Record number of requests for disability benefits

Summary

Belgium’s social security department turned down a record number of requests for disability benefits last year because of a sharp increase in the number of applicants

Increase of 40%

Never before has the federal social security department had to refuse so many applications for disability benefits as in 2013, according to the annual report of the directorate-general Persons with a Disability. Half of the 101,297 requests were declined.

The number of applicants has increased by 40% over the past five years. Often people ask for disability benefits as a last resort. “Because they are unemployed and can’t receive unemployment benefits anymore or are scrapped from the list to get a stipend, they finally come to us,” said director-general André Gubbels.

About 630,100 people in Belgium have an officially recognised disability for which they can receive benefits.

Last year, €1.88 billion in benefits were paid.