Sickness and incapacity for work

You are insured for sickness benefits in Belgium. If you become ill and cannot work, you will first receive part of your salary from your employer. After that, you will often receive sickness benefits from the health insurance fund.

Caution! Was your illness caused by an accident at work or an occupational disease? Then you will receive an allowance from your employer’s occupational injury insurer or from the Federal Occupational Risks Authority (Fedris). For more information about these schemes, you can contact the insurer for accidents at work or Fedris.


Are you ill for a long time and does your employer stop paying (part of) your wages? If so, you can get a sickness allowance through the Belgian health insurance fund if you worked for at least 120 days in Belgium and possibly in another EU country within 6 months before you became ill.


If you fall ill, you do not have to apply for a sickness allowance. Your sick note is your application.

Your sick note when staying in the Netherlands

First report sick to your employer (immediately). You must also call the UWV (088 8982001) within 2 days to report sick. Please have the following information ready:

  • Name of the insurance company responsible for you (Belgian health insurance) and insurance number.
  • Name and address of your employer
  • Medical examination

After you have reported your illness to the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen) (Ausführungsinstitut Arbeitnehmerversicherungen [Implementation Institute for Employee Insurance]), the UWV insurance doctor will make an appointment with you for a medical examination. You do not have to come to Belgium for this. You are required to come to the appointment. If you do not, or if you call in sick too late, the UWV will pass this information on to the employer and the insurance company in Belgium. The UWV sends the results of the medical examination to your health insurance’s consulting doctor.

Send the declaration from the family doctor to your employer

According to Belgian law, you are obliged to give your Belgian employer a declaration from your family doctor. In practice, this is not possible because Dutch doctors do not issue this declaration. Therefore, send the invitation letter from the UWV to your employer. That way, your employer knows that he will receive the medical declaration from the UWV.

Your sick note when staying in the Belgium

Are you ill and staying in Belgium? Then report sick to your employer within 2 days, with a statement from your Belgian family doctor. Any guidelines that the employer applies may provide for shorter periods.

The amount and duration of your sick allowance

If you fall ill, your employer will continue to pay your wages or part of the wages.

  • Are you an employee? Then you will continue to receive 100% of your wages for one month. After that, the payment of wages will stop, but you will receive sickness allowance from your health insurer.
  • Are you a labourer? 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. You will receive the remaining 60% from your health insurance fund. In total, you will then receive 85.88% of your wage. Again, the payment is subsequently taken over by the health insurer.

(Status of the information: 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 wage you earned before the first day of illness from the insurance company. For a calculation of the benefit, your wage is converted into a daily wage. Your daily wage can never be more than €142.53 per day, even if you earned more per day. This means a maximum benefit of €85.52 per day (Status: 2019). The calculation is based on a 6-day work week. This benefit then applies for the first six months of your illness. From the seventh month onwards, the family situation is taken into account. You can find more information at RIZIV.

What happens if you are sick for more than a year?

If you are sick for 12 months, the sickness allowance will stop and you can apply for a Belgian disability benefit. You must be declared at least 66% incapacitated for this benefit.

How much your benefit will then be depends on your personal circumstances and on your previous earnings:

  • If you have a family: 65% of your last wages
  • if you are single: 55% of your last wages
  • if you have a partner with an income above the legal minimum: 40% of your last wages
  • if you have a partner with no income or with an income below the legal minimum standard: 55% or 65% of your last salary, depending on the make-up of your family.

Your benefit will be maximised in the same way as for sickness allowance.

If you have not had your entire professional career in Belgium

If, before the time of your illness, you worked not only in Belgium but also in the Netherlands, you must claim a(n) (partial) allowance in both countries.

Further information

At you can find more information on all the above topics based on your personal profile.

Would you like to talk to an adviser at a GrenzInfoPunkt? Then look here for an overview of the GIPs in your area.