In 2019, 200,326 people aged between 21 and 65 received an income replacement allowance and/or an integration allowance, La Libre Belgique reports on Thursday.
That number, which is based off the annual report of the Federal Public Social Security Service (FPS Social Security), has never been so high before.
In addition, 675.420 Belgians have had their handicap recognised.
Of the allowance recipients, 50% lived in Flanders, 40% in Wallonia and 9% in Brussels. The average amount was €717 per month, with a total of €1.69 billion in total being spent that year, according to the report.
The increase in the number of beneficiaries has been constant in recent years, but has increased in 2018 (+4%) and 2019 (+5%). According to the FPS Social Security, several factors explain this increase: a baby boom, regulatory changes and, since 2008, the economic context.
The number of beneficiaries of an income replacement allowance of working age increased by 60% between 2001 and 2019.
Tougher rules in other schemes, such as unemployment or incapacity for work, may also have led more people to apply for a disability benefit.