The impact of your trip abroad on your social rights (family allowances, mutual insurance, CPAS, etc.)

By Admin Jun 11, 2023
The impact of your trip abroad on your social rightsThe impact of your trip abroad on your social rights

Impact of the trip on your family allowances (valid for Wallonia)

It is important that you contact your family allowance fund before leaving in order to receive information adapted to your situation. However, you should know that you keep your family allowances if you find yourself in one of these situations:

  • You are on an “Erasmus” type exchange program.
  • You study in certain countries outside the European Union which have concluded a bilateral agreement with Belgium. The list of these countries can be found at www.famiwal.be > Young people > You are studying abroad .
  • You live abroad with at least one of your parents who works on secondment outside Belgium while remaining subject to Belgian social security (for example, a diplomatic post).
  • You benefit from a scholarship from a Belgian or foreign institution.
  • After graduating from secondary school in Belgium, you pursue higher education in a country outside the European Economic Area. You will keep your family allowances for the duration of your studies.
  • After graduating from secondary school in Belgium, you follow non-higher education in a country outside the European Economic Area. You will be entitled to child benefit for a maximum of one school year.

Attention , for all these situations, you must always keep a link with Belgium such as your domicile, the registered office of the employer of the parent who works on secondment, etc.

For any situation other than those listed above, the Minister of Social Affairs may also grant an exemption and determine the conditions, amount and period for granting family allowances.

Do you work abroad as a student? All work abroad is subject to the 240-hour standard, which you cannot exceed to keep your family allowances.

Do you want to volunteer? Volunteering abroad, as in Belgium, does not represent an obstacle to family allowances. So you continue to receive them.

More info on all these situations? Consult the website www.famiwal.be ,  section Are you studying abroad?

Impact of the trip on your health insurance

If you are studying in a European Union country, ask for your EHIC [1] card before going abroad. With this card, you can register for free with a health insurance fund. You will then be covered for your medical care abroad.

If you are studying in a country outside the European Union, contact your health insurance fund before leaving. Depending on the country in which you will be studying, you may be able to benefit from health care at the same price as a resident of the country.

A few tips :

  • It is always useful for you to contact your health insurance before you leave. It will provide you with as much information as possible on care, reimbursement methods, the functioning of the health care system, etc.
  • In some cases, it may be interesting to be covered by private insurance or complementary insurance. Depending on the formulas offered by insurance companies, you can be covered for repatriation, health care, etc.

Impact of the trip on CPAS aid

In principle, to benefit from assistance from the CPAS, you must reside in Belgium. However, it is possible that your plan to study abroad will be accepted by the CPAS and that you can therefore continue to benefit from assistance while studying abroad.

Moreover, if you go on Erasmus (or via another program that is part of your studies), you will normally keep the aid that you already receive from the CPAS.

In any case, contact the social worker in charge of your file to ensure that you receive the aid to which you are entitled.

Scholarships for travel

There are a multitude of scholarships to go abroad.

To find them, you can consult the following pages:

  • Youth mobility
  • Wallonia-Brussels International
  • Your Europe

For more information on travel, don’t hesitate to read our brochure Going abroad in 40 questions or come to one of the 15 Infor Youth centers and we’ll look at it together! 


[1] The EHIC card (European health insurance card) certifies that you are in good standing with the health insurance fund in your country of origin.

By Admin

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