At Work in Brussels

Social Security in Brussels

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The classical social security system is shared between a scheme for employees and contractors and a scheme for civil servants.

This solidarity system is guaranteed as working people must pay a contribution in proportion related to their income. Unions, insurances and employer's organisation manage the system together.

The Belgian social security has 3 functions :

  1. In case ot salary loss (unemployment, retirement, disability) you will receive a pension;
  2. In case of some additional social needs, such as child education, sickness, you can get income benefits;
  3. In case of involuntary unemployment, you can receive an allowance and other benefits..

The standard social security system is made by 7 branches:

  1. Pensions;
  2. Unemployment;
  3. Safety (work accidents);
  4. Professional sickness and health at work;
  5. Family benefits;
  6. Disability insurance;
  7. Annual paid holidays.

If you have a professional activity in a company, this one has the obligation to be affiliated to the social insurance organisation of its choice.

The ID number is called NISS (numéro d'identification de la sécurité sociale). A card, named SIS, is given that holds the NISS number. The insured person will use the card in all the procedures with social security institutions, and with people in charge of making declarations to those organisations (employers, pension funds for example, and of course the insured person).

The ONSS (Office national de sécurité sociale) collects and pays the social contributions from the employers. Those contributions include the personal contributions of the employees and the share of the employers. In summary, the Belgian social contributions are shared such as the employee pays about 13% of his/her gross salary and the employer pays 25% (i.e. a total of 38%).

The Belgian Social Security website is and the website of the Federal Public Service is:

Update 18/11/2005


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