Unemployment benefit from Belgium
If you live in Belgium and are employed in the Netherlands, and you become unemployed in the Netherlands through no fault of your own, you will get a Belgian unemployment benefit, provided you can show that you have worked for a sufficient number of days in a certain period (the reference period), for example:
- if you are aged under 36: 312 days in the past 21 months
- if you are aged between 36 and 50: 468 days in the past 33 months
- if you are aged 50 or over: 624 days in the past 42 months
NB. Different reference periods apply for each age category. The National Employment Office (Rijksdienst voor Arbeidsvoorziening, RVA) can provide a full overview.
Applying for a Belgian unemployment benefit
If you belong to a trade union in Belgium, you must apply to the trade union for the unemployment benefit. If you are not a union member, you must apply to your local Auxiliary Fund for Payment of Unemployment Benefits (Hulpkas voor Werkloosheidsuitkeringen, HVW). You will need a letter of dismissal and form U1.
The amount of the Belgian unemployment benefit
The amount of the unemployment benefit depends on your most recent wages or salary and the composition of your family. The amount will also be reduced after 3 months, and again after 6 months and after 12 months.
If you are fully unemployed after having worked full-time, you will get the following for the first 3 months, for example:
- if you support a family:
65% of the daily wage (at least € 1,112.54, with a maximum of € 1,571.96 per month).
- if you live on your own:
65% of the daily wage (at least € 934.44, with a maximum of € 1,571.96 per month).
- if your partner has income:
65% of the daily wage (at least € 700.44, with a maximum of € 1,571.96 per month).
The above amounts apply as from 1 december 2012. The amounts are linked to the cost-of-living index. When living expenses rise, the National Employment Office (RVA) increases the amounts. In the Netherlands, benefits are usually increased twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July. In Belgium, benefits are not increased at fixed times.