Social work department

Patients, relatives and referrers can rely on the social work department, for free and in strict confidentiality. Personal care, attention to dignity and accessibility are a common thread in all our activities.

What we can help you with

Psycho-social support

An illness or treatment can change your life drastically and will have consequences for your situation at home, your relationship, your daytime activities, your future prospects, and so on. You can experience grief, feelings of powerlessness or loneliness. A social worker listens to your story and provides support for dealing with your new situation.

Preparing for discharge and care coordination

In complex care circumstances a social worker will prepare your discharge from the hospital together with you.

Please note: many help and day care possibilities work with a waiting list. Are you expecting problems regarding your discharge? Make sure that you contact a social worker as soon as possible, either before or during your admission. 

  • Home care organisation
    Taking into account your care needs, the social worker engages supportive home services: family assistance, cleaning help, assistive aids and loan materials, hot meals, home modification, etc.
  • Caregiver support
    The social worker provides advice on services that can support the informal caregiver in taking up care: day care, night care, babysitting services for children, service centres, etc.
  • Applying for residential care
    If a return home is (temporarily) not feasible, the social worker will help you with your application for admission to a short-term residence, convalescent home, rehabilitation centre, assisted living facility, residential care centre, or other. 

Social provisions

Depending on your care situation and care needs, the social worker provides information on the most appropriate options. The social worker assists in obtaining allowances, benefits and legal provisions for sick and disabled people. We help and refer questions about declarations of illness, social benefits, income replacement measures, applications at the VAPH (Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities), increased child benefits, …

Sick leave, leave of absence and resuming work

Illness or physical limitations can lead to temporary or permanent work incapacity. Will you be able to return to work? How can you combine work and illness? What possibilities are there to restart part-time, take time credit or a career break? Are you entitled to income-replacement measures, allowances, adapted training, adjustments in the workplace?

Work resumption often involves several partners. The status of your work (as an employee, labourer, self-employed or in a liberal profession) and the sector you work in also help determine what is possible. 

The social worker will give advice and refer you to the appropriate agencies. Also consult your trade union, employer (or HR department), the public health insurance fund's advisory doctor and the occupational doctor.

More information

Financial and legal help

A social worker helps with legal and financial questions related to your illness, hospitalisation or treatment. You can ask for help and advice regarding the cost of your admission, billing, payment plans, health and hospitalisation insurance, etc. A social worker is aware of relevant legislation and can refer you for legal advice. 

A brief overview of useful authorities:


Do you have questions about your transport to the hospital during outpatient treatment, or about your transport upon discharge from hospital? A social worker offers advice and practical support on using a transport service. 

Interpreters and language assistance

Every patient has the right to receive information about their illness or treatment in a language they understand. Both during admission and consultation, you can request language assistance. The use of an interpreter is free of charge. You can request an interpreter via the social work department or the nursing unit.

Depending on the language requested, the time when language assistance is needed and the specific context, we either engage an interpreter on site or organise distance interpreting via telephone or internet. 

Peer contact

Sometimes you need contact with people going through the same thing as you and facing the same concerns. A social worker can put you in touch with fellow patients or specific patient associations.

Find a self-help organisation (site in Dutch).

Accommodation for family

Family members, friends or outpatients can stay in the vicinity of the hospital. Contact the social worker attached to the patient's ward to check out the possibilities.

Read more about the accommodation, reservation conditions and registration.

How we operate

Hospitalisation can be emotionally, relationally and socially impactful. The social work department offers personal support in care situations associated with hospitalisation, illness, treatment and disability.

Social workers make time to listen to your story. They assist you, provide information and offer concrete support in different areas of life. If necessary, they refer you to specialised help appropriate to your care situation.

Social workers are part of the multidisciplinary team caring for you. They also work closely with support services outside the hospital. In doing so, professional confidentiality is always respected.


Ask for a social worker

Do you have questions prior to your admission to the hospital? Do you need support during your hospital stay or are you expecting problems regarding your discharge?

Contact a social worker as soon as possible.

  • Via one of the nurses on the ward.
  • By contacting the social work department.



UZ Leuven gasthuisberg campus
Social work department
Herestraat 49
3000 Leuven


  • The designated car park for this department is parking Oost.

Last edit: 1 March 2024