Growth package across borders
When are you entitled to the Growth package ?
Do you live abroad but work in Belgium, do you live in Belgium and found a job abroad or perhaps you intend to move to Belgium with your whole family? We’ll discuss every possible situation so you, as expat, new family in Belgium or as (future) cross-border worker, do not miss out on your right to the Growth Package in Flanders.
What is the Growth Package?
The Growth package is the collective name used for all Flemish child allowances and benefits. The Growth package includes: family benefit, SEPAR (better known as schooling supplement), early childhood supplement and childcare supplement.
You work in Belgium, family stays abroad
- Your children live in another country of the European Economic Area (EEA). These countries are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France (including the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion and the French overseas community of Saint-Martin), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Czech Republic, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.
- Your children live in Switzerland.
- Your children live in a country with which Belgium has concluded a bilateral agreement on child benefits. These countries are: Algeria, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the non-EU republics of the former Yugoslavia (Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia). Please note that there can be a limitation to a maximum of 4 children in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. The amounts paid under the convention may differ from the normal amounts. Please note: no payments may be made in Algeria or Morocco if the employee has the Belgian nationality in Flanders.
- Your employer is located in Flanders. If you subsequently become unemployed, receive sickness benefits or retire, Flanders remains competent.
- You are self-employed and your social insurance fund is based in Flanders.
Be careful: are you changing to an employer located in another region than Flanders or are you changing to a social insurance fund in another region? In that case, you must submit a new claim.
- Is the employer or social insurance fund located in Brussels? Submit your claim online in just a few clicks. Would you prefer a paper version? Send your affiliation form 'Claim for child benefit and affiliation' to email@example.com.
- Is the employer or social security fund based in Wallonia? Submit your claim online in a few clicks. Do you prefer the paper version? Send the affiliation form 'Claim for child benefit and affiliation' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did your family receive or does it still receive child benefits or family allowances abroad?
Please give us the name and address of the competent foreign child benefit fund.
- Did the foreign child benefit fund stop paying? Parentia requests a confirmation of the end of payment from this fund. Do you have this confirmation in your possession? Send it to us, that way we save time to determine your rights.
- Is the foreign child benefit fund still paying family benefits or child benefits? Parentia will first examine which country pays your family benefits in priority. If, for example, your partner still works abroad (in the country where your children live), this country will continue to pay child benefits. Are the amounts of the Growth Package higher than the amounts paid abroad? Parentia will pay the additional difference to the family abroad. Depending on the country in the EEA, Parentia requests the amounts paid to the competent foreign child benefit fund via form E411 each year or every six months. Or through RINA, F001/F002 forms are sent.
Example: You, the mother, work in Flanders. The father works in France and continues to live with your children in France. France will continue to pay the French child benefit as a priority. Parentia pays the family allowance in addition. The amount paid by France is therefore deducted from the amount to which you are entitled in Flanders.
- Every year, the family abroad receives 2 documents. The P12 form (Declaration of familial and professional situation) which has to be filled out by your partner abroad, informs after his/her professional situation. The second form, the E401 form (for countries in the EEA), asks about the family composition and must be filled out by your partner and by the municipality of her home town. If your family lives in a country with which there is a bilateral agreement, the same proof of family composition is needed.
Is there an entitlement to the starting amount if you give birth abroad?
Does your family live in the EEA? Then you are entitled to the starting amount if:
- you are an employee in Flanders and still in employment on the day of the birth;
- you are a civil servant in Flanders;
- the country where your family lives does not pay any maternity fee or starting amount. If the country of residence pays a starting amount, Flanders will pay the difference in addition, if our amount is higher.
Was your child born in France or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg? Flanders does not pay the starting amount. These countries pay the starting amount, the birth allowance or the maternity allowance themselves.
After birth, send us a copy of your child's birth certificate. We will then send a E401 form on which the municipality abroad will confirm the new family composition.
Until what age is my child entitled to the Growth Package if he lives abroad?
If your child lives in an EEA country, he or she has an unconditional right to the Growth Package until the month in which he or she turns 18. A young adult who continues his studies after that can receive the Growth Package until his 25th birthday.
To this end, we send the E402 form at around the age of 18. Afterwards, we send this form every year in September for each child. Have this form filled out by the school abroad. With this form, we can check whether your child attends enough classes or not. We can also verify if the study program is recognized or corresponds to a recognized training course. The conditions for students to be entitled to the Growth package abroad are the same as in Belgium. You will find these conditions on our webpage 'Studies and educations'.
Does your child live in a country with which Belgium has a bilateral agreement? In these countries, the end of conditional right is different and other forms apply.
The whole family comes to Belgium
You come to Belgium with your family and you choose to live in Flanders? It is very likely that you are entitled to the Growth Package when the child’s or at least one parent’s right of has been granted.
Claim your Growth Package quickly and easily online or send the application form 'Claim for Groeipakket international (child benefit)' to email@example.com.
When is your child entitled to the Growth Pack?
- Your child is lives in Flanders. If there is no registration in the national register, this can be proved with various pieces of evidence, including school certificates. In any case, always have your child registered with the municipality as soon as possible. Contact Parentia to receive more information.
- Your child has the Belgian nationality. If the child does not have the Belgian nationality but does have the permission or authorization to stay in Belgium, this also opens a right to Belgian child benefit. Your child must have a valid residence card. A temporary residence card that also authorizes him to stay in Belgium does not open a right to child benefit.
- Your child has an unconditional right to the Growth package until his or her 18th birthday. From the age of 18 up to 25, your child can still be entitled to the Growth package under certain conditions. Take a look under 'Studies and educations’ to find out more.
Did you or did you not receive child benefit or family benefits abroad?
Did you receive child benefits in a country of the EEA? Please inform us of the name and address of the competent foreign child benefit fund. Parentia will request a confirmation of the end of payment from the competent foreign child benefit fund using form E405. Do you have this form in your possession? Send it to us, so we can save time to determine your rights.
Did you not receive child benefit in a country of the EEA? Parentia will request the confirmation of non-payment with form E405.
Do you come from a country with which Belgium has a bilateral agreement? Please provide us with a declaration on honor stating whether or not you have received child benefits abroad and if so, until when.
After receiving these forms or a declaration on honor, Parentia can start with the payments of the Growth package.
You work in the EEA, but live in Belgium
You are going to work abroad or move abroad with your family: what do you have to do?
You get the opportunity to work in a country of the EEA, but your family and/or you continue to live in Flanders. You are working abroad and your family accompanies you. Or you start working abroad and your family moves with you. Are you still entitled to the Growth package for your children? Read on to find out.
You are going to work abroad (EEA) but your family and/or you continue to live in Belgium.
The Growth Package is paid for children who are domiciled in Flanders. However, your child who continues to live in Flanders may be entitled to child benefits in the EEA country where you are going to work.
The countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France (including the French overseas territories Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion and the French overseas community Saint-Martin), Greece; Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Czech Republic, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.
Or you are going to work in Switzerland.
Is my child entitled to child benefit in an EEA country?
The right to the Growth package remains in any case if you and/or your family remain domiciled in Flanders. You may also be entitled to child benefits in the country where you start working. Make sure to apply there as well immediately. In some countries, an entitlement only begins the moment they receive the application.
It is quite possible that Flanders will only be able to pay the difference between the Growth Package and the foreign amounts. Parentia will pay the additional difference to the family in Flanders. Depending on the country in the EEA, Parentia will request the paid amounts to the competent foreign child benefit fund through form E411 each year or every six months. Or through RINA, F001/F002 forms are sent.
Example: You, the father, will start working in the Netherlands starting on the 1st of August 2022. You remain domiciled in Flanders and the mother not employed. The Netherlands will also examine the child benefit rights from the 1st of August 2022 onwards. Additionally, Parentia will pay the Growth package as of 1 August 2022, if the amounts in the Netherlands are lower than the Growth package.
Am I entitled to the starting amount in Flanders?
You are expecting your first child and you are domiciled in Flanders. Are you entitled to the starting amount when one of the parents is employed in an EEA country? Definitely, there is a right to the starting amount for your child born in Belgium and subsequently domiciled in Flanders. Apply quickly and easily via our online tool or send the application form ‘Claim for starting amount (maternity allowance)' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the mother temporarily resides abroad (country outside of the EEA) and gives birth to your first or subsequent child, she might also be entitled to the starting amount. There is one condition: the child has to be officially domiciled in Flanders within 2 months after his or her birth.
You work abroad, your family accompanies you
You work abroad temporarily and your family accompanies you.
The employer you work for sends you to work abroad and your family accompanies you. Are you still entitled to the Growth package for your children?
What is meant with “temporary work abroad”?
As an employee working short term abroad, you carry out a temporary assignment abroad (EEA or non-EEA) for your employer. You are still subjected to the Belgian social security during your temporary work abroad. Your children who accompany you abroad remain entitled to the Growth package.
Documents you need to send to Parentia:
- You work abroad within the EEA: the A1 form with the duration of your employment abroad.
- You work abroad outside of the EEA: a RSZ certificate concerning a social security agreement between Belgium and the country you work in, stating the duration of your employment abroad.
How long am I entitled to the Growth package when working temporarily abroad?
If there is no social security agreement between Belgium and the country in which you work temporarily, you are entitled to the Growth Package during a maximum of 1 year.
If you work within the EEA, then you are entitled up to 2 years. If there is an agreement between Belgium and a member state within the EEA, this can be extended to a maximum of 5 years.
If you work outside of the EEA, the duration is determined by the agreement between Belgium and the country in which you work temporarily.
You are going to work abroad and your family is moving with you, or you are moving abroad.
You want to explore other horizons and decide to move abroad. As soon as you stop working in Belgium and are no longer domiciled in Flanders or in another Belgian region, you are no longer entitled to child benefits or the Growth package. Your right ends at the end of the month in which you officially move abroad.
Contact Parentia as soon as possible to avoid wrong payments that you have to pay back afterwards.
Do not forget to submit your child benefit application as soon as possible in the country where you are going to live.