With child benefit, parents have the opportunity to increase their monthly budget and cover upcoming expenses. In the following article, you will find the most important facts and information about child benefits.
Table of contents
When Am I Entitled To Child Benefit?
Basically, the family fund only pays child benefits to one person. As a rule, this concerns the mother or the father. If you live with your child in the same household, you must agree on who will receive the child benefit.
However, it is also possible that the child benefit can be paid directly to your child. However, your child must run his or her own household and pay for his or her own expenses. Accordingly, no maintenance may be received from the parents.
In addition, you are entitled to child benefit if..
- Your child is under 18 years of age (in exceptional cases even longer).
- Your child lives in your household and is regularly cared for by you.
- Your place of residence is in Germany, within the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland.
What Are The Exceptions?
If you want to apply for child benefits, you should consider the following special regulations. On the one hand, you are not entitled to child benefit if your child is older than 18 and can prove that he or she has completed his or her education.
However, if your child does not have a job and is registered with the employment agency, you are still entitled to child benefits. However, only until the 21st birthday of your child.
Children with an impairment also receive child benefits beyond their 25th birthday. To do so, it must be proven that your child is unable to care for himself or herself due to a physical, mental or emotional impairment. It should also be noted that the impairment must have occurred before the 25th birthday. Otherwise, the entitlement to child benefits will lapse.
How Much Child Benefit Will I Receive?
As a rule, you will receive at least 204 euros per month for each child. If you have several children, the number of children determines the amount of child benefit. In principle, you are entitled to more child benefit from the third child onwards. From the fourth child, you have the possibility to receive at least 235 euros per month per child.
Here you can find a small overview:
- Child benefit for the first child: 204 Euro per month.
- Child benefit for the second child: 204 Euro per month.
- Child benefit for the third child: 210 euros per month.
- Child benefit for the fourth child and above: 235 euros per month.
How Can I Apply For Child Benefit?
You have three options to apply for child benefit:
- Complete the application online and send it to the family benefits office.
- Print out application, sign and send by mail.
- Hand in the application in person at the employment agency.
In addition, you do not have to submit a new application every year. Child benefit will be paid by the family benefits office until there are changes – for example, in your living situation. However, you are obliged to inform the family benefits office of any changes, such as a new address.
When Can I Apply For Child Benefit?
You can apply for child benefits as soon as your child is born. You also have the possibility to receive child benefit retroactively for up to 6 months. However, you should expect a processing time of about 1 to 1.5 months.
In order to keep the processing time as short as possible, we recommend that you submit your application for child benefit to the family benefits office as soon as possible after the birth of your child.
Who Can Apply For Child Benefit?
In principle, all legal guardians are entitled to child benefits. In addition to the natural parents, this can also be foster parents, adoptive parents or grandparents. There are only two prerequisites to be observed: The beneficiary should be resident in Germany and also have taken in the child for whom he or she is claiming child benefit in his or her household.
What Are The Child Allowances?
In addition to child benefit, parents are also entitled to allowances on their tax returns. Since the beginning of 2019, the tax-free amount is 7620 euros per year.
In addition to the child allowance of 2490 euros, there is an allowance for care, education and training of 1320 euros. For married couples with a joint tax return, they double the amounts to a full 7620 euros. The tax office offsets the child allowance paid against the tax benefits resulting from the child allowance.
Does A Divorce Affect The Child Benefit?
Yes. If the mother and father divorce, the person who lives in the same household as the joint child is entitled to child benefit. In most cases, this is the mother. Under child support law, the amount is allocated to the child. For this reason, the cash maintenance of the person obliged to pay maintenance is also reduced. In the case of minor children, this would even affect half of the child support. However, this regulation also applies to unmarried couples.
With the tax allowance, however, the situation is somewhat different. Both parents are entitled to the child allowance and the allowance for care, education, and training.
For example, if the divorced parents of a child live in different EU countries, the parent with whom the child lives is entitled to child benefit.
Can The Claim To Child Benefit Become Time-barred?
The child benefit claim becomes time-barred after four years. This means that although applications will be considered as before, child benefits will not be paid until six months before the application is received by the family benefits office.
Summary Of The Most Important Points
You now know that child benefit is basically paid to one person. In principle, this can be any person who lives together with the child in the same household. In principle, child benefit is only paid up to the age of 18.
However, there are some special regulations that extend the duration of support. For example, if your child has completed his or her education but is looking for work, there is the possibility of financial support until his or her 21st birthday.
If your child suffers from a physical, mental or psychological impairment, you are entitled to child benefits for a longer period of time.
You can apply for child benefits online at the Familienkasse, send it by mail to the Familienkasse or hand it in personally at the Arbeitsagentur.