The following article provides an overview of the most important regulations for parents who want to claim children’s allowance in Germany.
Parents are entitled to children’s allowance for their children who are not married, below 25 years of age and live in their household if:
– they are receiving child benefit (Kindergeld) for these children,
– the parents’ monthly income reaches the minimum income level,
– income and assets to be considered do not exceed the maximum income level and
the family’s requirements will be covered through payment of children’s allowance and hence there is no entitlement to unemployment benefit II/social benefit (Arbeitslosengeld II/Sozialgeld).
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To qualify for the allowance, the minimum income limit is 900 € for parent couples and 600 € for single parents.
Parents are only entitled to children’s allowance if their monthly income in money or money’s worth (e.g. gross income from gainful employment, unemployment benefit I, continued payment of wages in case of sickness etc.) reaches the minimum income limit.
At the same time, the income and assets to be considered (gross income and gross assets reduced by possible deductions) must not exceed the maximum income level.
The maximum income level is composed of the parents’ requirements in the sense of the regulations of unemployment benefit II and the percentaged share of adequate housing expenses (assessment threshold) as well as the total children’s allowance.
Please note that it is not possible to receive unemployment benefit II/social benefit or public welfare benefits (Sozialhilfe) and children’s allowance at the same time.
The amount of children’s allowance is determined by the income and the assets of the parents and of the children; it is capped at € 140 per month per child and is paid monthly together with the child benefit.
Those who receive children’s allowance can also obtain benefits for education and participation for their children. The following activities are eligible in this context:
– one-day excursions of schools or day-care centres,
– excursions of schools or day-care centres of several days’ duration,
– provision of personal school supplies
– transporting pupils to school,
– adequate tutoring,
– lunches in schools, child care centres, after-school care institutions and
– benefits for participating in social and cultural community life
You can apply for education and participation benefits at your local municipal institution where you will find the relevant application forms.
The application for children’s allowance can only be made at the Family Benefits Office of the Federal Employment Agency which is also in charge of processing the application. The same applies to public service members. The Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) decides on the application for children’s allowance by written notice.
You can contact the Family Benefits Office responsible for your place of residence for any questions regarding the application and your individual case.
This article has been prepared using information provided by the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA).