After one year of incapacity for work - invalidity

The first year that you are incapacitated for work is referred to as 'primary incapacity for work'. From the second year of incapacity, you have ' invalidity' status. This means that you will receive an invalidity benefit. 'Invalidity' is a term to describe being unable to work for more than one year.<

What is invalidity? 

It is when you are incapacitated for work for more than one year, and are given ' invalidity' status. Invalidity should not be confused with disability or impairment. It is simply a legal term to designate long-term incapacity for work. You will receive an invalidity benefit from the second year onwards. Helan will send you the necessary documents for this in advance. So you do not have to take the initiative yourself. 

Once the transition to invalidity takes place, the health insurance fund's medical officer makes a proposal to the GRI (Medical Council for Invalidity) for the renewal of your medical recognition. From then on, the medical recognition will be granted by the GRI, and no longer by the health insurance fund's medical officer. From the transition to invalidity onwards, you will also not need to provide us with declarations or extensions of your invalidity for work.

Monitor your file

Track the payment of your benefits on My Helan.

How much is the invalidity benefit?

The invalidity benefit is paid by your health insurance fund. For employed and unemployed people, the benefit amount depends on the calculated average daily wage and your family situation:

  • persons with a dependent family: 65% of the average daily wage (capped)
  • single persons: 55% of the average daily wage (capped)
  • cohabiting persons: 40% of the average daily wage (capped)

A maximum of 3.5% is deducted from the invalidity benefit for the pensions sector.

The invalidity benefit for self-employed persons is a fixed, flat daily amount. How much the benefit will be depends on:

  • your family situation
  • whether the company has ceased to exist, and
  • whether an equivalence due to illness has been granted by the NISSE (National Institute for the Social Insurance of the Self-Employed).

You can also be eligible, if you fulfil certain criteria, for a past-service bonus and a lump-sum allowance for third-party assistance.

Read more about the past-service bonus  Read more about third-party assistance

What am I entitled to when I am receiving invalidity benefit?

If you are incapacitated for work for more than one year, you can also claim:

  • social rates for telephone, mobile phone or internet
  • rent reduction for social housing
  • (income and property tax) tax relief
  • Flemish rent subsidy or installation premium
  • reduction of inheritance tax

For some benefits, it is sufficient if you can provide a 66% incapacity for work certificate. You can download this certificate yourself from My Helan. Other benefits have additional terms and conditions such as ahigher allowance.

Is the invalidity benefit taxable?

No withholding tax is deducted in advance on the invalidity benefit. Nevertheless, incapacity benefits are not tax exempt. The settlement is made with the following year's tax assessment. By making advance payments, you can avoid a high tax bill.

More on tax returns

Beware as a self-employed person in main occupation

Self-employed people in main occupation who are ill for long periods of time often stop their self-employed activity with the social fund. However, as a result, they lose the right to sickness benefits.

Are you in this situation? Then check with your social cashier what the options are. Either you let your self-employed activity run its course, or you can apply for equivalence due to illness. In either case, this will allow you to retain the right to benefits.

Track and manage your benefit file on My Helan

  • initiating your benefit file
  • track your benefit payments
  • add documents to your benefit file digitally
  • request holidays, return to work, voluntary work
  • and so much more!

Tracking on My Helan

Helan Independent Health Insurance Fund is the insurance agent (n° CDZ 5006c) for ‘MLOZ Insurance’, the VMOB of Independent Health Insurance Funds, (Register of Legal Entities in Brussels, 422.189.629, recognised under no. CDZ 750/01 for branches 2 and 18). View the data sheet and the General Terms and Conditions. Belgian law applies to the insurance contract. The term of the contract is whole life. In the event of any complaint, contact the complaints department of Helan Health Insurance Fund or the insurance ombudsman. For more information about purchasing this/these product(s), please contact Helan Health Insurance Fund. Helan Onafhankelijk ziekenfonds, Boomsesteenweg 5, 2610 Wilrijk, 0411.696.011, RPR Antwerpen,