Compulsory sickness insurance
As of January 2008, the social security contributions paid by self-employed persons automatically entitle them to full cover for compulsory health insurance, in the same way as employed persons and civil servants. Consequently, they receive the same level of reimbursement for medical treatment and medication and are no longer required to pay additional contributions for ‘small risks’ insurance.
To benefit from health insurance payments, the newly self-employed must take the following steps:
- Join a social insurance fund, into which they pay quarterly social security contributions
- Register with a mutualité/ziekenfonds (mutual health insurance fund). (French-Dutch)
The social insurance fund sends the health insurance fund the documents and information needed to activate your entitlement to healthcare and benefits.
Work incapacity and invalidity
If you are unable to work on health grounds, you are guaranteed a daily flat-rate allowance starting from the second month and lasting up to 12 months. After that time, you will receive invalidity benefit.
If a self-employed woman (or assisting spouse) becomes pregnant, she is entitled to eight weeks’ pre- and post-natal leave (six weeks’ leave is compulsory). During this time off work, she is paid a replacement income. To compensate self-employed women for an early return to work, they are now entitled to 105 free service vouchers to be used within the eight months following the birth.