Child benefit across borders
when are you entitled to child benefit, when are you not?
Are you living abroad and coming to Belgium to work for an employer whose head office is in Wallonia, you are you living in Wallonia and have found a job abroad or are you perhaps coming to the Walloon Region with your family? We examine every possible situation so you, as an expat, as a new family in Wallonia or as a (future) cross-border worker, do not miss out on your right to child benefit in Wallonia.
What is child benefit?
Working in Belgium, family 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 Wallonia. If you subsequently become unemployed, receive sickness benefits or retire, Wallonia remains competent.
- You are self-employed and domiciled in Wallonia, or you remain domiciled abroad together with your family, and your social insurance fund is based in Wallonia.
Be careful: are you changing to an employer located in another region than Wallonia 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Is the employer or social security fund based in Flanders? 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 email@example.com .
- Are you self-employed and domiciled in another region or are you not domiciled in Belgium and are you affiliated to a social security fund in another region? Submit your application online in just a few clicks. Would you prefer a paper version? Send the application form "Application for child benefits" to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Did your family receive or does it still receive child benefits 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 child benefit in Wallonia higher than the amounts paid abroad? Parentia will pay the additional difference to the family abroad and will contact the child benefit fund abroad to ask for the paid amounts. The regularization takes place automatically every six months or more often at the request of the benefit recipient. Example: You, the mother, work in Wallonia. 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 Wallonia.
If, on the other hand, foreign child benefit is paid based upon residence or a pension income, the Walloon Region has priority and any difference can be paid by the foreign child benefit fund.
Example: You, as mum, work in Wallonia. Dad is retired in France and continues to live with your children in France. Wallonia will prioritize the payment of your child benefit. France will pay an additional amount to the Walloon child benefit. The amount paid by Wallonia is therefore deducted from the amount you are entitled to in France.
Which documents do we need?
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.
Until what age is my child entitled to child benefit if he lives abroad?
If your child lives in an EEA country, he or she has an unconditional right to child benefits until 31 August of the year in which he or she turns 18. A young adult who continues his studies after that can receive child benefits until his 25th birthday.
To determine whether your child is eligible for a right to child benefit after the age of 21, we check the situation of your child. To this end, we send the E402 form at the age of 21. Thereafter, we send this form every year in September. Have this form filled out by the school abroad. With this form, we check whether your child follows a recognized study program or a similar one. The conditions to your right to child benefit as a student 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 which Belgium has a bilateral agreement with? In these countries, the end of conditional right is different and other forms apply.
Is there a right to maternity allowance if you give birth abroad?
Does your family live in the EEA? Then you are entitled to the maternity allowance if:
- you are an employee in Wallonia and still in employment on the day of birth;
- the country where your family lives does not pay any maternity allowance. If the country of residence pays a maternity allowance, Wallonia will pay the difference in addition, if our amount is higher.
Was your child born in France or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg? Wallonia does not pay the maternity allowance. These countries pay 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.
The whole family comes to live in Belgium
You coming to Belgium with your family and you choose to live in Wallonia? It is very likely that you are entitled to child benefit if the right of residence is in order for the child itself or for at least one parent if the child is younger than 12.
When is your child entitled to child benefit?
- Your child lives in Wallonia. If there is no registration in the national register, this can be proved with various pieces of evidence. 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. Your child must have a valid residence card or, if he or she is under 12, at least one of the parents must have a right of residence.
- Your child has an unconditional right to child benefit until 31 August of the year in which he or she turns 18. From the age of 18 up to 25, your child can still be entitled to child benefit under certain conditions. Take a look under 'Studies and educations’ to find out more.
Who receives child benefit?
Child benefit is paid to the persons who raise the children. In most cases, this is the mother. You can find all details on our page 'Who receives the child benefit'.
Did you or did you not receive child benefit 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 of honor, Parentia can start with the payments of child benefit.
Working in the EEA, living in Belgium
You get the opportunity to work in a country of the EEA, but your family and/or you continue to live in Wallonia. 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 child benefit 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 child benefit is paid for children who are domiciled in Wallonia. However, your child who continues to live in Wallonia 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 child benefit remains in any case if you and/or your family remain domiciled in Wallonia. 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.
The Walloon region will prioritize the payment of child benefit if there is a professional activity in Belgium (including unemployment, illness for less than 6 months...), and the competent country abroad will pay the possible difference.
If there is no professional activity in Belgium, the foreign child benefit fund has priority over us. Parentia will pay the additional difference to the family in Wallonia if the amount of child benefit in the Walloon region is higher than the foreign amount. Parentia contacts the child benefit fund abroad to ask for the paid amounts. The regularization takes place automatically every six months or more often at the request of the benefit recipient.
Example: You, the father, will start working in the Netherlands starting on the 17 of August 2022. You remain domiciled in Wallonia and the mother not employed. The Netherlands will also examine the child benefit rights from the 1st of September 2022 onwards. Additionally, Parentia will pay child benefit as of 1 September 2022, if the amounts in the Netherlands are lower.
Does the mother have an occupation in Belgium? Then the Netherlands will also investigate the right to child benefit. From 1 September 2022 onwards, the Netherlands will additionally pay child benefit if the amounts are lower in Wallonia.
Am I entitled to the maternity allowance in Wallonia?
You are expecting your first child and you are domiciled in Wallonia. Are you entitled to the maternity allowance 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 Wallonia. Apply quickly and easily via our online tool or send the application form ‘Claim for maternity benefit Parentia Wallonie' 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 Wallonia within 2 months after his or her birth. The period can be extended to 6 months for health reasons.
Working abroad, your family goes with 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 child benefit in Wallonia for your children?
What is meant by “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 child benefit provided by the Walloon Region.
Documents you can 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 child benefit 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 Wallonia or in another Belgian region, you are no longer entitled to child benefits. 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.