Child benefit can be paid for children who are older than 18 years if they are completing school or vocational training, a degree or internship for the first time. Your child must acquire knowledge that is suitable as a basis for exercising the desired profession, complete a second training course and work at most on a limited basis. If your child works more than an average of 20 hours a week throughout the year, child benefit is no longer paid (exception: 450 Euro jobs). An apprenticeship cannot be started due to a lack of an apprenticeship place. You must also prove that the child is trying to find an apprenticeship. This can be the case, for example, if the child is registered with an employment agency or a job centre as looking for an apprenticeship, or is unemployed. And is registered as looking for work with an employment agency or a job centre. This only applies up to the age of 21, is doing a Federal voluntary service or similar service, is in a transitional phase between two training phases. This applies for a maximum of four months if they are unable to support themselves because of a disability. Under what conditions do I receive maternity pay?
You will receive the maternity pay if you stop working before the start of the statutory period of maternity leave or are not yet able to work after the end of the period, or your employer gives you another, lower-paying job. You do not have to be afraid of financial disadvantages. You keep at least your average earnings for the last thirteen weeks or the last three months before you became pregnant (maternity pay). The maternity pay is regarded as wages that are subject to tax and contributions.
Maternity benefit secures the income of an expectant or young mother during the period in which she is not allowed to work for reasons of protection. Maternity benefit is paid by the statutory health insurance funds during the protection periods before and after the birth as well as for the day of birth. Maternity benefit is only paid to women who are insured with statutory health insurance and are entitled to sick pay. The amount of the maternity allowance is based on the average net salary for the last three billed calendar months or thirteen weeks and is limited to a maximum of 13 Euro for the calendar day. In order to receive maternity benefit, you must present the health insurance company with a certificate from a doctor or midwife stating the expected date of the birth. Employees who are not members of a statutory health insurance company (e.g. women with private health insurance or women with family insurance in statutory health insurance) receive maternity benefit totalling a maximum of 210 Euro. The Federal Insurance Office (maternity benefit office) is responsible for this. If the daily net wage is higher than 13 Euro, the employer pays the difference as a so-called employer contribution to the maternity benefit.
The cost of childcare depends on the municipality in question. The municipalities bear a large part of the costs (regardless of whether the care is provided by a municipal or private facility or childminder). Parents pay a personal contribution based on family income. Private kindergartens are often more expensive than municipal facilities.
In principle, an application for child benefit can only be made by the parent with whom the child lives. The application must be submitted in writing to the Family Benefits Office. The Family Benefits Office does not send a confirmation of receipt. It is therefore advisable to send letters to the Family Benefits Office by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. You can call the Family Benefits Office to find out about the status of the procedure. The processing of child benefit applications can currently take several months. Once the application has been processed by the Family Benefits Office, you will either receive a decision regarding the application or you will be asked to provide any proof that may be lacking. You should comply with this request as soon as possible in order to avoid further delays. Once the application has been received, the Family Benefits Office will only pay you child benefit retrospectively for the past 6 months. During the entire application process, you are obliged to inform the Family Benefits Office of any changes in your personal circumstances without being asked. This includes, in particular, changes to your address, your bank details or your employer. If you do not comply with this obligation, this leads to delays in the procedure and can also lead to a rejection of the application. If a rejection notice for child benefit is issued, this becomes legally binding after the objection period has expired, i.e. 1 month after receipt of the notice. You can then no longer receive child benefit for the period in question, regardless of whether the refusal of the application was unlawful or lawful. You can find more information in the information sheet on child benefit in cross-border cases from the Federal Employment Agency.
There are many different types of childcare in Germany. Most child day care centres are run by local authorities, but many are also run by churches or parent initiatives. There is also a growing number of privately owned institutions.
There are the following types of childcare in Germany.
For children up to the age of 3:
- Day nurseries (crèches)
- Mixed-age kindergartens
- Parent initiatives
From the age of 3 until the children start school:
- Childcare day facilities (kindergartens)
From school age:
- All-day schools
- After-school clubs (out-of-school facilities)
- Homework supervision, mostly organised by private initiatives
The Basic parental allowance is 65% to 100% depending on the net income before the birth. The lower the income, the higher the percentage. It amounts to a minimum of 300 Euro and a maximum of 1,800 Euro per month. Fathers and mothers can receive it for a maximum of 14 months in total and can freely divide the period among themselves. One parent can claim a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 months. There is an entitlement to the full 14 months if both parents are involved in the care of the child and they lose their earned income as a result. Due to the lack of a partner, single parents can claim the full 14 months of parental allowance to compensate for the lost income.
Parental allowance (for births from 01.07.2015): Parental allowance plus is intended for parents who work part-time while receiving parental allowance. It replaces the part of the income that is lost due to part-time work, as well as the basic parental allowance at 65% to 100%, depending on income. The parental allowance “plus” amounts to a maximum of half of the basic parental allowance that the parent would be entitled to without part-time income (i.e. at least 150 Euro and a maximum of 900 Euro per month). Parental allowance “plus” is available for twice the period: one basic parental allowance month = two parental allowance “plus” months.
Partnerschaftsbonus: If both parents work part-time at the same time and work an average of 25-30 hours per week in four consecutive months, each parent receives additional monthly amounts of parental allowance “plus” (partnership bonus) for these four months.
If you are an employee in Germany, you can take parental leave to bring up and care for a child. To get parental leave, you must live in the same household as the child. Both parents are entitled to parental leave. Parental leave is considered separately for each parent. During parental leave, parents are allowed to work up to 30 hours per week (i.e. together up to 60 hours per week). If your child was born before July 1, 2015, you can take 12 months of parental leave. You can also transfer parental leave to the period between the child’s 3rd and 8th birthday if your employer agrees. Parental leave can be taken in 2 periods. For births after 1 July 2015, 24 months of parental leave can be taken. You can also take parental leave between the child’s 3rd and 8th birthday. Parental leave can be taken in 3 periods. The employer can only refuse the 3rd period if there are urgent operational reasons and your child is older than 3 years.
Responsibility is based on the following priority rules: In principle, the country in which self-employed or dependent work is carried out or a pension is being received. If you are entitled to family benefits in both countries due to self-employed or dependent work, the country in which where your child lives. If the child does not live in one of the two countries, but in a third EU country, the country in which the benefits are higher is responsible. If your entitlements are triggered in both countries by drawing a pension, the country in which your child is living. If your child lives in a third EU country, the country in which you were insured or lived the longest is responsible. If both parents neither work nor draw a pension, an entitlement to child benefit can only exist in the country in which the child lives. Examples: The Peters family lives in Germany. Mr. Peters works in the Netherlands and commutes to work every day, while Mrs. Peters is a housewife. The family is entitled to German child benefit due to their place of residence in Germany. At the same time, the family is entitled to Dutch child benefit because of the work in the Netherlands.
The priority rules state that the Netherlands pays child benefit first because there is an entitlement because of work. However, since the child benefit in Germany is higher than in the Netherlands, the family receives the difference between the Dutch child benefit and the German child benefit. Mrs. Meyer works in Germany. Mr. Meyer lives with their daughter in Slovakia and receives a pension there. Mr Meyer is therefore entitled to child benefit in Slovakia. Due to her work in Germany, Mrs. Meyer is entitled to child benefit.
Germany has primary jurisdiction as entitlement in Germany is work-triggered, while in Slovakia entitlement is pension-triggered. The family receives German child benefit. Since the child benefit in Slovakia is lower than in Germany, there are no other benefits in Slovakia. You can find more information on the leaflet on child benefit in cross-border cases from the Federal Employment Agency. The last page of the leaflet also lists the family benefits offices where you can apply for child benefit, depending on the EU Member State you come from.