Up to and including the month in which you turn 18, you are unconditionally entitled to the Groeipakket if you live in Flanders. This means you do not need to meet any other requirements. You can work unlimited hours.
Between the ages of 18 and 25 you are allowed to work as a student and still keep your Groeipakket if you:
- work a maximum of 475 hours per year on a student contract (with reduced social security contributions);
- work a maximum of 80 hours per month on a regular employment contract (with normal social security contributions);
- engage in an independent activity for which no contributions are due when you are working in self-employed status as your primary occupation;
- are not on social benefits. If you are on social benefits, you are not entitled to the Groeipakket for that month. Exception: receiving a social benefit resulting from employment within the context of dual learning or a paid traineeship contract is allowed on the other hand. Being on guaranteed minimum income benefit (leefloon) or an allowance for voluntary work are also allowed.
The amount of your salary is irrelevant. There is no income threshold for the Groeipakket. How much you earn does matter for taxes.
What if you exceed the permitted number of hours?
- If you have exceeded the 475 hours per year permitted on your student contract, the extra hours are factored in within the 80-hour limit you are allowed to work each month on a regular employment contract. You also pay the normal social security contributions from then on. To establish this, your payer goes by the data from the NSSO.
- If you have exceeded the 80 hours a month on a regular employment contract, you are not entitled to the Groeipakket for that particular month. This is assessed on a month-by-month basis.
You are free to work on a student contract and a regular employment contract at the same time. The requirements are verified separately.
These rules apply throughout the year as a whole, including the summer months.
If you are a student in part-time education, in a part-time training programme or in a dual learning system, you are also allowed to work as a working student if:
- you work on a student contract for an employer other than the employer at whose company you are taking your practical workplace training. In the summer months of July and August you are also allowed to work a holiday job with your traineeship provider.
- you work your student job hours outside of the hours of the theoretical or practical training.
- You are not on social benefits. Exception: receiving a social benefit resulting from employment within the context of dual learning or a paid traineeship contract is allowed on the other hand.
As a working student with a specific support need, you will retain the basic amount for as long as the recognition for the care supplement remains valid.
In order not to lose your entitlement to the care supplement, from the age of 21 (the age when your unconditional entitlement for a child with a support need ends) you must meet the following requirements:
- You work a maximum of 475 hours per year on a student contract.
- You work a maximum of 80 hours per month on a regular employment contract.
- You engage in an independent activity for which no contributions are due when you are working in self-employed status as your primary occupation.
- You are not on social benefits.
Working in a sheltered workplace is always allowed.
Flemish students who work extra hours in care or education during the last three months of 2020 or the first three months of 2021 do not lose their Groeipakket as a result. The hours worked are 'neutralised': they do not count towards the annual maximum of 475 hours of work on a student contract.
Are you a job student looking for comprehensive information about student employment? Everything you need to know about student employment is available on the Student@work website