More parental allowance for the family!
All basics & compact insider knowledge.
What do you want?
the essentials in brief
- Parental allowance serves as a financial aid for the care of one’s own child after the birth
- Claim exists, whether you have worked before or not
- Per parent up to 12 months of parental allowance (eg 12/2 months sharing)
- Amount of parental allowance: 300 to 1,800 euros a month
- Optional: Elterngeld Plus (+ partnership bonus)
- The partner months (2 months) should not be given away
- Application only after birth (maximum 3 months retroactively possible)
- By changing the tax code one can receive more parental allowance in individual cases
Table of Contents
Who is entitled to parental benefit?
The parental allowance is a state benefit to support families with babies. The goal is to close the income gap after birth in order to take care of the newborn baby.
Parental allowance is available for employees, civil servants, the self-employed, unemployed parents, students and trainees. In exceptional cases, such as illness or severe disability, third-degree relatives (such as grandparents or siblings) may also receive parental allowance (see Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz – BEEG). For separated parents, only the parent can apply for parental allowance where the child lives more than 70% of the time. Adoptive parents or stepparents are also entitled to receive parental allowance.
A claim to parental allowance exists if you …
- caring for and educating your children after birth
- you are not working for more than 30 hours / week
- Living with your children in a household
- residing in Germany
No claim On parental allowance, couples who together had a taxable income of € 500,000 or more in the calendar year prior to the birth of their child (more than € 250,000 for single parents).
Parental allowance for the self-employed
Parental allowance for trainees
Parental allowance for students
Parental allowance for single parents
Parental allowance for low-income earners
Parental allowance for foreigners
Basic Parental Allowance or Parental Benefit Plus?
Parents can apply for the basic parental allowance for up to 14 months. Both parents can divide the months among themselves. Each parent will be paid at least 2 and a maximum of 12 months. Single parents also receive 14 months parental allowance.
In addition to this “basic parental allowance” you also have the opportunity to apply for Elterngeld Plus. It is particularly suitable for parents who want to work part-time during parental allowance payments. Put simply, you will receive the parental benefit plus over the double period at half maximum. Anyone who does not work casually will only be able to extend the parental benefit payment over a longer period of time. Benefit are parents who want to work part-time again. In the case of the basic parental allowance, every taxable income is taken into account during the parental allowance, starting from the first euro.
There is no allowance. Therefore, it is not worthwhile to go to work and to receive basic pensions (there is hardly any left after set-off, you have less time for the children and much more stress). It makes more sense in such cases, Elterngeld Plus to choose, because this is the additional income credited. More in this article.
Partnership Bonus for Parental Benefit Plus
If both parents decide to work 25 to 30 hours a week for 4 consecutive months of their lives, you will also receive a partnership bonus: You will then be entitled to 4 additional monthly contributions Elterngeld Plus.
Idea: Combination of Basic Parental Benefit, Parental Benefit Plus and Partnership Bonus
You can also combine all 3 variants.
Mum takes basic parental benefit for 10 months. This is followed by 4 months Elterngeld Plus. The dad also uses Elterngeld Plus at this time. Both can work 25-30 hours per week during this time and then benefit from the partnership bonus: they both receive 4 additional months Elterngeld Plus. Just check to see if you get away with this model better than with the “normal” 12/2 model where mom gets 12 months of basic parental leave and dad 2 months basic parental leave.
Both parents take Parental Benefit Plus for 14 months at a time. Even then, both benefit from the partnership bonus and receive 4 additional months Elterngeld Plus.
The following example shows any combination of Basic Parental Benefit, Parental Benefit Plus and the Partnership Bonus:
In this example, the mother refers to basic parental allowance in the first 10 months after birth and the father goes full time to work. Afterwards, both work part-time in parallel and work between 25 and 30 hours a week. This results in the partnership bonus of 4 months per parent. More examples can be found here.
In the first 2 months after birth, full-time mothers receive full maternity allowance. Besides, they are not allowed to work at this time. The period in which maternity benefits are paid is considered the mother’s parent’s basic monthly salary. Only from the 3rd month on mothers can apply for Elterngeld Plus.
Parental allowance amount
The amount of the parental allowance depends on the net income of the respective parent of the last 12 months before the birth of the child. It does not include months of maternity leave and months when the mother earned less because of pregnancy-related illness. It will then be based on past months for calculation. In the case of self-employed, proof is provided of the tax return of the year before the birth (tip: more work before birth therefore makes sense only if the child is born in the spring). The parental allowance is at least 300 euros and a maximum of 1,800 euros.
If the net income was between 1,000 and 1,200 euros, you get 67% parental allowance. The replacement rate drops by 0.1% per 2 euros extra income (example: 1,220 euros = 66% parental allowance). However, it does not drop below 65% (see § 2 (2) BEEG).
With a pre-income of less than € 1,000, the replacement rate increases up to 100% – the lower the income, the higher the percentage rate. If you have not worked in the past 12 months, you are entitled to the minimum amount of 300 euros per month. Families with several small children may receive a multiple supplement and possibly a sibling bonus.
It should be noted that maternity and parental benefits are not paid in parallel. There are maternity benefits in maternity leave and then parental allowance. This means that mothers do not actually receive 12 months parental allowance, but only 10 months, as they usually have 8 weeks maternity leave after birth. This is even more serious in a premature baby: the days that a child is born too early are transferred to the period after birth. So, if the child is born 14 days before the expected date of birth, mothers have 10 weeks of maternity leave after giving birth to receive maternity benefits. If the child is born 6 weeks before the calculated date of birth, there is a 12-week protection period for premature babies (preemie bonus) + 6 weeks maternity leave (= 18 weeks) after birth. In these 18 weeks, the mother receives no parental allowance, but maternity benefits. However, this period will be charged at the same time as the parental allowance period.
Note: multiple births & siblings
For multiple births, the parental allowance increases by 300 euros for each additional child. Families with an older child under 3 years (or 2 older children under 6 years) receive 10% supplement to the parental allowance, but at least 75 euros, at Elterngeld Plus at least half, 37.50 euros.
The parental allowance is fully credited as income for the unemployment benefit II, social assistance and child supplement. ALG II recipients have bottom line through the parental benefit no advantage.
Apply for parental allowance
The application must be made in writing after birth and each parent can make this application. He should be submitted to the parental benefit office of the youth welfare office in your residential district in the first three months after birth, as he can only be provided for 3 months of life retroactively. Otherwise, older claims expire. The claim for parental allowance can be changed until the end of the parental allowance – but only for the future, not retroactively. With Elterngeld Plus, however, the months can also be converted retroactively into basic parental leave months.
Note: Parental allowance is a matter of the country – therefore, there are different application forms in each state! You can download the parental allowance application with attachments here.
You want to get more parental allowance? Our guide shows you 3 easy ways to more parental allowance!
You need these documents for the application
- Completed and signed by both parents parental benefit form
- Birth certificate or birth certificate of the child
- Identity card copy of the parents
- Proof of income (salary statements for employees, tax assessment of the year before the birth of the child among self-employed persons)
- If the mother is a civil servant, the certificate of remuneration during maternity leave, as well as grants for such remuneration or certification of the employer
- Health insurance certificate for maternity pay
- Certification on the employer’s allowance for maternity or private health insurance The certificate of sickness benefit during maternity protection
- Employer certificate of parental leave
So the parental allowance is taxed
This means that at the end of the year, your income is added up to the parental allowance and you are allotted a tax rate based on the total amount you have to pay on your income. Since parental allowance increases the tax rate in many cases, you need to be prepared to pay off part of the tax. Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of this and experience the surprise when they receive the request for late payment of taxes by post.
Who decides completely for the Elterngeld Plus, extends the parental allowance to twice the term. As a result, the progression effect of the parental allowance and thus also the tax arrears can be alleviated somewhat. Reason: In the calendar year in question only half of the parental allowance increases the tax rate while maintaining the same conditions. So if the partner earns enough money and 2 years parental leave are planned, Elterngeld Plus makes more sense from a tax point of view.
In-depth knowledge of parental benefit
Parental Allowance Overview
Everything you need to know.
Parental benefits calculator
Calculate your parental allowance
Get more parental allowance
Tax Tips and Hints
Parental benefits consulting
We get more out for you
Parental Benefit Plus
Parental Benefit Plus or Basic Parental Allowance?
Parental allowance partner months
Partner months and partnership bonus
Parents benefit application
All forms for download
Parental benefit points
Who pays the parental allowance?
Tips for parental allowance
1) Prepare everything before the birth
The application for parental benefit with its attachments is very extensive and takes some time. Since you have a lot to do in the first weeks after the birth of your child anyway, it is advisable to finish the application for parental benefits before the birth. All you have to do is add the birth certificate, enter the child’s date of birth, and add the health insurance fund’s certificate of continuation of the maternity allowance after the birth.
2) Avoid long processing times
Processing the parental allowance application will take some time. To shorten the time, you can best call 2 weeks after applying for parental benefit. You will receive the file number and the name of the editor on the phone (both important!). In addition, you should ask if all documents are complete. Incomplete applications may also lie around for a few weeks until they are further processed. Call regularly also regularly to ask for the state. Some pressure sometimes helps – but remember to stay friendly. At the other end, there are only people who have to process all applications.
3) fulfill requirement for partnership bonus
The partnership bonus makes a lot of sense, and if you want to take advantage of it, you should always make sure you meet the requirements. This means that the weekly working time actually lies between 25 and 30 hours and does not go below or above. If the requirement is disregarded even by one parent, you must pay back the full 4 month bonus for both parents. This can be quite “expensive” and is unfortunately more common.
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