In theory, all employees can claim for unemployment benefit. Freelancers who lose their work, but who were working as an employee before becoming an independent can also, subject to conditions, get the unemployment benefits. Civil servants do not contribute to this system as they are protected and they cannot be made unemployed (however, as some of them can now be made redundant, a specific system has been implemented by the unemployment insurance).
It is the ORBEM (Office Régional Bruxellois de l’Emploi) that is charged of job seekers, finding them a job and training. The ONEM (Office national de l’emploi) is in charge of applying the rules of the unemployment regulation. ONEM decides whether the person can get the job seeker allowance when the request has been made.
Anybody available for work and domiciled in the region of Brussels can register as job seeker at the ORBEM. The registration as a job seeker is not mandatory, but it is essential in order to keep its right to familly allowances and social security, to be able tos use the Orbem services to find a job and to get unemployement benefits.
A youth who is looking for a job can ask for allocations d'attente (waiting allowance). More details on Bruxelles-J website.
The registration must be done as soon as possible, at the end of the studies or as soon as the youth is ready to start a job. Indeed the waiting period will start only at the registration time. If you lose your job, you must also register as a job seeker as soon as possible. If the ONEM give you an allowance, you will be able to get it as soon as you have registered.
In addition to the registration at the Orbem, you must go to the payment organisation of your choice (ask Orbem), with the C4 form given by the previous employer in order to claim you allowance. This organisation will create a file and will transmit it to the Onem office that will take a decision within one month.
The person seeking unemployment benefit must have worked for a certain number of days during the period prior to unemployment (refering period), as indicated in the table below:
Number of days at work
|Less than 36 years old|| |
|from 36 to 50|| |
|50 and above|| |
The main principle is that all the days where you paid social contribution (unemployment periods included) are added, for example paid leave, sickness, strike, bank holidays, etc.
In order to claim unemployment benefits you have to comply with a series of conditions:
The amount of the allowance depends on the family situation, the duration of unemployment and the salary earned when employed.
In the unemployment system you have to distinguish between:
The basic unemployment allowance is equal to 35% of the average salary (limited to a maximum of 58,83€ a day from the 1st July 2001). It is also possible to get an additional allowance, depending on personal situations:
After 1 year, the second period of unemployment starts and never stops for people in charge of a family or singles. But for partners (people living together but not a married couple), the total duration of this second period is 3 months, plus 3 months for each year that you were employed previously. After this period, the unemployed person enters the 3rd period and get a fixed amount of 13€ ( July 2001).
The amounts are in the table below:
|Workers in charge of a family|| |
|Single person|| |
The employee that becomes unemployed after resigning from his job cannot benefit frm the job seeker allowance.
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