Do you want to know if you are entitled to unemployment benefits?
First, check these requirements:
- Are you "involuntarily unemployed"? This means that you did not choose to be unemployed. You are involuntarily unemployed if you were laid off or your contract ended and was not renewed. If you choose to terminate your contract, you are not entitled to unemployment benefits.
- Have you worked long enough? If you are under 36, the following rules apply: You have worked for at least 312 days in the 21 months before your application; or you have worked for at least 468 days in the 33 months before your application; or you have worked for at least 624 days in the 42 months before your application.
(Are you 36 years or older? Check the rules on the RVA website.)
If you're not sure if you have worked enough days, you can check on www.mycareer.be. If you can't do that, don't worry, the payout institution will check it for you.
Have you answered "yes" to both questions? Then you can apply for unemployment benefits. Here's what you need to do:
- Register as a jobseeker within 8 calendar days after your dismissal. In Flanders, that's the VDAB, in Brussels, it's Actiris, and in Wallonia, it's Le Forem.
- After your dismissal, you will receive a unemployment form C4 from the employment agency. Haven't received it yet? Call the employment agency. You must personally apply to the payout institution in your area to apply for unemployment benefits. This can be a union or the Helpkas for Unemployment Benefits if you don't have a union. Don't forget to bring your C4.
- Then you will receive a "stamp card." You must always have this card with you. The card shows a calendar where you can indicate each day whether you worked or not, but also if you were sick or on vacation. At the end of the month, you bring the stamp card back to the payout service. Good to know: you can also fill in the stamp card electronically via a secure website of social security. This way, you can easily and quickly register everything and have your stamp card always with you on your smartphone.
- Remain available for work. You cannot refuse work when you receive unemployment benefits.