1. Groeipakket when staying abroad
The Groeipakket is available for all children living in Flanders. However, you may also receive the Groeipakket for your child abroad. Is your child going on an exchange, a study programme with Erasmus, or are you looking for a career elsewhere? You can read here whether you will still receive the Groeipakket.
Important: Will your child be staying abroad? Always inform MyFamily of this! This ensures that you will not receive a Groeipakket to which you are not actually entitled. You will also receive the right documents more quickly.
2 Your child stays within Europe
Is your child staying within the European Economic Area* (EEA) or Switzerland? Then you may still receive a Groeipakket, after examination of the rights you will enjoy in your country of residence.
*The following countries are part of the EEA: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
2.1 Your child is studying in a European country
Does your family live in Flanders, but your son or daughter is temporarily studying abroad? Then, (in addition to missing your student) you are usually also entitled to the Groeipakket.
What do I have to do?
In that case, you must have a European form (form E402) filled in by the foreign school. We use this to check whether your child is attending sufficient lessons and whether the study programme is recognised, or corresponds to a recognised training course. Do you need to obtain this form? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
2.2 Living and working
Does your child live abroad, but you yourself are working in Flanders? Even then, you may still receive your Groeipakket. It all depends on who works and lives where. A puzzle we would love to solve for you!
Is there a right to family benefit, child benefit or Groeipakket in the country where your child lives, as well as in the country where you work? This is referred to as concurrence. This means that we shall check which countries are allowed to pay family benefits based on European rules.
The country where your child lives is called the country of residence. The country where a parent, step-parent or partner works is called the country of work. There may therefore be several working countries.
- The country of work always takes precedence over the country of residence. This means that the country of work (as the country taking precedence) pays 100% of the family benefit. The country of residence may supplement this if necessary.
- Are there several countries of work? Then the country of work where the child also lives pays the full family allowance (priority). The other country of work may then supplement it.
Your family lives in the Netherlands. Mum works in Flanders, Dad works in the Netherlands. The Netherlands then pays the full Dutch child benefit as the country of residence and the country of work (priority). You will also receive Groeipakket from Flanders, but the amount you have already received from the Netherlands will be deducted from this.
3. Your child stays in a country outside Europe
You may still receive the Groeipakket if you meet these four conditions:
- You are not entitled to family benefits in that other country;
- You or your partner do not carry out any profitable activities there;
- your child mostly lives in Flanders, and is domiciled there;
- your child meets one of the seven situations listed below.
- Your child is studying abroad.
Does your child usually stay in Flanders, but will be studying abroad temporarily? Then you may receive the Groeipakket:
- in higher education: for the entire period of the education being followed.
- in non-higher education and your child has a secondary education diploma in Belgium: for a maximum of one school year.
There is no time limitation for your Groeipakket if your child receives a domestic or foreign study allowance.
What do I have to do?
Your child will have to have a form completed by the school. This allows us to check whether the training meets the conditions. Just contact us, and the Groeipakket coach will provide you with the right form.
- Your child has finished school, and is working abroad as a volunteer or a trainee for those 12 months.
You will receive the Groeipakket if you can present a certificate from the National Employment office (RVA), the VDAB or the voluntary organisation that shows that you are allowed to stay abroad for that reason.
- Your child is temporarily staying abroad.
You will receive the Groeipakket if your child does not stay abroad for more than two months per calendar year. This also applies to a newborn child whose mother gave birth abroad.
Is your child staying abroad for a maximum of three years due to medical reasons with regard to your child, the parent or the parent’s partner? Then you will also receive the Groeipakket. What do I have to do? Send us a medical certificate stating that it is impossible to return to Belgium.
- Your child is staying abroad during the Christmas, Easter or summer holidays.
In that case, you are also entitled to the Groeipakket.
- Your child is staying with a seconded parent abroad.
Are you a parent who is staying abroad for a Belgian employer? And are you still subject to Belgian social security? You may keep the Groeipakket for up to one year for your child travelling with you. Are you having a new baby in that year? You will also be entitled to Groeipakket and Startbedrag (start amount) for your newborn.
The one-year limit does not apply to children of government personnel. In that case, the Groeipakket entitlement will even continue if the child receives further education abroad after the staff member has returned to Belgium.
What do I have to do? Send us proof of your secondment by e-mail or post. That will keep your file complete.
- Your child has been abducted and taken abroad.
In that case, your Groeipakket entitlement will continue to exist until your child reaches the age of majority.
What do I have to do? Be sure to report the abduction to the police in good time and send us a copy of the official police report.
- Your child is being raised in a country with which Belgium has signed a child benefit treaty.
These countries are: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav republics not belonging to the EU.
What do I have to do? Different forms apply for each country. So be sure to inform your Groeipakket coach in good time so that you get the right documents.
You will then receive the Groeipakket from Belgium if at least one parent works or receives benefits in Belgium. Please note that each country has different conditions, and that different amounts may therefore apply.
4. Right to the Start amount at birth or adoption abroad
4.1 Are you staying in a European country?
Your child will then receive a ‘Startbedrag’ (Start amount, the new name of the birth allowance or adoption allowance) in the following cases:
- You are a Flemish civil servant, or
- you are an employee in Flanders who is still employed on the day of birth, or
- you are self-employed in Flanders,
and you meet these conditions:
- You are not entitled to the Start amount in your country of residence and
- your child is entitled to Groeipakket from birth.
Was your child is born in France or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg? A special arrangement applies and these countries will pay you the Start amount.
4.2 Do you live in a country that is outside the European Union?
You may receive the Start amount in the following cases:
- you are a seconded employee or a government civil servant working abroad;
- your child lives in Flanders within two months of the birth;
- your child cannot come to Belgium for medical reasons (in that case, your entitlement will remain in place for up to three years);
- you do not receive a similar premium in your country of residence from an institution established under international law or from another partial entity;
- the entitlement to family benefits must exist from the month of the birth or – in the event of adoption – from the moment your adopted child is staying with your family.