Child benefit 2020 – all information on child benefit entitlement

Child benefit 2019 is 204 euros for the first and second child. With the third child, the amount increases to 205 euros. From the fourth child, you receive an additional 235 euros per month for each additional child.

In order to receive child benefit, you must inform the family benefits office of this. There is no automatic payment.

The entitlement applies until the child is of legal age. But under certain conditions you can also receive child benefit.

Children enrich our lives and cannot be weighed in money. But of course the little ones also have some costs that are tough. In Germany, you receive child benefit to ensure that children receive basic care. But who is actually entitled to child benefit? Are there differences between several children and what do I have to do to receive child benefit??

In our comprehensive guide, we go into detail on the subject. We will inform you how long child benefit is paid and how much child benefit you receive. Of course, you will also find out whether there are income limits and when you should apply for child benefit in 2019.
On a special point we are devoted to child benefit for civil servants and the topic of Child support award.

1. Everyone is entitled to child benefit

Almost everyone is entitled to child benefit.

In simple terms, if you read this text, you are probably entitled to child benefit. The child benefit fund pays child benefit to the following groups of people:

  • German nationals, who have their place of residence or at least their habitual residence in Germany
  • foreign nationals, the one permanent residence permit have (alternatively, another residence permit may be sufficient)
  • national a country of European Union, of European Economic Area as well as the Switzerland can request a child benefit put, without having to show a residence permit (freedom of movement applies)
  • Those who work abroad must observe special rules, which can usually be found in the national regulations (for more details, see a family fund information sheet on cross-border cases)
  • foreign nationals, who do not live in Germany, but within German territory work and subject to income tax in Germany are
  • refugees with recognized status
  • asylum family with appropriate status

A special feature applies to all those who live abroad and are not fully liable to pay tax within Germany. Payment of child benefit is possible if you

You can also receive child benefit in exceptional circumstances.

  • work as a missionary or development worker.
  • Are civil servants and work abroad for a specific assignment.
  • are insured with the Federal Employment Agency.
  • are married or partner with a member of NATO and you are a national of a member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

If one of the latter requirements applies to you, you are entitled to child benefit. However, unlike regular child benefit, this is paid as a social benefit. In this case, your entitlement is based on the Bundeskindergeldgesetz (Bundeskindergeldgesetz).

2. The amount of child benefit in 2018 and 2019

If you have children and belong to the group of beneficiaries, you are also entitled to child benefit for your children. This applies regardless of the amount of your income. Although you apply for payment from the responsible family fund, child benefit is not a social benefit. It is therefore aimed at all parents of all income brackets.
The amount of child benefit depends on the number of children. Below is a short table that gives you an overview of child benefit 2018 and 2019:

Number of Children Child benefit payment 2018 Child support payment
one or two children 194 euros 204 euros three children 200 euros 210 euros four or more children 225 euros 235 euros

The child benefit amount shown in the table applies to the respective child. For example, if you have a family and receive child benefit for 3 children, you will receive a total of 624 euros from the family fund in 2019. The rate of 204 euros applies to the two children who were born first. The birth of the youngest child is rewarded by the state with 210 euros per month.

Attention: Once you have more children, keep in mind that the highest payment does not apply to all children. If a child falls outside the calculation due to their age, the child benefit amounts for the other children will also decrease.

2.1. When does child benefit come??

When the child benefit is paid depends on your individual child benefit number.

In addition to the question of how much you are entitled to the payment of child benefit, it is particularly important for many families when the amount arrives in the account. When transferring the money, the family fund is based on the child benefit numbers assigned.

If you have received a child benefit number ending in 0 or 1 for your children, you can look forward to child benefit payments in the first days of a month. The higher the last digit of the number, the later you will receive a corresponding credit. The last transfers for the digits 7, 8 and 9 usually take place around the 20th of a calendar month.

Since payment always varies slightly due to holidays or other circumstances, you should not be too scared if the child benefit payment arrives a few days later.

Attention: Child benefit payments are always made during the month for the current month.

If you receive your current child benefit from a place other than the family fund, it is common for this to be transferred together with your salary.

However, apply for child benefit for the first time, so you have to expect other waiting times. It is very important here where you live and how busy the competent authority is at the moment. It is possible that you will receive your child benefit notification after two weeks. However, other parents also had to wait two or three months for your decision. As soon as this is granted, however, payment is quick and you can count on the amount of money at about the same time each month.

2.2. Retroactive payment for late child benefit applications

The deadline for the additional payment of child benefit is reduced to six months.

The first course after the birth of your own child does not always go to the responsible family fund. There are often more important things to do first. If you are not dependent on payment, you can take your time with your application.

If, on the other hand, your budget is somewhat tight, you should submit your application as early as possible. Otherwise you may have to wait several months for the first transfer of child benefit.

On July 26, 2017, the German Bundestag decided that the retroactive payment of child benefit should be reduced. The previous regulation provided that beneficiaries still received payments retrospectively after four years. This is now history, because the federal government is arguing that the current financial situation of a child should be improved.

After several years without receiving child benefit, the real meaning is no longer apparent and the payment is missing. In fact, the background is also to prevent possible abuse.

If you take your time in the future, you can do so. However, you should not let more than six months pass so that you actually receive all child benefit claims that you are entitled to. The payment of the past amounts then takes place together with the monthly child benefit payment for the first month of your regular entitlement.

For example, if you had a child on July 27, 2019, did not submit your application until October 5, 2019, and received a positive decision on October 25, 2019, you will receive payment in November for the months of July to November.

Child benefit is valid for the whole month, even if you are only entitled to it for a few days.

In the example above, this means that you will receive full child benefit for July 2019, even though the child was only born on the 27th of the month.

3. Child benefit payments up to and beyond the age of majority

Child benefit is still paid during your studies.

As the term itself makes clear, it is about securing the child. But what about child benefit from 18? Is child benefit paid in training? And what about children who study for a long time?

The basic rule is that child benefit ends as soon as your child turns 18. For the last time, you will receive child benefit for the month in which your child turns 18. A special feature applies to all those who were born on the first of the month. In this case, the claim ends in the previous month.

However, there are numerous cases in which this Child benefit paid well beyond the age of majority becomes. The following list should give you an overview:

  • School education is still ongoing (most high school graduates who leave school are over 18 years old)
  • Your child is undergoing initial vocational training
  • You will receive child benefit once your child has started studying

In addition to these common reasons, there are numerous cases in which child benefit is paid beyond the age of majority, although no training or study is started.
You will continue to receive child benefit in transition phases, for example between graduation and the start of a course of study or graduation and the start of training. This applies to a period of up to four months.

During the training phases or in between, your children can work in addition to finance your livelihood. This is not at the expense of child benefit. The earlier ones static income limits have been abolished, so you don’t have to worry about repayment.

Attention: Please note that you have to submit a new application for child benefit from the age of majority or at least complete your previous information.

3.1. Possibilities of paying child benefit apart from initial training or university studies

Child allowance is possible despite a lack of training and work.

In some cases, you will receive child benefit even if your child is not currently in vocational, school or other training. This applies if

  • Your child is not yet 21 years old and is registered as a job seeker with the Federal Employment Agency (ALG II recipients are excluded)
  • there is no training place available for your child (it is important that concrete efforts to find a suitable training place have to be proven); payment is possible up to the age of 25
  • Your child has completed a voluntary social year
  • it is about a second training or a second course (only if this is related to the initial training and no more than a minor job (up to 20 hours a week) is carried out)

Separate rules apply to children with disabilities. The main issue here is whether your child can finance itself or not. If this is not the case, but also depends on your help in adult life, there is the possibility of receiving child benefit beyond the age of 25.

3.2. The age limit for child benefit payments is generally 25 years

The child benefit for basic military and community service providers is extended.

Usually most of the training courses and courses are completed at the age of 25, so that a further payment of the child benefit is not considered anyway. However, it does happen with somewhat longer courses, that these have not yet been completed when the usual age limit is reached.

Under certain circumstances, you are entitled to receive child benefit for a few months longer. However, there are separate requirements for this, which lead to the extended payment. These are the following points:

  • Basic military service or civil service as a replacement (due to the abolition of compulsory basic military service by July 1st, 2011, your child must have started the service before this date)
  • 3-year military service obligation (instead of basic military service)
  • other activity which was carried out instead of the general military service

Even if the federal voluntary service appears similar at first glance, this does not lead to an extension of the child benefit.

4. Submit the child benefit application

You have to personally sign the child benefit application.

We have already determined how much child benefit you are entitled to. However, in order to register your claim, you must submit a corresponding application. There are two Possibilities of Registration of your child benefit entitlement.

On the one hand, you can use a child benefit form, fill it out and then send it to the responsible family benefits office. Alternatively, however, it is also possible to submit the child benefit application online.

If you submit your application online, it will be sent directly. Afterwards, note that you still print out and sign the application. Even if the actual transmission takes place online, you will need a signed copy for the documents.
In addition to being sent by post, requests that are sent by fax are also accepted.

Depending on whether your child is required to attend school or is already in an apprenticeship or studying, you have to provide additional evidence of the status of the training. Submit only copies first. Since many authorities are increasingly switching the file management to the e-file (electronic file), incoming letters are often scanned and then destroyed. Originals can therefore be lost forever.

You can find the family fund responsible for you after a short search on the website of the Federal Employment Agency.

To ensure that your circumstances are still up to date and that you can continue to receive child benefit, your claim will be reviewed at regular intervals. Usually, an informal letter and proof of your child’s current job is sufficient at this point. This can be a certificate of enrollment, a copy of the training contract or a school certificate.

If you have specific questions, you can also call the Family Benefits Office directly. The telephone number relevant for child benefit can also be found on the above. website.

5. Low-income earners are entitled to a child benefit surcharge under certain conditions

Children with a small income may be entitled to the child supplement.

Those who earn little can apply for a child supplement at the family fund in addition to applying for child benefit. However, this is only granted within narrow income limits. The maximum amount of the child supplement is 170 euros. Depending on how high your income is, you have a claim in full, in part or not at all.

To be able to benefit from the child benefit surcharge, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You earn more than 600 euros a month alone or as a couple more than 900 euros a month
  • the maximum income limit is not exceeded (this is based on your needs in accordance with the ALG II rate including the child supplement)

The aim of the regulation is that families who are in low wages with their income are not dependent on ALG II, but receive enough money to live through the child supplement.

The closer your own income is to the income limit, the further the maximum amount of EUR 170 will be reduced. For an approximation of 10 euros, however, the claim will only be reduced by 5 euros, i.e. by 50%.

However, this calculation does not only take into account your current net working income. Assets or other investments also count towards the calculation. On the other hand, certain factors are deducted, such as the contributions from private pensions, travel expenses to work or the allowances for gainful employment.

6. Special supplements for civil servants

If you are a civil servant, whether with the federal government or the federal states, you can count yourself lucky. Special provisions apply to you, which may significantly increase your income.

First receive a family allowance as soon as you are married. Alternatively, all those who are living in a civil partnership, are widowed or have taken on the duty of care for someone who cannot take care of themselves also benefit from the family allowance of this first level. In the latter case, however, special features apply.

BVerG judgment of 1990:

The Federal Constitutional Court bases the family allowance on the fact that everyone, regardless of whether they are married or have children, should have the same standard of living.

In addition to this first surcharge eReceive an additional surcharge for each child you have. This depends on your grade. The amounts are usually divided into two groups. One group comprises grades A2 to A8, the second group covers all other grades.

Different rates apply to federal and state officials, but the amounts are comparable and vary only slightly.

However, if you are employed by an authority, you will not benefit from these advantages. These are reserved for civil servants only.

7. Receive child benefit yourself as a child

Have the child benefit paid out to yourself

It is not always clear that child benefit actually arrives at the right place. It serves to secure the child’s necessary livelihood. However, if parents use this money for other purposes, children can become active themselves.

With a diversion application, children can have the child benefit paid to themselves. In order to be able to submit such an application, however, some requirements must be met. In detail, the following must apply to your situation:

  • You must be of legal age
  • Your parents do not pay you maintenance or a maintenance that is too low (you can find out your child maintenance entitlement in detail)
  • You are not yet 25 years old
  • You are in training, have started a course of study, are still pupils of a general or vocational school or are looking for a training place or a job

Alternatively, you can arrange for the child benefit to be paid to yourself if you are in the transition period between different training phases are located. The range here must not exceed four months.

Children who are not or hardly supported by their parents, who are disabled and therefore cannot take care of themselves are also entitled to this. Of course, a caregiver can also enforce the claim on behalf of the child. In this case, the actually applicable age limit of 25 years does not have to be observed.


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Christina Cherry
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