Applications & publications

BELMOD is a microsimulation model that allows policymakers to examine the impact of policy changes in social benefits and taxes. The results of the model provide an insight into the budgetary impact and the effect on income distribution or poverty. BELMOD has already been used within various topics for policy-making, the generation of statistics, etc.

Non-take-up

BELMOD was used to estimate the extent of non-take-up of the income support for persons in primary incapacity for work, commissioned by the PPS Social Integration.

BELMOD was also used to design an evidence-based inventory of policy proposals in the fight against non-take-up aimed at simplifying, harmonising and automating the granting of social rights. We understand automation in this context not only as the automatic opening of entitlement to social benefits (the most advanced form of automation), but also as the automatic identification of potential beneficiaries.

In the context of this automatic (proactive) identification, it was investigated whether existing procedures, such as the proactive flux in the context of the increased allowance, could be improved, or extended to other entitlements. Insights from behavioural sciences, such as the effect of nudging, were also translated into concrete policy measures to improve both procedures and communication by public administrations.

In addition, the BELMOD model was used to analyse the impact of a harmonised and simplified means test on the size or profile of the population entitled to social benefits or allowances. A simple and harmonised means test makes it easier for beneficiaries to correctly assess the social benefits to which they are entitled and facilitates further automation of the allocation of social rights.

The results can be read in the final report of the BELMOD project and more detailed reports on the proactive identification of various social rights. The results were also presented at a final conference organised in June 2022.

At work

To encourage persons with disabilities and their partners to enter (more) employment, the price of love and the price of labour were abolished or reduced. BELMOD was used to estimate the budgetary cost, also taking into account the inflow of new allowance recipients.

Another application of BELMOD in the move to work is Jobcalc. Jobcalc is an online calculation tool for people on incapacity or disability benefits. The tool allows them to calculate the impact of going to work on their (household) income. The underlying calculation is done using the BELMOD model.

Increasing of allowances

Commissioned by the Court of Audit, BELMOD was used to estimate the budgetary cost of raising welfare benefits to the European poverty risk limit.

Statistics

BELMOD is used in the annual calculation of the adequacy of social minima. The results can be found in the analysis of the evolution of the social situation and social protection in Belgium, focus sur les chiffres (figures in the spotlight), the social protection dashboard and on chiffrespauvrete.be.

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