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Struggling in Brussels


Hello I am a separated mother living in Brussels. I am a foreigner. My situation is very complicated I have no family or support system. I am qualified to work here and I do speak French. I have found myself isolated since I left my husband due to abuse. I have been searching for employment for 9 months with no luck. I have now reached the stage where I no longer have enough money to feed my children or myself. I can no longer keep up with my bills. I am not eligible for unemployment money or assistance from the Cpas. I am in complete dispair.and I don’t have any more options. I am unable to accept certain jobs because I have to take care of my children and their father is unwilling to help. I can not leave the country or else I have to leave my children behind. I’v slipped into a depression and I was wondering if anyone could possibly help me with some ideas on what to do.
Thank you


Hi Sorry that you're going through this.

If you haven't already, you could try speaking with the CHS helpline.
CHS telephone Helpline: 02 648 40 14

Jan 9, 2019 21:32

> I am not eligible for unemployment money or assistance from the Cpas.

Why not?

> father is unwilling to help

What legal measures have been taken or are in place. Is tha father solvent?
What the father wills and what he HAS to do are often quite different.

Jan 10, 2019 00:19

Thank you very much for your responses. I will call CHS first thing tomorrow morning. I am not eligible for unemployment money because I was never able to work for the required amount of time each time I was employed due to the fact that I had I had 3 children over the years that I have been living here and I had to be home to take care of them. The jobs I had were also part time and not well paid so I didn’t earn enough to apply for unemployment benefits. I have not been living in Europe for more than 8 years and I come from a country which does not have a system in place for any sort of aid and there are no agreements with Belgium that would allow me to claim anything using my previous work experience. Their father does the minimum which is approved by the state which is about €120 a child. He is not obligated to house them or take care of them as he has stated he is not in a position to do so. He can not be forced to do so legally so I have no choice but to take care of them full time on my own, even if he still has visitation rights.

Jan 10, 2019 01:47

I was also independent for quite a while and you don’t qualify for unemployment aid under that status

Jan 10, 2019 02:05

I am far from an expert, but provided your circusntances are true and you no other source of income, you should be eligible for the RMI, 1285 euro/month, you have to ask the CPAS for it.

Jan 10, 2019 14:08

Thank you very much for your response. I’m order to benefit from assistant from CPAS I needed to be registered with Vdab which is the employment agency in Vlanderen 3 months ago now since I just moved about 1km from my old home which was in the region of Brussels I was not able to use my registration with Actiris for my application with CPAS. Of course these are all things that are impossible to have any prior knowledge about. Yes it’s very complicated. After the 3 months wait it takes another month to receive an answer. My question is what do I in the meantime. . .

Jan 10, 2019 15:14

Sorry for the typos I meant in order to benefit from assistance from the Cpas

Jan 10, 2019 15:15

You are strong! You can do this!
Shopping at Aldi can stretch the money very well, buying in bulk, freezing meat bought during the reduced price period and mixed in sauces with pasta can be nutritious. Rice based meals and adding egg also possible to create some meals that will stretch. Simple oats with honey in the mornings etc.
As for working, assuming the children are in school- I would present myself to each and every Titre-services office- there are MANY- should get you working in no-time. Income is income!
You can also register on Bsit.
You will prevail, life is hard- but you can end up looking back at this time and proving what a good job you made of it.
Good luck

Jan 10, 2019 17:25

Go on FB English speaking mums and find mums who can understand how bloody hard it is to get CPAS revenue d'integration if you are not a permanent resident and how hard it is to fight to get basic maintenance. More likely to be able to fight together than isolated.

Jan 10, 2019 21:17

You say you have been looking for jobs for 9 months but you are unable to accept certain types of jobs because of your children....sorry...but either you clarify what this means or it just sounds like BS to me. People with jobs and careers have to put their babies in day care when they return to work, why can't you? You really need to clarify your situation because at this point it sounds like you are doing nothing more than asking for money.

Jan 11, 2019 12:15