You are insured against incapacity for work in Belgium. If you fall ill and cannot work, you will first receive part of your salary from your employer. Then, in the event of illness, you will often receive a benefit from your health insurance.
However, please note the following: Is your illness due to an accident at work or an occupational disease? If so, you will receive a benefit from your employerâ€™s occupational injury insurance or from the Federaal agentschap voor beroepsrisicoâ€™s, Fedris [Federal Agency for Occupational Risks]. For more information about these schemes, contact the occupational injury insurance scheme or Fedris.
In order for your wages to continue to be paid in the event of illness, you must immediately report sick to your employer and submit a sick note (deadline depending on the work regulations). Within two days of the sick note, you must also send a sick note to your German health insurance fund.
You are sick for a longer period of time and your employer stops paying (part of) your wages? Then you will receive a sickness allowance through your Belgian health insurance fund, provided you were employed in Belgium and, if applicable, another EU country for at least 120 days in the six months prior to the onset of your illness.
The amount and duration of your sick allowance
If you fall ill, your employer will continue to pay your wages or part of your wages.
* Are you employed and receive a salary? Then you will continue to receive 100% of your salary for one month. After that, you will often receive a sickness allowance from the health insurance.
Are you employed and receive wages? Then you will receive 100% of your wages for the first seven days and 85.88% of your wages from the 8th day up to and including the 14th day. From the 15th day up to and including the end of the first month, you will still receive 25.88% of your wages from your employer. The remaining 60% will be paid by your health insurance. In total, you will then receive 85.88% of your wage. After that, you will often receive a sickness allowance from the health insurance (Effective as of 2019).
How much will my benefit be if I no longer receive wages?
After the first month of your illness, you will receive 60% of the wages you earned before the first day of illness from the health insurance company. For a calculation of the benefit, your wages are converted into a daily wage.
The calculation is made in the 6-day week system. As a rule, 26 paid days per month are assumed. In the first 6 months, there is a maximum daily rate of â‚¬ 85.52. (Effective as of: 2019).
From the 7th month of incapacity for work, the health insurance generally continues to pay 60% of the gross wages. From then on, the amount of the daily rate depends on various factors (family situation…): You can find information on this at RIZIV.
What happens if your illness lasts longer than a year?
If you are sick for twelve months, the sickness allowance will stop. You can then apply for a Belgian invalidity benefit. To qualify for this benefit, you must be at least 66% disabled.
How much your benefit will be depends on your personal circumstances and your previous salary:
- If you have a family: 65% of your last wages.
- If single: 55% of your last wages.
- If your partner’s income is above the statutory minimum: 40% of your last wages.
- If your partner has no income or an income that is below the statutory minimum: 55% or 65% of your last salary – depending on family circumstances.
The benefit is capped in the same way as for the sickness allowance.
Unless you have not been employed only in Belgium
If you were employed not only in Belgium but also in Germany during the period of your illness, you must claim (partial) benefit in both countries.