Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Belgium - Other social assistance allowances

In what situation can I claim?

If your means of support are inadequate and you cannot change this situation by yourself, you are entitled, in principle, to other social assistance allowances in addition to social integration income:

  • Guaranteed income for elderly persons (GRAPA);
  • Allowances for disabled persons (ARR and higher family benefits);
  • Guaranteed family benefits.

What conditions do I need to meet?

 Guaranteed income for elderly persons (GRAPA)

The GRAPA or guaranteed income for elderly persons is a minimum income allocated by the authorities to the aged people who have reached pension age, i.e. currently 65 years, subject to certain conditions relating to nationality and residence in Belgium. The GRAPA is awarded when a person has insufficient means to live.

Allowances for disabled persons

The federal authorities grant financial assistance to disabled persons who do not have sufficient income to provide for their needs. The allowances system for disabled persons is intended for the most deprived. Disabled persons must meet certain conditions in order to benefit from this social assistance (certification of disability, income, age).

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. This assistance is however linked to several conditions, such as:

  • nationality;
  • age;
  • place of residence;
  • income (of the disabled person and of the person with whom they share a household).
Guaranteed family benefits

Are you unable to obtain family benefits for the children in your household under any Belgian, overseas or international scheme? In this case you can claim guaranteed family benefits.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

 Guaranteed income for elderly persons (GRAPA)

As soon as you reach the legal retirement age (currently 65), the Federal Pensions Service (SFP) automatically checks if you are entitled to the GRAPA. Entitlement to this financial assistance is automatically considered if you are receiving an allowance for disabled persons or the integration income.

  • If you live with one or more persons, you can receive the basic amount of € 8,666.16 per annum (or € 722.18 per month);
  • If you live alone, you can receive the higher amount of € 12,999.36 per annum (or € 1,083.28 per month).

If you have applied for a pension this also constitutes a GRAPA application. If you have not applied for a pension you should contact your municipal administration or the Federal Pensions Service.

Allowances for disabled persons:
  • the income replacement allowance (ARR): the amount of the allowance is defined based on the family circumstances of the disabled person: single, in a household, cohabiting, dependent children, in an institution;
  • increased family benefits: the amount of the supplement to family benefits depends on a range of factors, such as the number of children in the household, the age of the child and the particular circumstances. More information is available on the FAMIFED website. To obtain this allowance please contact your family benefits fund.

Disabled persons are also entitled to social and fiscal benefits, with for example:

  • a reduction in taxes; 
  • access to social housing;
  • parking card.

More information about social and fiscal benefits for disabled persons is available on the website of the FPS Social Security:

http://socialsecurity.belgium.be/fr and at http://handicap.belgium.be/fr/

Guaranteed family benefits:

This is conditional upon you receiving a social integration income or the GRAPA, or if you only have reduced means.

The guaranteed family benefits are granted only if the household resources per quarter is lower than € 4,226.93 for a household with one child, plus 20% per additional child starting with the second.

Jargon busters

  • APA: Allowance for assistance to the elderly. Forms part of the allowances for disabled persons and applies to over 65 year olds.
  • AI: Integration allowance. To help disabled persons meet the costs of improvements to the quality of their day-to-day lives (motorised wheelchair, special equipment, etc.)
  • ARR: Income replacement allowance.
  • GRAPA: Guaranteed income for elderly persons.
  • SFP: Federal Pensions Service (Service fédéral des pensions)

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;

To find out more about the GRAPA please refer to the following pages on the SFP website:

More information about allowances for disabled persons on the Federal Public Service for Social Security website and on the social security portal.

More information about increased family benefits:

More information on guaranteed family benefits on the FAMIFED website : http://www.famifed.be/home.

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Alphabetical list by municipality and Belgian CPAS addresses.
Guaranteed income for elderly persons: Federal Pensions Service(SFP):

  • Free phone number from Belgium: 1765
  • Chargeable number from abroad: +32 78151765
  • Address: Tour du Midi - 1060 Brussels
  • Website: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr

Allowances for disabled persons: Federal Public Service for Social Security office for disabled persons:

Guaranteed family benefits: Federal Agency for Family Benefits (FAMIFED):

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

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