Child Benefit for school-leavers in Brussels
When are you entitled to Child Benefit as a school-leaver?
If you live in Brussels and you complete your studies, sign up immediately with Actiris as a job-seeking school-leaver.
This can be done via the Actiris website or by signing up in person at the nearest Actiris office.
As soon as you are registered, Actiris will start a 360-day vocational development phase. After this period, you can then benefit from an activation allowance from the National Employment Office (RVA).
KidsLife is automatically informed of the registration with Actiris via the Social Security Crossroads Bank. KidsLife will then automatically start an eligibility period of 360 days during which entitlement to Child Benefit may still exist.
When does the eligibility period start?
After you complete your studies, you may still have 360 days of entitlement to Child Benefit. The start of this period may vary. It starts:
- On 1 August if you attended lessons until the end of the school year.
- On the first day after the end of your studies if they are discontinued during the school year.
- On the first day after the end of the second exam session.
- On the first day after you submitted your thesis or internship report if you completed a diploma year or thesis year of fewer than 27 credits.
- On the first day after the end of your internship in the context of a public sector job, or after an interruption of that internship.
- On the first day following the end or interruption of an apprenticeship contract.
Please note: When the young person reaches the age of 25, entitlement to Child Benefit ends at the end of the month, even if the period of 360 days as a job-seeking school-leaver has not yet ended.
I was too late registering with Actiris.
Secondary-education students have until 30 September and higher-education students until 31 October to register with Actiris as a jobseeker. If the young person registers after this date, the registration is late and there will be no entitlement until the month following the date of registration.
Without registering as a jobseeker, you are still entitled to Child Benefit as a student:
- until 31 August of your last year of secondary school or until 30 September of your last year of higher education if you do not work more than 240 hours in the third quarter.
- up to and including the month in which you submit your thesis or internship report in the case of a thesis year (fewer than 27 credits).
- up to and including the month in which your studies end if the studies are terminated in the course of the school or academic year.
Sam finished secondary school and did not register as a jobseeker with Actiris until 12 November. His eligibility period starts on 1 August and runs until 31 July of the following year, but he will only be entitled to Child Benefit as a school-leaver from 1 December until 31 July.
Working during the period as a school-leaver.
Congratulations, you’ve landed your first job! We encourage working during the period as a school-leaver, but in some cases your employment may suspend your entitlement to Child Benefit:
Condition until 31/12/2019
- The young person may earn a maximum of 551.89 euros gross per month.
Condition from 01/01/2020
- the young person may work a maximum of 240 hours per quarter in order to retain their entitlement to Child Benefit.
If the young person works more than 240 hours, they lose their entitlement to Child Benefit for the full quarter. This also applies to the last summer holidays (July-August-September) after completing their studies.
- If the young person pursues a self-employed activity for which contributions are due as for a self-employed person in their main occupation, Child Benefit is also stopped.
A solemn declaration that the young person is working less than 240 hours is accepted in the case of self-employment for which reduced social security contributions are due.
A self-employed activity with an exemption from social security contributions automatically entitles the person to Child Benefit.
- The young person receives unemployment benefit.
As soon as unemployment benefit is received, entitlement to Child Benefit is suspended. How much is paid out or for how many days the payment is made is irrelevant.
- The young person receives a social security benefit due to illness, accident or hospitalisation
If the job-seeking school-leaver receives a social security benefit for illness, invalidity, occupational accident or occupational disease in application of Belgian or foreign legislation, the Child Benefit will be stopped during the months in which a social security benefit is paid as a result of an unauthorised activity (more than 240 hours) in the previous quarter.
- Recognition as a disabled person
If your son or daughter is recognised as a disabled person, the conditions above only affect the disability supplement. The basic Child Benefit remains unconditional until the age of 21.
Can the eligibility period be extended?
No problem! The vocational development phase at Actiris is in principle 1 year. Thereafter, the young person is entitled to a benefit from the RVA, provided that they received 2 positive evaluations from Actiris during the search for work in the vocational development phase.
- The vocational development phase is extended by Actiris as long as the young person has not received 2 positive evaluations. The eligibility period at KidsLife is therefore extended so that the entitlement to Child Benefit can be maintained until 2 positive evaluations have been received. The condition, of course, is that the young person attends the evaluation interviews at Actiris and that evaluations continue.
- The eligibility period can be extended due to illness, accident or hospitalisation. You have to stop your vocational development phase at Actiris due to illness and re-register as a job-seeking school-leaver within 5 working days of the illness ending. The eligibility period is then extended by the number of days’ illness stated on the doctor’s certificate.
Your KidsLife advisor will assess your eligibility for this extension. For this we always require a copy of the last evaluation interview that took place.
Free job-seeking school-leaver
These are job-seekers who are not entitled to benefits, but who register as job-seekers. No entitlement to Child Benefit is possible on the basis of this status.
For the duration of the childbirth leave, entitlement to Child Benefit for job-seeking school-leavers is not terminated. The eligibility period simply continues.
The young person resides abroad during the eligibility period.
If your son or daughter is registered as a jobseeker with Actiris but travels abroad during the eligibility period, the eligibility period will in principle be stopped. After all, the young person must be available on the Belgian labour market. In some cases, the RVA can equate a stay abroad with a vocational development phase. If you can provide KidsLife with a certificate of this, the entitlement to Child Benefit can continue.
The young person is looking for a job after studying abroad.
If your son or daughter received Child Benefit on the basis of foreign studies and then registered in Belgium as a job-seeking school-leaver, he or she follows the same rules and conditions as students studying in Belgium.
If your son or daughter studied in a country of the EEA (European Economic Area) and registered as a jobseeker in that country, they may be entitled to Child Benefit as a job-seeking school-leaver under Belgian law. In that case, send KidsLife a certificate of registration from the competent service abroad. (e.g. the pôle d’emploi in France)
My son or daughter is looking for a job but wants to resume their studies.
Entitlement to Child Benefit as a student can be reopened if the studies meet the conditions and if the young person is under 25 years of age. In this case, be sure to inform Actiris that your son or daughter is no longer looking for a job.