Elterngeld in Germany [2024 Parental Allowance]

by | Family in Germany

Last Update: Feb 24, 2024 @ 8:24 am

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Are you a new parent? Do you want to give your child a bright future? Did you and your kids move to Germany recently? Are you worried about increased expenses after having a new family member? No worries, you might be entitled to receive an elterngeld in Germany (parental allowance) to minimise the loss of earnings caused by the birth of your newborn. The German federal government encourages both parents to spend quality time with the newborn. They adopt a policy in which both parents can share the amount of parental allowance.

What is Elterngeld (Parental Allowance)?

Parental allowance is a family benefit the German government offers new parents. The allowance helps the new parents financially as they receive 300 Euros to 1800 Euros monthly. The amount also depends on the income of the parents.

🔶 Related Topic:  Elternzeit (Parental Leave) in Germany

Kinds of Parental Allowance

There are three kinds of parents allowance, as mentioned below;

  • Basic parental allowance (basiselterngeld)
  • Parental allowance plus (elterngeld plus)
  • Partnership bonus (partnerschaftsbonus)

Difference between Basic Parental Allowance and Parental Allowance Plus

Basic Parental AllowanceParental Allowance Plus
Payments up to 12 monthsPayments up to 24 months
Extension of 2 months (Up to 14 months)Extension of 4 months (Up to 28 months)
Up to 1800 EurosUp to 900 Euros

Eligibility Criteria to Receive Parental Allowance

Parents must fulfil the below criteria to receive the parental allowance.

  • You have been taking care of your child yourself since the birth of your baby.
  • You are a German or EU citizen.
  • You have a permanent residence permit and are allowed to work in Germany permanently.
  • You and your child are living in the same house.
  • When receiving an allowance, your working hours are less than 32 hours per week.
  • The couple's income (combined income of both parents) is not more than 300000 Euros annually. A single or separated parent's income should not exceed 250000 Euros per annum.
  • You have been taking care of someone else's child since birth.
  • You have adopted a child of age up to eight years.

How Much Parental Allowance we Get in Germany? 

Parental allowance is a financial support that increases your income compared to the income you received before having your baby. The amount of the Elterngeld in Germany depends on the following;

  • Your annual income before the birth of your child
  • Type of allowance you applied for
  • Your other state benefits
  • Your part-time job after the birth of your child
  • Number of birth you had (single, twin, or triplets)
  • Number of kids you previously have

It can also include other benefits, like child sickness benefits. Refer to the below table to see the percentage of income you will receive after having a child.

Monthly Income Before Birth of Your ChildPercentage of Income (Parental Allowance)
< 1000 Euros67% to 100%
1000 Euros to 1200 Euros67%
1200 Euros to 1240 Euros67% to 65%
> 1240 Euros65% (maximum limit is 2770 Euros)

Minimum and Maximum Amount of Parental Allowance

You may have an estimated idea about your parental allowance, but the exact calculation is tricky and tough. There is a specific minimum and maximum limit of the amount you would receive after your child's birth. The minimum and maximum amount of your parental allowance (Elterngeld) is;

Minimum amount = 300 Euros

Maximum amount = 1800 Euros

    Calculation of Elterngeld (Parental Allowance) without Income

    If you have no income before the birth of your child, you can calculate the amount of your basic parental allowance and parental allowance plus with the help of calculation in the below table;

    These example has been taken from Familienportal.de and calculations are done for monthly income. 

    Net income / earnings after the birth of the baby0 Euros
    Net income / earnings before the birth of the baby2000 Euros
    The difference in the income2000 – 0 = 2000 Euros per month
    Basic parental allowance (65%)2000 x 65 / 100 = 1300 Euros per month
    Basic parental allowance for a maximum of 12 months1300 x 12 = 15,600 Euros
    Parental allowance plus (half of the basic parental allowance)1300 / 2 = 650 Euros per month
    Parental allowance plus for a maximum of 24 months650 x 24 = 15600 Euros per month

    Calculation of Elterngeld (Parental Allowance) with Income

    Net income / earnings before the birth of the baby2000 Euros
    Net income / earnings after the birth of the baby500 Euros
    The difference in the income2000 – 500 = 1500 Euros per month
    Basic parental allowance (65%)1500 x 65 / 100 = 975 Euros per month
    Basic parental allowance for a maximum of 12 months975 x 12 = 11700 Euros

    Parental Allowance in Different Scenarios in Germany

    The amount for parental allowance in Germany can vary in different scenarios, as mentioned below;

    • Families with two or more children
    • Parents with multiple births

    Families with Two or More Children

    If you are a family with two or more kids, you can have an additional 75 Euros or a 10% monthly bonus, whichever is higher. You can receive a sibling bonus if;

    • One of your children is under the age of three.
    • Two of your children are under six years.
    • One child has a disability, and the age of the disabled child is 14 years.

    Parents with Multiple Births

    If you are a parent with twins or triple birth, the parental allowance is more than 300 Euros, and you will receive a parental allowance for each child.

      How Long Parents Receive Parental Allowance in Germany? 

      The minimum period to receive parental allowance is two months, and the maximum is 12 months (your child's first birthday). The period for parental allowance / Elterngeld in Germany depends on the type of allowance you have decided to apply for. The period does not start from the calendar month, but from the month your child was born. Below are the various cases;

      • If you and your partner both want to claim parental allowance, additional payments for two months will be given to the parents.
      • If you are a single parent, separated parent, or guardian, you can also enjoy the benefit of additional two months.
      • If you and your spouse are sharing parental allowance, you can enjoy benefiting one by one or together simultaneously for 14 months. Still, both of you need to claim a parental allowance for seven months. If both of you are applying for the parental allowance, you will receive 14 months in seven months.
      • If you have a premature baby, you can receive payments for four additional months to look after your premature child.

      How to Apply for the Parental Allowance in Germany?

      You can apply for the parental allowance by submitting your application at the local parental allowance office. You can also apply online, but online application is only available in a few federal states like Berlin, Hamburg, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Bremen, Thuringia, Saxony Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Schleswig Holstein, and Rhineland Palatinate. The German government is also working on the online platform in other federal states, but that is currently in process, so the online application in other states will be available later. Below is the procedure to apply for the parental allowance;

      • Fill out the online application form.
      • Attach the required documents.
      • Sign your application form.
      • Submit your application form and the required documents to the parental allowance office.

      What are the Documents Required for Elterngeld in Germany? 

      You must attach some necessary documents with your application form. Let's see the list of required documents below;

      • Birth certificate of your child
      • Your identification (passport, ID card, or driving licence)
      • Maternity benefit, if any (optional)
      • Parental leave (optional)
      • Proof of your income (bank account statement, income statement, salary slip, German job offer letter, or your employment contract)

      How Much is Processing Time of Parental Allowance Application ?

      The concerned department and office will take almost one month to check your attached documents and process your application. Once they have reviewed your application and the attached documents, they will let you know their decision regarding your parental allowance application.

      Important Information for You

      Here are a few points that you must know before applying for the parental allowance or Elterngeld in Germany;


      The German government will deduct the parental allowance you receive from your supplementary child benefit or unemployment allowance.

      Elterngeld Plus

      If you need to return to your work or job sooner and do not need parental leave, you can apply for Elterngeld plus in Germany. In this case, you can divide your parental allowance and enjoy the benefit for 24 months instead of 12 months. If you apply for Elterngeld in Germany, you will receive half of your monthly parental allowance for 24 months. To qualify for the parental allowance with work or a job, you must work 32 or fewer hours per week; otherwise, you will not receive the parental allowance.

      Bonus Payments (Partnership Bonus)

      If you and your spouse work for two to four months consecutively and your work duration is 24 to 32 hours per week, you can get four additional payments. If you are separate, you can apply for the bonus payments. Single parents can receive a bonus for two to four months.

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      Is Elterngeld (Parental allowance) in Germany available only for employees?

      No, it is not available for employees only. You could receive parental allowance even if you were not working before you had a child. You can claim parental allowance or Elterngeld in Germany if you are;

      • An employee
      • A part-time worker
      • Self-employed
      • A civil servant
      • Someone with a mini job
      • A mother and father who stay at home with the baby
      • Unemployed
      • A student or a trainee but an EU citizen
      • Someone who works abroad but has a German contract of employment

      Where is the Local Parental Allowance office (Elterngeldstelle)?

      Suppose you have no idea about the local parental allowance office. In that case, you can find your regional office's address on the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth website.

      What income proof would I submit with the application if I recently shifted to Germany?

      No matter if you have recently moved to Germany, you can apply for the Elterngeld in Germany with income proof from your home country and enjoy the parental allowance.

      Concluding Remarks

      The German government always strives to work for the social programs that benefit the German residents. Elterngeld or parental allowance in Germany is a perfect option whether you work or not. You cannot work for more than 32 hours per week if you are employed. It is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your newborn with full attention for 12 months without worrying about your job or work. You can receive up to 1800 Euros per month for up to 24 months.

      Congratulations on your newborn; get the eterngeld now, and cheers on the new addition to your family.

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