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    Unemployment benefits

    If you lose your job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. These are benefits you receive if you worked for a certain amount of time as an employee.


    You are entitled to unemployment benefits if, before you lost your job, you worked for a certain amount of days (available in Dutch, French and German only) as an employee. Self-employment is not taken into account. If you resign and immediately apply for benefits, you are usually not entitled to benefits.


    Go to your payout institution (available in Dutch, French and German only) as soon as possible:

    • your trade union
    • or the Hulpkas voor Werkloosheidsuitkeringen (Auxiliary Institution for Unemployment Benefits) if you are not a member of a trade union.

    If you have already received your unemployment certificate (C4), take it with you. Your payout institution will give you the documents you need (including a control card), create a benefit application file and transfer it to the RVA (National Employment Service). Therefore, you do not need to contact the RVA yourself. The RVA will decide whether you are entitled to unemployment benefits or not.


    The amount of your unemployment benefits (available in Dutch, French and German only) depends on:

    • the salary you received
    • your family situation (living alone, cohabiting, or cohabitant with dependents)
    • your professional past

    Fully unemployed people receive 65% of their last earned salary during the first three months of unemployment. During the next nine months, they receive 60% of their last earned salary. There is a salary cap of 2.466 euros per month during the first six months and of 2.298 euros during the last six months of the first year.

    These unemployment benefits are subjected to taxes on wages and salaries deducted at source. Theoretically, you can receive unemployment benefits for an unlimited period of time.


    Rijksdienst voor Arbeidsvoorziening (National Employment Office)
    Keizerslaan 7
    1000 Brussels

    Hulpkas voor Werkloosheidsuitkeringen (Auxiliary Institution for Unemployment Benefits)
    Brabantstraat 62
    1210 Brussels

    Tel.: 02 209 13 00