Unemployed Belgians receive payments twice in a month
The Belgian Post Office accidentally paid out unemployment benefits twice in one month to almost 49,000 people.
The Post Office is responsible for the payment of social security benefits to unemployed people who are not members of a trade union. The payments are made through the Aid Fund (Hulpkas).
Officials were testing out a new payment system and the second payment to unemployment recipients was made unintentionally.
The Post Office is now trying to reclaim the money.
The Aid Fund sent a number of money transfers to the Post Office last week to prepare for the transition to the new European SEPA-money transfer regulations. The transfers were meant to be fictitious. Unintentionally the payments were actually made.
Due to the mistake, some 48,860 unemployment recipients received their money twice for this month.
"Some social security recipients had contacted the Aid Fund because they were surprised by the double payment," said Piet Van Speybrouck of the Belgian Post.
"The Aid Fund contacted us and we immediately took the necessary steps to recover the money."
The amount Belgian Post paid out by accident is about EUR 40 million in total.