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Incapacity to work

Incapacity to work means that you are unfit to work as a result of an illness, an accident or hospitalisation. Are you an employee/unemployed person and recognised as incapacitated to work? You may be entitled to disability benefits. Each EU country decides sovereignly to which benefits you are entitled and for how long you will receive these.

The country applicable for your social security depends on two factors:

  • Your work situation (paid employment, self-employed, unemployed, seconded, etc.)
  • The country where you live (not your nationality)

Working abroad

If you are employed or self-employed in another EU country, you have to register with the social security system in your host country. You and your dependants then are subject the social security system of that country, not of Belgium.

Note: In many countries, you are only entitled to benefits if you have paid contributions for a certain minimum period of time. The country where you applied for your benefits hast to take into account all the previous periods in which you worked and paid contributions in other EU countries.

Seconded abroad

As a seconded or self-employed person you can work temporarily (up to 2 years) in another EU country while remaining subject to the social security of your own country. This has no consequences for your or your dependants’ right to social security. Apply for an S1 form from your health insurer in Belgium. Give this form to the health insurer in your host country upon arrival. If you still want to be entitled to social security in Belgium, you will need an A1 form. As an employee, you should ask your employer for this. As a self-employed person, you have to apply for it with your health insurer. During your stay abroad, you have to be able to show the A1 form at any given time. Otherwise, you may have to pay social security contributions.

Transborder employee

As a frontier worker you pay your social security contributions in the EU country you work in and are subsequently covered there. However, you can visit a doctor in the country where you live.

You can find more information about your local health insurance company by viewing the list of national contact points.