Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Belgium - Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases

In what situation can I claim?

  • An accident at work is defined as “any accident that happens to a worker during the course and by the fact of the performance of his contract of employment and which causes an injury”.
  • If the occupational disease is on the official list and the victim is employed in a sector where he or she is exposed to that risk, the causal link between the exposure and the disease is presumed. An open system coexists alongside the list.

What conditions do I need to meet?

 Occupational diseases

If you are employed in the private sector, bound by a contract of employment, you are insured. The following are also insured:

  • apprentices and trainees, even if these receive no remuneration;
  • persons who, because of a physical work incapacity or unemployment, are undertaking a vocational rehabilitation or training course;
  • pupils and students who are exposed to a risk of occupational disease during their studies.

If you are employed in the public sector, you are insured against the risk of occupational disease. However, the administrative route to be followed by a particular case is not the same depending on the relevant authority or body.

If you are a self-employed worker you are not yet covered by mandatory insurance in relation to occupational diseases. Nonetheless you can still apply to the sickness and invalidity insurance scheme for self-employed workers.

Accidents at work

Any worker who is incapacitated as a result of an accident at work is entitled to compensation. An accident at work is defined as:

  • A sudden event (which distinguishes an accident at work from an occupational disease) which causes an injury and which happens during the course and by the fact of the performance of the contract of employment;
  • Accidents at work on the way to and from work.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

 Occupational diseases

Victims of an occupational disease or persons entitled on their behalf are entitled to compensation paid by the Federal Agency For Occupational Risks (l’Agence fédérale pour les risques professionnels - Fedris).. You may be entitled to one of the following compensations:

  • for permanent loss of working capacity;
  • for temporary loss of working capacity;
  • for reimbursement of medical costs related to the treatment of an occupational disease;
  • for the assistance of another person;
  • after a death caused by an occupational disease, the compensation is then paid to the persons entitled on their behalf. 

Please note. The information which appears on this page only applies to paid employees in the private sector. Salaried workers in the public sector should contact their public sector personnel department.

You can never receive compensation which is higher than the maximum amount of your basic salary. This is also the case if you receive several compensation payments from Fedris because, for example, you have contracted different occupational diseases, and for any compensations paid following an accident at work.

More information can be found at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.

Accidents at work
  • Any worker who is incapacitated as a result of an accident at work is entitled to compensation;
  • the costs of medical care provided to the victims of an accident at work are reimbursed;
  • in the event of a death resulting from an accident at work, the close relatives may be entitled to an annuity.

In the event of an accident at work, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • temporary total or partial loss of working capacity (you receive daily allowances);
  • permanent loss of working capacity (you receive an allowance during the review period and an annuity after that period).

The compensations, allowances and annuities are calculated from the starting point of the basic remuneration.

More information can be found at https://www.socialsecurity.be.

Jargon busters

  • FEDRIS : The  Federal Agency for Occupational Risks (l’agence fédérale pour les risques professionnels) is a Belgian public social security institution resulting from the merger of the Occupational Diseases Fund and the Accidents at Work Fund which ensures that the rights of victims of occupational accidents and diseases are respected.
  • Occupational disease: occupational diseases are caused directly and definitively by the exercise of an occupation. There is an official list of these diseases, but it is also possible for a disease which is not on the list to be certified as an occupational disease.
  • Basic remuneration: the salary which you earned during the year preceding the accident in the job role occupied at the time of the accident.

Forms you may need to fill in

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;

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

 Fedris:

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

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