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Incapacitated for work

You are incapacitated for work if you are temporarily incapable of work due to illness, an accident or pregnancy. In that case, you may receive income replacement benefits from CM. However, you always need to inform CM on time.

On this page you can download more information in different languages.

If you have any further questions or if you want more information on particular subjects, you can contact the CM office in your area or let us know with this electronic form.

Who do I inform when I am incapacitated for work?

  • Are you employed (blue or white-collar worker)? Notify your employer and CM. 
  • Are you unemployed? Notify CM and inform us about the number of days you were unfit for work. You can do so by showing us your medical certificate. This is needed to inform the social security services of your situation. 
  • Are you self-employed? Then all you need to do is inform CM.

When should I inform CM?

Inform CM within two calendar days after the first day when you became work incapacitated. This way, you will always be on time. 

  • Are you entitled to guaranteed pay? Then, submit your certificate before the end of this period. 
  • Were you admitted to the hospital at the time your notification deadline expired? You still have until two days following discharge from hospital to submit your incapacity for work certificate.

Have you missed the deadline for submitting your incapacity for work certificate? Then, during the lateness period, 10% of your income replacement benefit will be deducted.

How do I notify CM?

Ask your doctor to complete a ‘Getuigschrift van arbeidsongeschiktheid’ (Incapacity for work certificate). This document is sometimes called ‘Vertrouwelijk’ (Confidential). You can download this document from www.cm.be/aangifte or pick it up at a CM office. 

Send the completed document to CM by Bpost. The postmark serves as proof of submission. Alternatively, you may hand the completed note in with your medical examiner and obtain a receipt. 

Never deposit the completed note in a CM letterbox or in a CM direct envelope.

How can I claim my income replacement benefits?

Once your medical examiner acknowledges you are not fit to work, a patient file is created. You will receive a letter stating the period that you are not fit to work (as well as an end date). You will also receive an information sheet to complete and submit to CM. CM will request all the necessary data from your employer, unemployment centre or from both. If you are self-employed, you will receive documents for you to complete yourself. 

Once CM has received all the data, they will check whether you have the right to receive income replacement benefit.

When and for how long will I receive benefits?

The moment you will receive your income replacement benefit and the length of time varies according to your situation: 

  • If you’re an employee: from the first day following the period of guaranteed pay, up to the end date of your entitlement period. 
  • If you’re unemployed: from the first day of your illness to the end date of your entitlement period. 
  • If you’re self-employed: if your illness lasts more than 7 days, you will receive your replacement income from the date on which your doctor signs the Getuigschrift van arbeidsongeschiktheid. If you are ill for less than 8 days, you will not be entitled to compensation. 

Replacement income can be received for no longer than twelve months. What if you are work incapacitated for longer than one year? Then, you will receive a disability living allowance. This is calculated differently.

How much is the allowance?

  • If you are employed, you will receive income replacement benefit that is equal to 60% of your average daily wage. (limited to a maximum amount) 
  • If you are unemployed, then the replacement income during the first six months is the same as your unemployment benefit. If your unemployment benefit exceeds 60% of your average daily pay, your income replacement benefit is limited to the lower amount. Starting from the seventh month, this will be revised. 
  • If you are self-employed, you will receive a fixed daily amount depending on your family situation.

What do I do if I …

  • … am sick for longer than the end date of my entitlement period?
    Ask your doctor to complete a new application form, and, at the top of the form, mark the box ‘verlenging’ [extension]. Submit the form to CM within two days after the start date of extension. The only exception to this deadline is if you are hospitalised. In this case, you have up to 2 days after you have been discharged from the hospital to submit the form.

  • … work/unemployment is resumed sooner than the end date of my renewal period? 
    • Are you employed or unemployed? Ensure CM receives the completed return to work note immediately. Your employer or unemployment centre can submit the form electronically via the social security website. 
    • Are you self-employed? Make sure CM is immediately provided with an accurately completed work resumption note. 

If you return to work or continue being unemployed on the work day after your renewal period, you don't have to do anything. 

  • … receive a request from my medical examiner for a medical examination?
    You definitely should accept the request, otherwise your benefits could be blocked. Also, your medical examiner will be required to end the renewal period if you continuously fail to show up at appointments without a good reason. Contact CM if you cannot be present at the examination for medical reasons (such as hospitalisation)? 

  • … you want to return to work part time? 
    • Are you employed or unemployed? Ask your medical examiner for approval before resuming your activities. 
    • Are you self-employed? Then, you need prior permission from your medical examiner. 

The approval or permission with an end date refers to the period to which the approved activity applies. It is not an acknowledgement of your incapacity for work. To renew this period, you need to request a new permission or approval before the end date has passed.
Performing an authorized activity may affect your income replacement benefit. Contact CM for further details. Even if you have permission to carry out activities while you are work incapacitated, it is still mandatory to provide the required medical certificates to your medical examiner in order to extend your incapacity for work certificate, if required. 

  • … am temporarily staying at a different address or what if I am abroad during the period that I am work incapacitated?
    Contact CM at least fourteen days before you are due to leave. In some cases, you will need permission in advance.

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