Are you moving to Germany with your family? Do you live in Germany and recently have a newborn? Are you worried about the costs and expenses caused by the birth of your new child? No need to worry now. Germany's system is very well known worldwide because of kindergeld (Child Benefit). Kinder geld is the kind of financial support for young families in Germany, especially those with low income. All parents are entitled to the benefits that may help them raise their child the best way.
Kindergeld (Child Benefit) Defined
Kindergeld or child benefit is the monthly payment that all parents may receive irrespective of their financial situation or income level. This is a kind of financial support to the young families and new parents, so they may recover the loss caused by the birth of their new addition to the family. The family benefit office gives a fixed amount of money to the parents that is called kindergeld (child benefit)
🔶 Related Topic: Elternzeit (Parental Leave) in Germany
Age Limit to Receive Kindergeld in Germany
The minimum age limit is 18 years, so you can get kindergeld until your child reaches the minimum age limit of 18 years.
Exceptions to Receive Child Benefit beyond 18 Years
After 18 years, you can still enjoy child benefits in a few exceptional cases, as given below;
- Suppose your child is still studying or getting some training. In that case, you are entitled to receive kindergeld until your child reaches the age of 25 or until they complete their educational degree and first vocational qualification.
- If your child has some disability, you can receive kindergeld until 25 years, as they cannot support themselves.
- Suppose your child has no job and is registered with an employment agency. In this case, you can get child benefits until your child is 21.
General Requirements to Receive Child Benefit
There are certain requirements to claim your child's benefit. These requirements include the following;
- Place of residence
- Married couples
- Separated couples
Place of Residence
If you are a German and EU citizen and your place of residence is also Germany, you are entitled to the kindergeld in Germany. If you are not a German or EU citizen living in Germany, you need to have a reasonable settlement or a temporary residence permit. You may not get any child benefits in your home country, but you can enjoy monthly payments to raise your child in Germany with a good life and a great future.
Not both parents can apply for the child benefit separately. Only one parent can claim the kinder geld from the family benefits office. Married couples should discuss and decide who will receive kindergeld for their child.
If you and your spouse are separated due to some dispute or divorce, you need to get the child's custody to receive a monthly payment for child benefits. No matter if a mother or a father has the child's primary custody, the one who has the custody will benefit from the child's nourishment.
If you are taking care of a child, but you are not the parent, you are entitled to receive child benefits to meet their needs.
Amount of Child Benefit
Kindergeld is the fixed monthly payment transferred to the parent's or guardian's bank account. If you receive child benefits for two or more children, you will receive the total payment in a single transaction for all your children. Being a parent or guardian, you can receive child benefits in cash if you want to. No matter what the income level is, all applicants will receive the same amount of kindergeld. You can receive child benefits for all children you have. Here is the table in which the amount of child benefit is given;
|# of Children
|First and second child
|Rest of the children
Necessary Documents to Receive Child Benefit
Refer to the list below to know about the required documents that you must attach with your application form.
- Original birth certificate
- Translation of the birth certificate if it is not in German
- Proof of your residence permit
- Valid passport and ID
- Proof of residency registration
Other Allowances, Deductions, and Benefits
Germany is paying kindergeld to the parents to meet the costs and expenses of raising their children and giving a lot of other allowances and benefits.
Parents are also entitled to a tax-free allowance for their children under certain conditions. A tax-free allowance as per 2023 is 6024 Euros per child if you are married. If you are a single parent or separated or divorced, you can get a tax-free allowance of 4260 Euros per child as per 2023. If you are entitled to the tax-free allowance for your child, then your income tax would be assessed. During your income tax assessment, the tax office will compare the amount you have already received for your child with the amount you can save. After comparison, the tax office will choose the most suitable option for you.
Federal Parental Allowance
Elterngeld is given to new parents who fulfill certain conditions. The federal parental allowance is given to the parents, so they can rest and spend quality time with their newborn child. This additional benefit covers the expenses caused by the birth of the newborn child.
A few parents can get a supplementary allowance for their children. Currently, the amount for supplementary allowance is 250 Euros per month. Only unmarried children under 25 years can get this allowance.
Conditions to Receive Supplementary Allowance
There are certain conditions you need to fulfill to get a supplementary allowance. These conditions are mentioned below;
- You are receiving kindergeld for your child.
- You are earning less than the maximum income limit. The maximum income limit for each parent depends on the cost of living of the parents.
- You are earning 900 Euros per month without any deductions. You must earn at least 600 Euros per month as a single or separated parent.
Calculation of Maximum Income Limit and Supplementary Allowance
The family benefits office calculates the maximum limit while processing the application. They will calculate the allowance amount by assessing your income and assets. You can also receive payments for school trips, transport, supplies, fees, and meals. If your child is getting any payment or income, the family benefit office will deduct the amount the child receives from the child supplementary allowance.
Parents can also save taxes in some other ways. They can deduct the expenses related to their children's daycare and school fees. For daycare, they can deduct 4000 Euros per year. For school fees, they can deduct 5000 Euros per year.
Child Sickness Benefit
The Statutory Health Insurance Company gives the child's sickness benefit to those parents who need to take long leaves from the work office to take care of their child due to illness or disease.
The German term “Unterhaltsvorschuss” is used for single parents who are not getting any support from their partner or spouse. This is the special supplementary payment called maintenance advance. Maintenance advance is given to single parents to help them solely meet their child's expenses. As a parent or guardian of a child, you can get maintenance advances according to your child's age.
Amount of Maintenance Advance
Maintenance advance depends upon the age of your child. The below table shows the maintenance advance payments for different age groups.
|Maintenance Advance Payment (2024)
|0 to 5 Years
|Up to 230 Euros per month
|6 to 11 Years
|Up to 301 Euros per month
|12 to 17 Years
|Up to 395 Euros per month
Remember that children above 12 years and their parents must not receive unemployment benefits.
Required Documents to Apply for the Maintenance Advance
While applying for the maintenance advance, you must bring the following documents to the local youth welfare office.
- Valid ID
- Child's birth certificate
- Registration certificate
- Residence permit
- Proof of being single (separation or divorce-proof)
If any documents are in another language, you must submit the translation document and your application.
Below are a few important instructions that might help you being parents or guardians.
- If you or your children are leaving Germany, you must inform the office giving you child benefits. You must cancel your application by filling out and submitting the change form.
- If your employment ends, you should share with the agency paying you kindergeld or other benefits.
- There is no need to submit the application form again and again if you have a newborn. You just need to amend your previous application, or you can submit a change notice too.
- If you are moved to some other location or your marital status is changed, you must inform the Family Benefits Office.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What do you need to apply for the child benefit in Germany?
To apply for the child benefit, you need to have your tax ID and your child's ID. You must attach your child's tax ID number to the application form. You will get the tax ID number of your child from the federal tax office right when your child is born and registered at the local registry office.
What is the process to apply for kindergeld (child benefit) in Germany?
You can apply for the kindergeld online on the website of the Federal Employment Agency. You can apply for the kindergeld (child benefit) at the family benefits office of the local labor office. Let’s go through the steps to apply for the kindergeld in Germany.
- Get the application form online or from the concerned office.
- Fill in the application form carefully.
- Attach the required documents with the application form.
- Submit the written and signed form at the office yourself. Both parents must sign the application form.
If you want to apply through someone else, you need to give them power of attorney to look into the matter on your behalf. If you are working in an institute or organization, then your employer should also fill out a portion of your application form.
What is the application processing time?
Once you submit your application online or in the office, you will receive a reply from the concerned office within three weeks to two months. If your application is approved and there is no issue, you will get your child's benefit directly to your bank account monthly. If your application is rejected, you can submit an appeal or the required documents or proofs within one month.
How to apply for the maintenance advance in Germany?
If you are planning to receive the maintenance advance, you must visit your local or regional youth welfare office. Discuss your case with the representative in the youth welfare office and get the application form. Fill out the maintenance advance application form and attach the necessary documents. Finally, apply to the youth welfare office. The Youth welfare office will process your maintenance advance application, and you will get your maintenance advance.
Can you apply for child benefit through a phone call?
No, you cannot. Application through a phone call, or email. You can also not apply through an oral application.
Who is entitled to receive kindergeld in Germany?
Almost all parents living in Germany can receive kindergeld regardless of their nationality. Below are the criteria parents must fulfil to qualify for the child benefit.
- You must be a German resident.
- Your child's age must be under 18 years, but there are exceptions too mentioned in this write-up earlier.
- You must be a taxpayer.
- You are taking care of your child yourself.
- You are taking care of someone else's child as a guardian or grandparent.
Is kindergeld tax-free in Germany?
Yes, Kindergeld is tax-free. Being a parent or guardian, you must file a tax declaration yearly to enjoy benefits from tax savings. If you submit a tax declaration yearly, you will also enjoy benefits like childcare expenses and school fees.
When should you apply for child benefits in Germany?
The deadline to apply for the child benefit is six months. If you have not applied for the child benefit within six months, you can only get it for the last six months.
Kindergeld is a great way to support parents and families in Germany who can enjoy many benefits and raise their children in the best and easiest way. Make sure to apply for the child benefit within six months to enjoy the kindergeld or child benefit from the birth of your child. Currently, parents can get kindergeld (child benefit) of 250 Euros per month per child. If you are earning low income, then you can apply for other benefits like supplementary allowance.