The Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities (VAPH)

The Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities (in Dutch: Vlaams Agentschap voor Personen met een Handicap (VAPH)) is a Flemish government agency and for this reason we provide information in the Dutch language only. This web page gives a brief overview of the tasks and activities of the VAPH and the people they relate to.

What is the VAPH?

The VAPH is the Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The VAPH aims to promote participation, integration and equal opportunities for people with a disability in all areas of social life. The ultimate goal is to help these people lead a better and more independent life.

What does the VAPH do?

  • Allocates the personal budget for adults: the personal budget is a personalised annual sum which can be used by people with a disability to purchase care and support from within their own network, volunteers, individual companions, professional carers and VAPH-licensed service providers The personal budget is for adults who require intensive or frequent disability-specific support as a result of their disability.
  • Pays the personal assistance budget for minors: applications for a personal assistance budget can be made in respect of minors with a disability who require home support. The budget is used to organise support at home or at school.
  • Awards an allowance for minors and adults with disabilities to assist with the purchase of assistive technology and adaptations to the home and car.
  • Accredits and subsidises multifunctional centres at which minors are diagnosed, assigned companions or provided with day support, residential support or individual psychosocial support.
  • Accredits and subsidises a range of services which can be accessed directly by people with a (suspected) disability. Directly accessible help is limited, disability-specific support in the form of assistance, day care, or residential support for those who need occasional help. Directly accessible support requires no request to VAPH or the intersectoral gateway.
  • Accredits and licenses service providers to accompany or provide day support, residential support, individual psychosocial support, individual practical help, on-call permanent access, or group support for adults with a disability.

Who can help you choose the right support?

There are a number of services and organisations to which anyone with a disability can turn for information on the most appropriate form of support. The VAPH has designated the services support plan and multi-disciplinary teams especially for this purpose. Minors can also turn to the intersectoral access portal for assistance.

Who is entitled to benefit from the services of the VAPH?

The VAPH is dedicated to people with a disability. The term disability is not always cut and dried. This is why the VAPH uses the following definition:

Disability: any long-term and significant participation problem experienced by a person and attributable to a combination of functional disorders of a mental, psychic, physical or sensory nature, limitations in the performance of activities, and personal and external factors.

This definition allows for an individual approach to every person who calls on the services of the VAPH.

However, there are several other conditions governing access to the services offered by the VAPH:

  • Age requirement
    The person must request recognition of his or her disability before reaching the age of 65.
  • Residence requirement
    The disabled person must live and reside in Flanders or the Brussels Capital Region. This means the person must be listed on the population register or immigration register and have lived in Belgium for 5 years prior to registration (or 10 years in the course of his or her life). The condition of 5 or 10 years does not apply for the citizens of the European Union. Minors with a disability must be resident or staying in Flanders or the Brussels Capital Region. They are not subject to prior residence requirements.

Which authority processes the application?

Applications for support for minors are processed by the Growing Up Agency's Intersectoral Access gateway.

Applications for adult support are processed by the VAPH.

There is no application procedure in respect of directly accessible support for minors or adults; it will suffice to contact a provider of directly accessible support.