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Cegeka News

Faster payment of child benefits for 110,000 children in Brussels


4 February 2020

2 out of 3 Famiris families will receive an additional €40 in child benefits on average as from 2020.

The parents of 110,000 children in Brussels whose child benefits are paid through Famiris received their first payment today thanks to the new software system developed in cooperation with IT solutions provider Cegeka. From now on, child benefits will be paid faster, and 62 % of Famiris families will receive an additional €40 per month on average.

One in three families with children living in Brussels, i.e. around 110,000 children in total, now receive child benefits through Famiris, the successor of FAMIFED. Famiris approached IT solutions provider Cegeka, who had also developed the Growth Package for the Flemish government, to ensure accurate management of child benefit payments to 56,000 families. Today, the first payment to families entitled to child benefits was made via the new Famiris software. ‘Thanks to the new system, child benefits will be paid every first working day of the month’, Tania Dekens, Senior Official at Iriscare, and Fabio Mouro, Child Benefits Program Manager at Famiris and Cegeka say. ‘Under the old system, child benefits were paid on the 8th day of each month. From now on, families living in Brussels will receive their child benefits 5 to 8 days earlier than before.’

The new system is also designed to ensure that no family will receive a lower amount than before. For this purpose, the software compares the payments of December 2019 with the payments for 2020, and selects the more favourable calculation method for each family according to the parameters defined by law. ‘Parents’ salaries are taken into account, and some families may be entitled to additional benefits’. ‘For 62 percent of the families receiving benefits, the new system means an increase in the amount received by an average of €40 per month, and some 4,000 low-income working families will now receive additional benefits, which was not the case before.’ To ensure the first payments are made without errors, Famiris’ new system has been running in parallel with FAMIFED’s old system since last summer. ‘Thanks to the automated tests and simulations that were performed every two weeks, which is an important part of our approach, we were able to refine and optimize the calculation engine’, Fabio Mouro of Cegeka explains.

The technology also ensures that no Famiris family is left behind. ‘35,594 families who had not received a supplement yet were asked about their financial situation beforehand, to check if they were entitled to receive a social allowance’, Tania Dekens continues. ‘By mid-2022, the income of all the Famiris families for the year 2020 will be checked automatically in the new software based on their tax returns. If the system finds that certain families did not receive the right amount of child benefits based on their income, this will be corrected retroactively. This ensures that every family will receive the benefits they are entitled to and that no one is left behind.’

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