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Change to Brussels child benefit top-ups for families in larger homes

15:06 12/11/2023

Brussels families living in a property whose total cadastral income is more than €2,000 will no longer be eligible to receive top-ups to their child benefit payments, it has been announced.

Family allowance payments are made per child per household every month. While a fixed rate is paid out to all families, regardless of income, this new measure applies to child benefit supplements - additional sums which are based on the composition and annual income of a household.

The change, which came into effect on 1 November, has been made as the Brussels government wants to give social security supplements to families who need them the most.

“It will allow us to better direct payments to households,” said Brussels minister of finance, Sven Gatz.

“Family allowances help fight child insecurity. By refining our data, we are always better able to help those who are most in need of these payments,” said Brussels minister in charge of family allowances, Bernard Clerfayt.

Cadastral income is used as the basis for collecting property tax and to determine the property income taxed on a personal income tax return.

It is not actual income, but a notional income corresponding to the average normal net income (in other words, a monthly rental payment) that the property would provide its owner in a year.

The government has not released figures on how many Brussels residents will be affected by the new measure.

However, some households may not find this rule fair, if, for example, a family on a relatively low income lives in a larger home belonging to their parents or grandparents which would cost more to rent than they could afford.

After the age of 18, children must respect certain conditions for a household to continue to receive child benefit, which can be given until a child reaches the age of 25 or starts work.

Written by Liz Newmark