When the corona crisis first reached Belgium, the government rushed to provide adequate support measures for all those affected. It led to a myriad of solutions, and unfortunately it wasn’t always clear who was entitled to what and under which conditions. With the crisis lasting longer than anticipated, the existing support measures were scrutinised, simplified and extended into 2021.
Although there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, there are still many organisations who find themselves in difficulties due to the ongoing crisis. Those in crisis can still count on the Replacement Income, but under different conditions. Liantis social security fund (sociaal verzekeringsfonds/caisse d’assurances sociales) offers a clear overview of the updated support measures. They also offer a free online tool that will show you what, if any, financial support you are entitled to in 2021 with a few simple clicks.
3 Pillars of Replacement Income
Since January 2021, the Replacement Income (overbruggingsrecht / droit passerelle) comprises three pillars. These apply until June 2021.
Double Replacement Income if Compulsorily Closed or Dependent on a Compulsorily Closed Sector
Is your business compulsorily closed for at least one day in a particular month, or does it depend on a sector that is compulsorily closed? Then you qualify for a double replacement income for that month.
Application: For the months of January, February and March 2021: submit your application via My Liantis if you are a Liantis client, or contact your own social security fund.
Payment: On Fridays Liantis pays the benefits that were applied for the week before. Your benefit will be in your account within three working days. Benefits for the month of March 2021 are paid as of 2 April 2021.
Crisis Replacement Income in case of Substantial Decrease in Turnover
Are you still exercising your self-employed activity, but has your turnover fallen by at least 40%? In that case, apply for the crisis transitional right in the event of a substantial decrease in turnover. The sector in which you are active plays no role in this benefit.
Application: For the months of January, February and March 2021: You can submit your application via My Liantis if you are a Liantis client, or contact your own social security fund.
Payment: Benefits will be paid as of 2 April 2021.
Crisis Replacement Income in case of Quarantine or Child Care
Do you have to interrupt your activities completely for at least seven consecutive calendar days because you have to go into quarantine? Or can you not work for at least seven days because your child cannot attend the day-care centre or school due to corona measures? In that case, you are entitled to crisis replacement income.
Application: For the months of January, February, March and April 2021: apply via My Liantis or via your own social security fund.
Payment: The first payment for the month of April 2021 will be made on 1 May 2021 at the earliest.
Did you know…
∞ You can combine replacement incomes with another professional activity as an employee or civil servant almost without restrictions?
∞ If you enjoy the replacement income, you may continue to receive your salary as a business manager, director or working partner?
Applying for Replacement Income
The easiest way to submit your application and have it processed is via the customer portal My Liantis (section ‘my social status’). If you don’t have access to My Liantis yet, you can register at liantis.be/myliantis using your eID or itsme app. A username will be created automatically based on your e-mail address. Is this not possible? Then you can always go to the Liantis support page with your questions.
They will inform you of their decision on the Friday following the week of your request. Still have questions? Then contact your personal customer advisor.
∞ For the months January to March 2021: at the latest 30 September 2021.
∞ For the months of April to June 2021: no later than 31 December 2021.
Still want to apply for Replacement Income for 2020? This is still possible for the second semester of 2020.
∞ For the months of July through September 2020: at the latest on 31 March 2021.
∞ For the months of October through December 2020: at the latest on 30 June 2021.
Crisis Replacement Income before January 2021
In 2020, there were two forms of crisis Replacement Income, with an equally high benefit amount:
1. The Crisis Replacement Income to support self-employed persons who were forced to close their business or who were mainly dependent on compulsory closed sectors.
∞ If you were compulsorily closed directly during the months of October, November or December 2020 and did not carry out any self-employed activity other than click & collect or take-away: double benefit.
∞ If you were compulsorily closed in October, November or December 2020 and exercised other self-employed activities besides click & collect or take-away: no entitlement to the double benefit, but possibly the single Relance Benefit.
∞ Were you dependent on a compulsory closed sector in October, November or December 2020 and did you decide to completely interrupt your activities: a double benefit.
∞ Were you dependent on a compulsory closed sector in October, November or December 2020, but you continued to work (e.g. to serve private clients): a single crisis Replacement Income.
Take a look at their page about the double Replacement Income for more information.
2. If your business was not closed by force and you were not dependent on a compulsory closed sector, you could count on the Relance Benefit to support your restart until December 2020. This form of Replacement Income was granted to self-employed persons who were closed on 3 May 2020 or on whom the measures had the same impact. There’s a separate webpage with more information on the relance benefit. Since January 2021, this form of replacement income has been replaced by the Crisis Replacement Income due to a Drop in Turnover.
■ You belong to a direct compulsory closed sector and you do not carry out any other independent activities besides click&collect or take-away.
■ You are under a direct obligation to close and you engage in other self-employed activities besides click & collect or take-away.
■ You are dependent on compulsory closed sectors without complete interruption.
■ Crisis bridging right because of compulsory closure or because you are dependent on a compulsory closed sector: for which self-employed persons?
Republished with permission by Liantis social security fund.