Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Belgium - Long-term care

In what situation can I claim?

While there is no specific legislation at federal (national) level in Belgium, the legislation does however provide for certain benefits aimed at dependent, disabled or elderly persons, who require specific equipment or long-term care. In particular this relates to:

  • the integration allowance (AI);
  • the allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA);
  • Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming).

What conditions do I need to meet?

 Integration allowance

To provide assistance with the additional costs which you will meet as a disabled person in arranging your day-to-day living space (motorised wheelchair, special equipment for the bathroom or the kitchen, etc.), an integration allowance may be awarded to you if:

  • your disability is certified by an approved medical doctor;
  • your income and that of your partner do not exceed certain limits;
  • you are at least 21 years of age and under 65;
  • you are included in the population register;
  • you are domiciled in Belgium and actually reside there.
Allowance for assistance to the elderly

If you are aged 65 or over and you have difficulty in carrying out your day-to-day activities, you may be entitled to an allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA). This allowance is identical to the integration allowance, but is aimed at persons aged 65 or over. The earliest you can claim this allowance is the day of your 65th birthday. The criteria for obtaining the allowance are the same as for the integration allowance (AI).

More information about AI and APA is available at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

More information about the APA in the Flemish community can be found at the site of the Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming (Flemish Social Protection).

Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse sociale bescherming) in the Flemish region.

Flemish Social Protection is a set of interventions and funding systems for long-term care within the Flemish Community.

A contribution of € 26 or € 51 is requested from each insured person, which finances the basic assistance budget, the Flemish Social Protection and the allowance for the elderly.

To be eligible, the insured person must have resided five years in the Flemish region or in the Brussels-Capital region. However, residents of Brussels are not obligated to join. The beneficiary must also, depending on the intervention, either have a recognised disability or be at least 65 years of age with a disability or a reduction in self-sufficiency (7 points or more on the autonomy scale). Medical examinations for the elderly care allowance are still conducted at the federal level.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

 Integration allowance

To provide assistance with the additional costs which you will meet as a disabled person in arranging your day-to-day living space (motorised wheelchair, special equipment for the bathroom or the kitchen, etc.), an integration allowance may be awarded to you if:

  • your disability is certified by an approved medical doctor;
  • your income and that of your partner do not exceed certain limits;
  • you are at least 21 years of age and under 65;
  • you are included in the population register;
  • you are domiciled in Belgium and actually reside there.
Allowance for assistance to the elderly

If you are aged 65 or over and you have difficulty in carrying out your day-to-day activities, you may be entitled to an allowance for assistance to the elderly (APA). This allowance is identical to the integration allowance, but is aimed at persons aged 65 or over. The earliest you can claim this allowance is the day of your 65th birthday. The criteria for obtaining the allowance are the same as for the integration allowance (AI).

More information about AI and APA is available at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

More information about the APA in the Flemish community can be found at the site of the Vlaamse Sociale Bescherming (Flemish Social Protection).

Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse sociale bescherming) in the Flemish region.

Flemish Social Protection is a set of interventions and funding systems for long-term care within the Flemish Community.

A contribution of € 26 or € 51 is requested from each insured person, which finances the basic assistance budget, the Flemish Social Protection and the allowance for the elderly.

To be eligible, the insured person must have resided five years in the Flemish region or in the Brussels-Capital region. However, residents of Brussels are not obligated to join. The beneficiary must also, depending on the intervention, either have a recognised disability or be at least 65 years of age with a disability or a reduction in self-sufficiency (7 points or more on the autonomy scale). Medical examinations for the elderly care allowance are still conducted at the federal level.

Jargon busters

  • FPS Social Security: federal public service responsible for social security.
  • Income replacement allowance (ARR): it can be awarded to a disabled person if their disability limits their capacity to work and therefore their ability to acquire an income through work.
  • AI: integration allowance.
  • APA: allowance for assistance to the elderly.

Forms you may need to fill in

The procedure regulating the submission of an application is available at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

Know your rights

The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter.

FPS Social Security publications on AI and APA:

For more information about Flemish Social Protection , visit the following websites:

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

In the event of any problems with your rights as a European citizen: EU helpdesks

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