Benefits for families in Germany

Last Updated on September 6, 2022

In this post about benefits for families in Germany: Kindergeld, Kinderzuschlag, Elterngeld, Landeserziehungsgeld, Familiengeld, Baukindergeld. The latter is practically irrelevant. However, according to the plans of the government, and all the rest may not be relevant.

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What is Kindergeld in Germany

Kindergeld is paid to families regardless of their income.

The first or second child in the family currently receives 219 euros per month each. If there are more children in the family, the amount increases slightly. 225 euros for the third child, 250 euros for the rest of the children.

Kindergeld is paid to all children under the age of 18. The term is extended to 25 years if the “child” is studying and to 21 years if they are unemployed.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the automatic renewal of the child benefit payment may not take place if the residence permit expires and you then renew it. What came out of my own experience. When changing documents, don’t forget to check that you’re still getting paid.

Elterngeld

The allowance is paid after the birth of a child to a parent who will look after a child for a maximum of 12 months. Another parent can replace for an additional two months. Of course you don’t get a salary at work, but an allowance. The months can be divided differently. Who and how much to stay with the child and who to work is up to the parents themselves.

If the parent is a single parent, he or she receives the allowance for 14 months.

Since 2021 if the child was born more than 6 weeks ahead of schedule, the parents can receive to additional months.

If the second parent does not want to take Elternzeit (it is unprofitable for the whole family to receive benefits for two months if the mother is not working), the benefit is paid for 12 months.

The amount of Elterngeld depends on the income of the parent looking after the child in the last year before the birth. It is between 300 and 1800 euros per month. Families with another small child under 3 years of age or disabled child receive a supplement (at least € 75).

Parents whose total income was too high in the last year (more than 300,000 euros) are not granted any allowances.

If the parent who stays with the child does not have right to work in Germany (this is stated in Aufenthaltserlaubnis), the allowance will not be paid to him / her. Just as it wasn’t paid to us for the first child. Now people usually have Blue Cards and this issue is no longer relevant.

Landeserziehungsgeld

This money is paid by Bundesländer and they also regulate the payment terms. The money is received low-income families – roughly less than two thousand euros per month, but the specific amount is set by the state government. Landeserziehungsgeld is only available in a few Bundesländer.

Familiengeld

Allowance for families with small children in Bavaria. It is not income-related, is paid to families with children aged 1 to 3 and costs € 250-300.

What is Kinderzuschlag

Kinderzuschlag is an additional allowance for those parents whose income enables them to cover their own needs but not the needs of their children. That is, such a small help that, in the opinion of the state, the family returned to a decent standard of living.

The allowance is not fixed. It is calculated individually for each family in a fairly narrow corridor:

The income must be
at least 900 euros per family (600 euros for singles),
but also no more than the sum of the needs of all family members.
It is clear that in the case of “more” you simply get nothing. But in the case of “less”, apply to the employment office for other types of benefits.
The maximum allowance is EUR 205 euro per child.

You can find out whether you are entitled to benefits online using one of the child allowance calculators. However, you can estimate for yourself using the following formula.

The sum of your needs is added up according to the official table according to the rules for unemployment benefits (Harz 4). The needs can be basic (Grundbedürfnisse, set for each year) and additional (single parents, disabled people, pregnant women, etc.).
Grundbedürfnisse (Regelbedarf) in 2020 for each parent are 389 euros (432 euros for single parents). For children it is age-dependent. For example, from 6 to 13 years – 308 euros and for children under 6 years – 250 euros.

Let’s say a family has no additional needs, however she has
two children aged 8 and 10,
the rent is 1000 euros,
the net income after taxes and social security contributions is 2000 euros.
Are they entitled to benefits?

The family’s needs are 778 euros (parents) + 616 euros (children) + 1000 euros (apartment) = 2644 euros.
They have an income of 2000 euros + 408 euros child benefit = 2408 euros.
This means that the family can apply for benefits.

The specific amount is calculated by the Amt. If services were still insufficient to meet a need, other types of support would have to be sought.

Even if the size of the advantage turns out to be small, there is still a very nice bonus. Recipients of child allowance as well as recipients of other benefits for people on low incomes have

  • Entitlement to exemption from kindergarten fees
  • Education package (school meals, school trips, 150 euros for school supplies and 15 euros per month for a addinional school or music school).

Baukindergeld

Time is almost over: you must buy by the end of March to qualify for the Baukindergeld

Many families, especially if they have two or more children, face the situation that renting an apartment is a real challenge. This is especially true for western Germany. There are always singles or couples without children who want to rent the same three-room apartment. Of course they are preferred for the owners.

It can be easier and more profitable to buy than a painful year spent looking for a suitable apartment. And to find something that nobody needs: either too expensive and bigger than necessary or in a godforsaken village without a bus or in not very good condition.

Since 2018, the government, which has kept its election promises, introduced Baukindergeld. This cash benefit should make it easier for families to buy their houses and at the same time increase the number of property owners in Germany. This number is much lower than in other European countries.

1. How much

For every child under the age of 18 living with the property buyer (for whom you or your partner receives Kindergeld), the government will give up to 12,000 euros when buying a home. That means 1200 euros per child and year for 10 years.

The Bavarian government supplements this allowance with a flat rate of 10,000 for the family. Plus 300 euros per year for each child for 10 years.

2. Term

The allowance is requested from the time you move into your new home, but no later than 6 months after you move in. Applies to the purchase of housing from January 1, 2018 or a building for which approval was obtained after January 1, 2018. The latest date for the purchase or the granting of a building permit is limited to the end of 2020.

An application for support must be sent by the end of 2023 at the latest.

3. Prozess

A request for money should be sent to Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). This office also offers discounted loans that must be applied for before buying a home or starting construction. The allowance can be combined with discounted loans.

4. Income restriction

The total family taxable income does not exceed 90,000 per year for the first child. Plus 15,000 for each next child. That is, for three children, a family should not receive more than 120,000 per year. The income is calculated by adding up the income of the previous years (for 2018 – 2016 and 2015). And the amount is divided by two. Taxable income includes not only wages, but also other types of income.

5. Limit the number of housing

The allowance can only be received for a single property purchased. If you already own real estate at the time the contract is signed or a building permit is granted, you cannot write an inquiry. This also applies if the property has been donated or inherited or if the person only owns part of the property.

I had the following question. But if you’ve sold your own home by this point, apparently, can you? There was a similar question in the answers to frequently asked questions. If I bought a home under another program that was bis 2005, can I apply for that program? And the answer was: yes, if you’ve already sold this house.

6. Payment method

Once the allowance has been confirmed, the family will receive 1200 euros per child each year for 10 years. They promise to pay the allowance as long as the state has enough money for it. Because the amount allocated by the state is limited, there may not be enough money for families who wish to join the program later.

7. The allowance is paid while you are living in the purchased property. If you rent it out or sell it, the allowance is lost.

8. The size of the accommodation is unlimited.

9. It is recommended that the money be used as a kredit repayment (Tilgung). But only after making sure when getting a loan that it can be done without a penalty from the bank.

There are some not entirely precise points that are explained today as follows.
  • 1. If the child becomes over 18 years old while receiving the allowance, the family will continue to receive it. However, only as long as the child receives Kindergeld.
  • 2. If you have more children after purchase, no extra money will be given.
  • 3. If the salary has exceeded the limit when receiving the allowance, the family will continue to receive it.
  • 4. In the case of a divorce, the situation is not yet clear.

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