Child Benefits (Kindergeld)
For the first and second child, the monthly child benefits payment is currently €184 per child; for the third child €190 Euro; and for each additional child € 215. Child benefits are paid at minimum until the age of 18 or until end of the child’s 25th year, if the child is in school, doing professional training or at university. Child benefit will also be paid retrospectively so you have enough time to apply for it. Usually you begin receiving the child benefits within 3-4 weeks after application.
To apply just contact the International Office or use the Online-Formularedienst der Familienkasse or download the forms at www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/welcome
You must apply in writing and the forms must be signed by the applicant.
Parental Allowance (Elterngeld and Elterngeld Plus)
Parents have a right to receive parental allowance. This amount ranges from 300 to the maximum of €1,800 per month. You can choose between base parental allowance and parental allowance plus.
The base parental allowance (Elterngeld) for employees (people with a German contract) is calculated on the basis of the average net income of the previous 12 months before the baby is born. It is assessed at 67 percent of this net income up to a maximum of €1,800 per month. Parents who had not been working or are paid on stipend are granted the minimum €300 per month.
Basic parental allowance is paid for up to 12 months or to 14 months if both parents take leave to care for the baby. It is also possible for both parents to claim Elterngeld and the number of months reduces accordingly. Alternatively, it can be paid for twice as long with the monthly allowance payment reduced by half.
The parental money plus (Elterngeld Plus) is a new benefit for parents available from 2015. Although this becomes effective on January 1st, only parents who give birth from July 1st 2015 are legible to apply for it. It will allow fathers and mothers to continue working part-time while still getting the benefits, the monthly amount will be halved, though distributed over 24 months instead of 12. Furthermore, mothers and fathers who both work 25 to 30 hours per week may also enjoy 4 extra month of parental benefit. If they are not married they have to at least share custody. Parental money (Elterngeld), parental allowance plus (Elterngeld Plus) and the 4 month partnership bonus can also be combined: e.g. if one parent does not work for 6 months and is receiving full parental money, he or she can also apply for parental allowance plus for 12 month.
As parental money is only paid retrospectively for 3 months, you should apply within 3 months. For employees, the Personnel Department will give you support with the application. Stipend holders can come to the International Office.
Parents will also have the possibility of making use of up to 24 months of their parental leave between the child`s third and the eighth birthday. However, they need to inform their employers in good time.
If you want to make use of parental leave in the period up to the child´s third birthday have to claim it from the employers in writing not later than seven weeks prior to its start. Parental leave in the period between the child´s third and eighth birthday has to be claimed in writing at least 13 weeks before its beginning.