Family Benefits

Find out about the financial help available to parents of toddlers in Germany

Child benefit (Kindergeld)

Child benefit is paid until the child reaches 18 (or 21 if unemployed) or until 27 if in educational training. There is no limit for disabled children who will never be able to support themselves financially. It is paid irrespective of the parents' income, and an additional sum is paid for each additional child.

  • For information on the current amount of child benefit payable including extra amounts for children with special needs: Click here

A copy of the birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde) must be sent to the Families Office at the Department of Employment (Familienkasse beim Arbeitsamt) to register for child benefit (Kindergeld). A booklet (in German), Staatliche Hilfe fuer Familien (State Aid for Families), containing further information on child benefit and other financial assistance for families is available from the Federal Ministry of Families, Pensioners, Women & Youth (Bundesministerium fuer Familie, Frauen, Senioren und Jugend - BMFSFJ).

  • To obtain a copy of this: Click here (PDF in German)

Child raising allowance (Elterngeld)

Legislation introduced at the beginning of 2007 was aimed at financially supporting parents and giving them the freedom to choose when to return to work after having children. The former child raising allowance (Erziehungsgeld) was replaced by an allowance for parents (Elterngeld). However, the old regulations still apply to children born in 2007. In order to qualify for this allowance an application must be made to the Federal Office for Youth (Jugendamt).

Further changes to legislation on employment law were introduced on 24 January 2009. These aim to make parental leave more flexible for those in employment by increasing the period for which Elterngeld can be claimed and allowing it to be claimed if a parent works part-time.

  • For detailed information: Click here (in German)

The Child Raising Allowance (Elterngeld) can be claimed by either parent as long as they live in the same household as the child. It may be paid to same sex parents or grandparents in certain circumstances.

Elterngeld is assessed as 67 percent of the net income of the mother or father (the average of the previous 12 months before the birth) up to a maximum of €1800 per month. Elterngeld is paid for a period of 12 months or 14 months if both parents take leave to care for the baby. The aim is to encourage fathers to take time off to care for their children. 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 and the monthly amounts reduced by half.  If the new child has one sibling under three years of age, two siblings under six years of age or a disabled sibling under fourteen years of age, an additional ten percent of net income is added to the total Elterngeld amount.