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Didier Nys
Didier Nys

In 2023, we were lucky enough to enjoy a long summer in Belgium, a summer that made us reflect on the health of our beloved planet. Now, after many months, temperatures have dropped and while the frost has been merciless, we still know all too well that it’s winter. As I rake up the leaves in my garden, I wonder if my (customer service) work at Frontline also changes along with the season.

In my green oasis, where the wild birds are awakening from their hibernation dreams to food scarcity, I go to the garden shed for some seeds. There, among the tools and flower pots, my thoughts turn to our retired affiliates. Some of them are struggling to receive the pension they have built up because their records are not up to date or they forgot to submit their life certificates on time.

Back out in my garden, it starts to rain and I catch myself longing for warm, sunny days. As the months go by and while the weather gods bicker over whose turn it is, my colleagues and I are always here to help. Anyone with questions about their affiliation or medical expenses or who has not yet received their pension or needs help completing an application can always rely on our helpline.

Like the seasons, every day at Overseas Social Security brings its challenges. In June, for instance, we are inundated with questions about holiday pay. You could say that the weather is as changeable as the phone calls and emails we receive every day. Some of our affiliates use this time to put their affairs in order, to prepare for their future retirement or to make plans for trips to faraway places. Other expats return to Belgium to enjoy well-deserved holidays, surrounded by their families.

And when September arrives and the new school year brings adventures for children and young people, we remind expat parents to arrange the necessary insurance for their dependent children. Along with my colleagues, we guarantee that every member gets the care and cover they deserve.

As autumn turns into winter, the trees in my garden shed their leaves again and we experience the first frost. This is also the time when we remind our retirees of the need for life certificates, a formality that is often overlooked but that is crucial for the continuation of benefits.

So, as I scan my garden for signs of life in anticipation of the coming spring, I say to myself – yes, the work of the Frontline team does change according to the season!

Would you like to share your travel experiences?

Are you an expat or do you know someone with an inspiring experience abroad? Please don't hesitate to contact us at overseas-expat@onssrszlss.fgov.be. And who knows, you might inspire future expats with your story.

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