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School allowances

Reminder of the rules for the start of the school year and school allowances s for future pupils

As the school year begins, some of us will see our children off to university. Well done to them and their parents. But we think it’s important to point out a few rules that apply to all of us.

We receive a dependent child allowance and an education allowance for children attending an educational establishment. However, the Staff Regulations lay down rules on the cumulation of family allowances received from other sources (Articles 67(2) and 68(2) of the Staff Regulations), which officials must declare to the administration, and which will be deducted from the allowances paid to them by the EU.

When the child turns 18, there are two possible scenarios:

  • The child stops studying. The dependent child allowance ceases. In this case, JSIS cover will also cease. For children who are not in paid employment or who are undergoing a probationary period in order to obtain national social security cover, a request can be made to the Settlement Office to extend the cover for a maximum of 12 months.
  • The child continues to study. There are two possible scenarios:
    • If your child is studying in the country where you work, you will receive EUR 311.65 per month. 
    • If your child is studying more than 50 km from your place of work AND you receive the expatriation allowance, the allowance is doubled.

As always, it is important to be familiar with the additional terms and conditions:

  • Course attendance must be ‘full-time’. This condition is automatically deemed to be met if the institution provides the student with at least 16 hours of instruction and/or work experience per week.  In cases where this number of hours is not reached, the condition is considered to be met if the studies are complete, i.e. have a purpose recognised by the State, and the person concerned follows the normal timetable for this type of study.
  • Benefits automatically cease at the latest on the child’s 26th birthday.
  • Benefits are paid monthly. If your child over the age of 18 interrupts his/her studies, e.g. for 6 months to go on a trip, he/she will not be considered a student and therefore not dependent on you and will not be covered by JSIS for those 6 months. However, the rules for extending health insurance cover apply on request, particularly in the case of a waiting period under the new insurance scheme.
  • The student must still be dependent on you. If your child earns an income, you must inform your administration as this will affect your child’s entitlement to benefits. In practice:
    • Notice 223/04 sets a maximum limit of 40% of the basic salary of an AST1 (=1308 euros/month on 01/01/2023) for a child aged over 18 and 25% of the basic salary of an AST1 (=817 euros/month on 01/01/2023) for a child aged under 18.
      • If your child has a paid internship or student job during the summer, you should declare the amounts to the authorities.
      • If your child receives a scholarship/grant for any reason, you should declare the amounts to the authorities. In practice, this often means that doctoral students who receive a grant are no longer considered dependent children. You will therefore lose the allowances for that child and he or she will have to be covered by a scheme other than JSIS. Note that Excellence Scholarships are an exception to this rule.
  • The PMO tends to cut rights as quickly as possible. Why is that?  In reality, the intention is good. When benefits cease to be payable, they quickly add up to substantial sums which are automatically deducted from your pay in the following months (this is the famous “recovery of undue payments”). For this reason, they prefer to cut your benefits automatically and reinstate them if you appeal, rather than put you in a difficult position. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to. This will enable us to confirm or refute the PMO’s interpretation of your particular case. After all, sometimes you need to be able to explain the situation correctly. After all, we need your feedback if we’re going to be able to pinpoint any confusing situations. But be careful (again) not to forget the time limits for appeals, which apply in all cases: 3 months after the decision giving rise to the complaint. Since appeals must be handled carefully, it is imperative that you do not wait until the last moment to contact us.