What should you do when you stop studying?

Step 1: Register as a school leaver looking for a job (VDAB, Forem, Actiris, ADG).

 

Register with VDAB, Forem, Actiris or ADG as a school leaver looking for a job as soon as possible after you stop with your studies. This way, the child benefit and unemployment legislations remain in conformity with one another.

  • If you finish your studies in June, you should register by 1 August at the latest. Students who followed an apprenticeship contract or who took an extra year for writing their thesis must register the day after their apprenticeship contract ends or submission of their thesis.

    Example: Prem takes an extra year to finish his thesis. He submits his thesis on 30 June. Prem must register with VDAB as a school leaver looking for a job on 1 July.

  • If you discontinue your studies after June, you should register the day after your last exam, placement day or submission of your thesis.
  • If you discontinue your studies during the academic year, you should register the day after you drop out.

Note: If you register late, you only receive child benefit as from the month following registration. You therefore waive the child benefit for the preceding period. The allocation period then still ends 360 days after the earliest possible registration date.

Example: Paulien stops her studies on 10 February 2017 and only registers as a jobseeker with VDAB on 10 May 2017. She loses her entitlement to child benefit for the months of March, April and May 2017 and receives the maximum child benefit up to and including February 2018.

Step 2: Complete and send off form P20a as soon as your situation changes.

We send you form P20a as soon as you are registered as a school leaver looking for a job with VDAB, Forem, Actiris or ADG. You only need to send this in as soon as something in your situation as a school leaver looking for a job changes. Using this form we assess whether you earn no more than €541.09 gross per month from a job and social benefits. Should you earn more in a certain month, then you will receive no child benefit for the month in question.

Are you still entitled to child benefit after your studies?

After your studies, you immediately fall into the jobseeker’s period.  During this period, you are also entitled to child benefit under a number of conditions:

  • You are registered as a school leaver looking for a job with VDAB, Forem, Actiris or ADG.
  • You are available for work.
  • You are younger than 25.
  • You neither work nor earn much. How much you may work depends on your studies and the month in which you work:
    • If you finish your studies after an apprenticeship contract, you may earn no more than €541.09 gross per month from work and social benefits. You may also work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September.
    • If you finish your studies after secondary education, the conditions vary per month. Should there be two conditions, we apply the regulation that is most beneficial for you:
  • In July, you are entitled to child benefit if you work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September combined.
  • In August, you are entitled to child benefit if you work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September combined. If you worked more than 240 hours in the third quarter, you are still entitled to child benefit if you earned no more than €541.09 gross in August from work and social benefits.
  • From September up to and including July of the following year, you are entitled to child benefit if you earn no more than €541.09 gross per month from work and social benefits.
  • If you finish your studies after higher education, the conditions vary per month. Should there be two conditions, we apply the regulation that is most beneficial for you:
  • In July, you are entitled to child benefit if you work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September combined.
  • In August, you are entitled to child benefit if you work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September combined. If you worked more than 240 hours in the third quarter, you are still entitled to child benefit if you earned no more than €541.09 gross in August from work and social benefits.
  • In September, you are entitled to child benefit if you work no more than 240 hours in July, August and September combined. If you worked more than 240 hours in the third quarter, you are still entitled to child benefit if you earned no more than €541.09 gross in September from work and social benefits.
  • From October up to and including July of the following year, you are entitled to child benefit if you earn no more than €541.09 gross per month from work and social benefits.

For how long do you receive child benefit?

The period after your studies in which you may still be entitled to child benefit is called the allocation period and lasts 360 calendar days. For this to be the case, you must be registered as a jobseeker on time. The allocation period may start at different times depending on your age and studies:

  • You are younger than 18:
  • If you finish your studies in June, the allocation period starts on 1 August.
  • If, during the school year, you stop studying and your birthday falls between 1 January and 30 June, the allocation period starts on your birthday.
  • If, during the school year, you stop studying and your birthday falls between 1 July and 31 December, the allocation period starts on 1 August.
  • You are older than 18:
  • If you finish secondary or higher education in June, the allocation period starts on 1 August.
  • If you discontinue your studies after June, the allocation period starts the day after your last exam.
  • If you discontinue your studies during the academic year, the approval period starts the day after you drop out.
  • If you discontinue your studies after an apprenticeship contract, the allocation period starts the day after your apprenticeship contract ends.

What should you do when you start working?

Inform us as soon as possible when you start working. We will then freeze the payments to be sure that you need not repay any child benefit.

As soon as we know you are in work, we will send you form P20a to determine whether you are still entitled to child benefit. Complete and send it back to us as soon as possible. Should it transpire that you were still entitled to child benefit, we will then pay out the benefits retrospectively.

What should you do if you still have no work after 12 months?

We will send you form P20c, even if you no longer receive child benefit. Complete and send it back to us as soon as possible. Using that form, we look again at your entire period as a school leaver looking for a job.

If your jobseeker’s period is extended, you maintain your entitlement to child benefit. Please contact your regional service for employment (VDAB, Forem, Actiris or ADG).


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