Automatic issuance of the European Disability Card from 2024

Please note that this information applies to Belgian citizens only.

From 1 January 2024, persons with disabilities will automatically be issued with a European Disability Card (EDC) as soon as they receive recognition of their disability status. This was agreed by the competent ministers and state secretaries at the meeting of the Interministerial Conference (IMC) on Disability. It was also decided that the card will be automatically renewed after the expiry date of 5 years for citizens who already hold the card.

Since 2017, Belgium has been one of the eight pioneers of the European card pilot project. The EDC Card ensures that people with disabilities receive special attention in certain areas such as sport, leisure and culture. The partners participating in the project commit to offer a special welcome or service to the card holders, such as adapted accessibility, reduced rates, special assistance, etc.

Currently, only about 200,000 Belgian citizens have taken the necessary steps to obtain this EDC card, while close to one million people with disabilities have been recognised by the various authorities.

Therefore, at the Interministerial Conference (IMC) on Disability, the competent ministers decided to automatically link the card to the recognition of disability recognition. In this way, Belgium is building on the experience of this European pilot project to continue to lead the way in the field of disability in the run-up to its European Presidency in 2024.

In addition to automatic issuance for new applications, it was also decided to automatically renew the card for people already receiving existing benefits, as the card now expires after five years.

The IMC has taken these decisions on the basis of the recommendations from, among others, the Directorate General for Persons with Disabilities (DG HAN) of the FPS Social Security.