Around 1,500 people in Brussels have been waiting for months for their unemployment benefit
Around 1,500 people in Brussels that applied for unemployment benefit through the Christian Trade Union ACV have still not received payment several months after they submitted their claim. In Belgium trade unions take care of the necessary paperwork required when their members need to apply for unemployment benefit. Those that are not members of a trade union can apply for unemployment benefit themselves through the HVW (Hulpkas voor werkloosheidsuitkeringen).
The news that a large number of unemployed people in the capital have been waiting for months for their dole money first appeared in the daily ‘De Standaard’ and has been confirmed by VRT News sources. The reason for the delay is that the Christian trade union ACV handed the applications for unemployment benefit that it had prepared for (some of) its members to the State Labour Service (RVA) too late. Nancy Tas of ACV Brussels says this happened because the union has a shortage of staff.
Those that have been affected received no payment at all for several months. Around 1% of the total number of applications for unemployment benefit in 2021 and 2021 were made too late. In order to be able to receive unemployment benefit an applicants’ case file has to have been submitted to the RVA within two months. ACV failed to do this for around 1,500 of its members in Brussels.
ACV Brussels’ leader Nancy Tas says that her organisation has too few staff to cope with the large number of applications from unemployed people in Brussels. "Unfortunately we are having to make do with too few staff. For years now, agencies that make benefit payments have been underfinanced by the government”
Simply taking on new staff won’t improve the situation in the immediate term as there is currently a backlog of more than 1,000 applicants. Furthermore, it takes a year to train new staff for this kind of work. In the meantime ACV Brussels will enlist the help of staff from union offices in other parts of the country.