Growth Package payments.

I want to switch to KidsLife

Frequently asked questions

Being a single parent doesn’t automatically entitle you to a social allowance

Your family income must not exceed a certain threshold to be eligible to receive this. The fact that you are a single or divorced parent likely has an influence on your family income. This may make you eligible. 

The threshold amounts and the composition of this Social Allowance depend on where you and your children live: Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia

KidsLife automatically pays your Social Allowance if you are entitled to it! We do this following receipt of your tax return. We always receive this 2 years after the income year. 

Example:
We (re)evaluate your Social Allowance for 2019 in 2021. We receive confirmation of your 2019 income from the federal government in 2021.  

Eligible for this allowance and prefer not to wait 2 years? Contact your KidsLife adviser to submit an application. 

View all of the conditions pertaining to the Social Allowance here

You are entitled to a Social Allowance if your gross family income is less than a certain threshold. We receive an overview of your total family income from the FPS Finance, based on your tax return.
Your definitive data is only available 2 years later.
For example, your 2019 income will only be available in 2021.

Thus it is only possible to make a (definitive) validation of your Social Allowance entitlement 2 years after the date. 

Already received a Social Allowance payment? Then we will check whether you have received this correctly.
 
Not yet received a Social Allowance payment? Then we will examine your eligibility and potentially pay the supplement retroactively. 

Check your eligibility for the Social Allowance here. 

 

KidsLife assists low-income families by paying them a supplementary allowance: the Social Allowance
The Social Allowance is entirely dependent on your personal situation: your place of residence, your income and your family circumstances.

View all of the conditions that apply to your Social Allowance here

 

If your family income changes, this can affect your entitlement to the social allowance and the selective participation allowance (school allowance). Your entitlement is automatically investigated based on your income from 2 years ago (via your tax return). Suddenly earning significantly more and receiving a social allowance from KidsLife?
 Then please notify us so that we can terminate your social allowance and consequently prevent a potential clawback payment.

Now earning significantly less and not currently receiving a social allowance from KidsLife? Then contact us so that we can send you the relevant form. Please complete this form specifying your income and return it to us, together with the necessary supporting documents.

 

Your family may be entitled to supplementary child benefit in addition to the standard Growth Package and Child Benefit amounts (to which every child is entitled). You can view all types of supplementary child benefit here.

In many cases you needn’t submit a request for supplementary child benefit and we automatically ensure that you receive the correct entitlement. However, you may have to submit a request to KidsLife in certain situations.  Believe that you qualify for an allowance, but aren’t currently receiving it? Then please contact your KidsLife adviser, who’ll gladly assist.

Hospitalisation insurance during pregnancy: everything you wish to know

Hospitalisation insurance during pregnancy: everything you wish to know

Pregnant? Then hospitalisation insurance will come in handy. Find out all about it here.
Hospitalisation insurance during pregnancy: everything you wish to know
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