Social security in Belgium
Belgium has a very extensive social security system. Foreigners also are entitled to certain allowances and to social services.
The benefits which you may enjoy as a foreigner are strictly dependent on the conditions under which you are resident on Belgian soil.
The Belgian social security system is based on the payment of social contributions on your income from work. These social contributions serve to finance the social security system.
Each month the employer pays between 30% and 40% on top of your salary into the social security fund. Your personal contributions will be deducted from your salary by your employer,
who will also complete the necessary formalities to register you for social security.
This fund is then used to pay social security:
- allowances in the event of sickness
- unemployment benefits
- allowances in the event of incapacity for work through sickness or invalidity
- allowances in the event of accidents at work
- allowances in the event of industrial disease
- family allowances
Belgium has concluded bilateral social security treaties with following countries:
Algeria, Australia, Canada, Chile, Congo, Israel, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Morocco, Poland, San Marino, Tunisia, Turkey, United States and Japan.
The rules featured in these treaties are usually similar to those in the EU Regulations, and adopt the principle whereby the person concerned is subject to the social security legislation of the country where the employment is exercised, in this case Belgium.
However, for many researchers (PhD students and postdocs) exemptions have been arranged. E.g. Non-EU employees whose home country does not have a bilateral agreement with the Belgian Social Security, pay a smaller social security fee.Further reading on social security: website of Federal Public Service Social Security (including the brochure "Everything you always wanted to know about social security").