If you are working in Belgium and you are temporarily unable to work due to illness, an accident or pregnancy, you qualify for a sickness allowance. While you are on sickness, you cannot work or receive any other kind of remuneration.
Who do you need to notify?
If you have an accident or fall ill, the first thing you do is go to the doctor. If you won’t be able to go to work for some time, you must notify your employer and your health insurance fund as soon as possible. Only then can you receive a sickness allowance.
- Notify your employer as soon as possible by phone, email, text … Then ask your doctor for a medical attestation and send it to your employer.
- Notify your health insurance fund. Have your doctor fill out a ‘statement of fitness for work’ (getuigschrift van arbeidsongeschiktheid, often called ‘vertrouwelijk’). Send it by Bpost mail (!) to your health insurance fund. The postmark serves as proof of timely submission.
If your doctor finds you unfit for work, you will receive an allowance to compensate for your lack of income. If you’re an employee, you start receiving your allowance after a period of guaranteed pay, during which your employer continues paying your wage. If you’re unemployed or self-employed, you receive your allowance from the first day of your incapacity.
Your initial allowance is 60 % of your last gross income, but cannot exceed 102.42 euros per day. If you’re incapacitated for a long period, your allowance will be recalculated after 6 months and again after another 6 months.
Initially, you will receive your allowance every 2 weeks on your bank account.
Back to work
Your statement of fitness for work includes an estimated end date of your work incapacity.
- If by that date you are able to go back to work, then you can without any more paper work.
- If you’re all better before the end date, you can resume work earlier. Just ask your employer to fill out the paper work.
- If you’re still incapacitated, you should go back to your doctor and ask for another statement of fitness for work. Do not postpone this.
Sometimes your health doesn’t allow you to resume your old work, but you can work part-time or in another capacity. If you’re interested in gently resuming work, contact your medical adviser. Contact us or drop by an office for more information.