Startbedrag (birth benefit)
Who gets a birth benefit?
In Flanders you are paid a birth benefit for the birth or adoption of a child of € 1.190,68 (previously known as the maternity allowance (kraamgeld) / childbirth allowance (geboortepremie) and adoption allowance (adoptiepremie)).
However, within one and the same family, you cannot receive the birth benefit for a birth and for an adoption for the same child at the same time.
How much is the birth benefit?
The birth benefit for each child is € 1.190,68. It does not matter whether or not the child is your first-born. For twins and multiple births you will also receive € 1.190,68 for each child.
How do you get the birth benefit?
You can apply for the birth benefit with the Groeipakket payment fund (previously the child benefit society of kinderbijslagfonds) once you reach your sixth month of pregnancy. That's four months before the estimated date of delivery.
You are free to choose which Groeipakket payment fund you apply with for the birth benefit.
If you are applying for the birth benefit before the birth of the child, you will also need to provide the payment fund with a doctor's certificate specifying the estimated date of delivery.
An example: Mika and Noor are expecting a baby. The estimated date of delivery is the 20th of June 2021. They can request the birth benefit from the 20th of February 2021 onwards.
In case of an adoption, you will need to include a copy of the national or international adoption petition along with your application for the birth benefit. If an international adoption is not accompanied by a petition, an international adoption decision or a decision on placement with a view to adoption will suffice.
You can apply for the birth benefit up to five years after the child in question was born.
When is the birth benefit paid?
The birth benefit will be paid no earlier than two months before the estimated date of delivery. Your payment fund can pay the birth benefit only after it has received the doctor's certificate.
An example: Mika and Noor are expecting a baby. The estimated date of delivery is the 20th of June 2021. They may be paid the birth benefit from the 20th of April 2021 onwards.
In case of an adoption, the birth benefit will be paid as soon as the child becomes a part of your family.