Question 1: What is the difference between the 5 payment institutions?
There is no difference between the payment institutions in terms of payment of the amounts allocated to you within the Groeipakket. Each payment institution pays the same amount. The difference lies in the accessibility and speed with which each payment institutions answers your questions. You can reach MyFamily through our network of counters near you – by phone, e-mail or video chat. You will receive a clear, comprehensible answer from us within 24 hours.
You are completely free to choose your Groeipakket payment institution yourself. Please note that your choice is valid for one year, after which you are free to choose a new payment institution.
P.S.: Would you like an overview of the differences between Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels? Take a look at this page.
Question 2 : How can I contact you?
We do our best to be available to you and your family. You can reach us via [email protected] (you will receive an answer within 24 hours) or 03 (Monday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Would you prefer to speak to someone in person or via video chat? For the time being, this is only possible by appointment. Please call us and we’ll find a mutually convenient time.
Question 3: I am pregnant, how do I apply for the Startbedrag?
You can easily apply for your Startbedrag here. Make sure to apply well in advance of your due date. We will then make all the arrangements for you. The Startbedrag is €1,167.33. Your money will be sent direct to your bank account starting 2 months before the expected date of birth of your child.
Do you live abroad?
If so, we will also be happy to investigate whether you might be entitled to the Startbedrag . You can read the terms and conditions here, or send us an e-mail at [email protected] and we will check your eligibility for you.
Question 4: What does the Groeipakket consist of?
The Groeipakket consists of:
- The basic amount: €169.79
- The school bonus: €21,23 (0-4 years), €37,14(5-11 years), €53,06(12-17 years) and €63,67(18-24 years)
- Possible supplements as extra support:
- care allowance for orphans, foster children, children with specific support needs
- social supplement for children from lower-income families
- participation allowance for children who attend childcare or school.
- Childcare allowance, Extra allowance for children aged 3 and 4, school allowance
Do you want the full details? You can find all the information on this page.
Question 5: Who will receive the Groeipakket payments?
The Groeipakket payments are paid to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child. If the child is living alone, they will receive the Groeipakket payments themselves.
If you have been subject to a court judgment that allocates the Groeipakket to a single person, or if only one parent has exclusive parental authority, please send us a copy of the judgment to [email protected]. Do not forget to mention your file number or national registration number. We will ensure the Groeipakket payments are paid correctly.
Question 6: When will I receive the Groeipakket payments?
You will receive the Groeipakket payment by no later than the 8th of each month. The Groeipakket payment that you receive on your account is always the Groeipakket payment for the previous month. You will therefore receive the Groeipakket payment for April, for instance, by 8 May at the latest. It is simple to find our payment dates in our payment calendar.
Question 7: I would like you to make the Groeipakket payments to a different account. What should I do?
That’s easy! Just fill in a form with the details and return it to us. Make sure to fill in the correct form:
- If you are the only parent to receive the Groeipakket payments:
- If you would like to receive your Groeipakket payments direct to your bank account, use this form
- If you wish to change the account number, you should use this form
- If you receive the Groeipakket payments jointly with the other parent:
- If you would you like to receive the Groeipakket payments direct to your bank account, use this form
- If you want to change the account number, use this form
- If you live abroad and want to receive your Groeipakket payments direct to a foreign bank account,
- fill in this form and have it signed by your financial institution
If you’re not sure which form to use, send an e-mail to [email protected] and we will be happy to help.
Question 8: I have to repay the Groeipakket payments, but I don't have the money. What should I do?
You can request an instalment plan. If things are tight financially, you can repay it in small monthly instalments. Send an e-mail to [email protected]. Include your file number or national registration number in the e-mail and state ‘Application for instalment plan’ in the subject line. We will work with you to find a solution.
Question 9: I'm new in Flanders. Am I entitled to Groeipakket payments?
Every child who lives in Flanders is entitled to the Groeipakket. Children who do not have Belgian nationality must also have a valid right of residence. Read more on this here.
Question 10: I am a foreign national, but the municipality is unable to issue me with a residence card. Will I receive the Startbetrag initial payment and/or Groeipakket payments?
Let’s start at the beginning: apply for your ‘Startbedrag‘ (if you are expecting a child) or your Groeipakket (if you already have children). The municipality will often provide you with a digital residence document by e-mail. Send this document to us at [email protected]. We will then look at what the next step should be.
If you have the nationality of a country within the European Union, you do not need to send us anything. Once we receive your Startbedrag or Groeipakket application, we will check your right of residence in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (the National Register).
Question 11: My child lives and/or studies abroad. What will happen to my Groeipakket?
If your child is temporarily staying abroad, you may still be entitled to the Groeipakket. Take a look at our “Abroad” page, where you will find information on all situations and whether you may be entitled to the Groeipakket.
Question 12: What should I do to receive the school allowance (study allowance)?
If you are already receiving a Groeipakket, no action is required by you. You will automatically receive the school allowance direct to your account if you are entitled to it. You will receive this allowance annually between September and December.
Since the 2019-2020 school year, we have paid the school allowance ourselves for children up to and including secondary education and for the HBO5 nursing study programme.
If you live in Wallonia, Brussels or abroad but are studying in Flanders, you must submit an application using this form.
Note: The study allowance for higher education is still handled by the education department.
All information about the terms & conditions and the amounts can be found on this page.
Question 13: My child is set to stop studying / working. What will happen to my Groeipakket?
You are still entitled to 12 months’ Groeipakket payments as a school leaver. You no longer need to register with VDAB as a job-seeker to receive your Groeipakket. However, we do recommend you do this. This is because registering with VDAB is still important in order for you to receive benefits.
Is your child about to start work? As long as they work fewer than 80 hours per month as an employee or work less than 475 hours per year as a working student and are not registered as a self-employed person as their primary occupation, you will continue to receive the Groeipakket payments. Tip: Let us know your child has started working by sending a message to [email protected]. We will then check whether you are still entitled to receive the payments. This helps avoid a situation in which you may have to repay the Groeipakket payments afterwards.
You can find more information on this page.
Question 14: How can I apply for a care allowance for my disabled child?
Any child with a specific support need can apply for a care allowance. Whether or not you are entitled to a care allowance, and how much it will be, depends on three pillars:
- Pillar 1: The physical or mental consequences
- Pillar 2: the impact on the functioning of the child (learning, communication, mobility, self-care, etc.)
- Pillar 3: consequences for the family environment
What can you do?
- Ask the supervisor, CLB (Student Guidance Centre), a doctor or a carer for advice. They can easily assess whether or not you are entitled to a care allowance. If a multidisciplinary team manages your child’s care, you should talk to them first.
- Inform us by telephone or e-mail that you would like us to investigate whether your child is entitled to a care allowance. We will submit our own file to Opgroeien, team Zoë. Their medical team will investigate the application, make a decision and let us know what their verdict is.
You can find all the information about the care allowance and how to apply for it on this page.
Question 15: If I have a low income, will I automatically receive a social allowance?
You don’t need to do a thing. How easy is that? Your entitlement to a social allowance is automatically granted on the basis of your tax information from two years ago.
Once you receive a Groeipakket for your children, you may also qualify for the social allowance:
- If your family income is less than €32.238,01 gross taxable per year
- If you have at least 3 children, of which at least 1 child was born after 31 December 2018, and your family income is lower than €63.672,48 gross taxable per year.
More information about the amounts and the award process can be found on this page.
Question 16: Who receives the social allowance following a divorce?
We will look at the official family situation.
- If the parents are not living together, we will assume care is evenly divided between the parents (children stay alternately and for the same period with both parents). The social allowance will be divided 50-50 between the two parents. We will look at the amount and the actual entitlement of both parents separately within their new (blended) family situation.
- If you have not opted for evenly divided care, you have to send us the court judgment by e-mail or post. Based on this, we will assess how the social allowance should be paid.
Do you still have questions about your Groeipakket?
Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail, telephone, etc. and we will be happy to help you.