Social Allowance in Flanders
The Social Allowance was created to give children from low-income families every opportunity to develop. The amount that you receive depends on your family income and size, and varies between 53,06 euros and 84,89 euros per child per month.
If you’re entitled to it, you’ll receive this allowance automatically. Got any questions or believe that you’re entitled to the Social Allowance but aren’t currently receiving it?
Social Allowance included in the Growth Package
In the past, if you were unemployed or incapacitated for work, or a single-parent family, then you were entitled to a Social Allowance. This allowance was based on your family’s socio-professional status and income. As of 1/1/2019, this allowance is no longer linked to your employment status and is now based exclusively on your family income and size.
This new regulation applies to children born both prior to and after 1 January 2019. An important side note: children born prior to 1 January 2019 will continue to receive the former Child Benefit legislation amounts. In addition, families with an annual income of between 31,605.89 euros and 62,424 euros are only entitled to an allowance if a third or subsequent qualifying child is added to the family on or after 1/1/2019 (*)
(*) Children born from 1/1/2019 onwards will receive the new amounts.
Threshold amounts from 01/09/2021
The income thresholds apply to your family income. In addition to your gross taxable income (or net taxable for the self-employed), this also includes maintenance payments, cadastral income and income replacement allowances.
|Family Size||Income Threshold||
|1 or 2 children||< 32.238,01 euros||53,06 euros per child|
|> 2 children||< 32.238,01 euros||84,89 euros per child|
|> 2 children||32.238,01 euros - 63.672,48 euros||63,67 euros per child|
How is your Social Allowance entitlement evaluated?
Your Social Allowance entitlement is calculated automatically based on your family circumstances, the income specified on your tax return and your property ownership status. Your Social Allowance entitlement is reviewed on an annual basis, for the period from 1 October to 30 September of the following year.
We automatically receive your income details from the FPS Finance via your tax return. We always base this assessment on your tax return from 2 years ago.
Example: We investigate your Social Allowance entitlement for the period from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021 based on the income specified on your tax return for the 2018 tax year.
Your Social Allowance is therefore always awarded on a provisional basis. In this same example, we’ll review the income specified on the 2020 tax year in 2022. At that point, we can evaluate whether the Social Allowance was awarded correctly. The opposite can also apply:
Example: If we deduce that the income specified on your 2018 tax return was too high to entitle you to a Social Allowance, but in 2022 we see that your actual 2020 income was below the permitted threshold amount, then, at that point in time, we can pay your Social Allowance for the period from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021.
What if my current income differs from my income from 2 years ago?
Since we base our calculations on your income from 2 years ago, the Social Allowance is always awarded on a provisional basis. We automatically receive this information from the FPS Finance via your tax return.
It could be that your income from 2 years ago was higher than the Social Allowance entitlement threshold amount. In that case, we’ll be unable to pay a provisional Social Allowance.
Example: We investigate your Social Allowance entitlement for the period from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021 based on the income specified on your tax return for the 2018 tax year. If your income for the 2018 tax year was too high, then we’ll be unable to pay a provisional Social Allowance. In 2022, we’ll be able to view your 2020 tax return. At that point, we’ll check whether a supplementary Social Allowance can be paid or not, based on your actual 2020 income.
If you already know that your current income is less than your income from 2 years ago, you can:
- Wait for KidsLife to automatically review your Social Allowance entitlement in 2 years’ time
- Submit your current income manually via the application form. To do so, please contact your KidsLife adviser or download the application form
Why am I no longer entitled to a Social Allowance when I was in the past?
There are various reasons why you may no longer be entitled to the Social Allowance:
- Change in your family circumstances.
Example: Lieve receives Child Benefit and a Social Allowance for her 2 children based on her low income. Her partner Peter moves in with her on 12 March. From 1 April, Peter’s income is also included in the Social Allowance entitlement calculation. Lieve and Peter’s combined income is higher than the permitted threshold amount.
- Your income has increased and is higher than the permitted threshold amount.
- New method of calculation: unlike the former Child Benefit legislation that applied prior to January 2019, maintenance payments, living wages, income replacement allowances and some forms of cadastral income are now also included in the calculation of your income.
- The cadastral income test. We factor in your cadastral income when calculating your allowance. We do this if you own property and/or land that you do not reside in/on or do not utilise in a professional capacity. If your cadastral income represents an excessive proportion of your total income, then you’re not entitled to a Social Allowance.
Why am I receiving less Social Allowance than before?
- Change in the number of children in your family
Example: Ben and Mona have 2 children. Gaston was born in 2019 and Lina in 2021. Ben and Mona’s combined income is less than 32.238,01 euros per annum and they consequently receive a Social Allowance of 84,89 euros per child. On 5 April 2021, Gaston goes to live with his grandparents. Lina is now the only child in Ben and Mona’s family, and will consequently be entitled to a Social Allowance of 53,06 euros from 1 May 2021.
- Other income thresholds.
The new family income calculation may result in you falling into a different category. You may receive less or more Social Allowance as a result.
Example: Emelie has 3 children from a previous relationship. Her youngest child Jules was born in 2019. Based on her income (which is less than 32.238,01 euros), she’s entitled to a Social Allowance for her 3 children. Her new partner Suzanne moves in with her on 6 May 2021. From 1 June 2021, Suzanne’s income will also be included in the calculation. Emelie and Suzanne’s combined income is between 32.238,01 euros and 63.672,48 euros. This means that the Social Allowance that Emelie receives for Jules drops from 84,89 euros to 63,67 euros.
Got a question about your personal circumstances? Then please contact your KidsLife adviser.
I’ve received an ST22 or ST16(AANV) letter from KidsLife.
Both letters are used to investigate your Social Allowance entitlement. You received the letter because:
- The family income information that we receive automatically was incomplete. In this case, you’re given an opportunity to supply the income information yourself, which will allow us to proceed with investigating your Social Allowance entitlement.
- Because your actual income is less than the family income information that we’ve automatically received and you’ve consequently requested an application form from us.
In this case you must supply us manually with your income information, together with all relevant supporting documents.