You can apply directly or you can ask your social secretariat to do it. There are two distinct cases of special measures:
- Temporary unemployment due to force majeure. This would apply if your activity has come to a complete halt following the government closure announcements (e.g. you run a conference venue, a training company, a restaurant or a travel agency organising trips in northern Italy). Your staff will be placed on temporary unemployment full time.
- You have experienced a catastrophic reduction in business for reasons which are totally beyond your control. You can reduce your work force partially e.g. by staff working fewer hours or by some staff being made temporarily unemployed but not necessarily all. For this situation you need to demonstrate the loss in business.
For both categories of case your social secretariat/payroll agency can take immediate action. The ONEM is still working on how to best speed up decision making (since they must approve all requests. They have already agreed that they will backdate requests which fall into the first category and that you can apply for the first category while waiting to hear if you are eligible for the second.
Further details here (French): https://www.onem.be/fr/documentation/feuille-info/e1-0#h2_4