Child benefit – entitlement, application and amount

The parents receive state child benefit for each child. This is paid out by the family fund as a monthly amount. The amount depends not only on the number of children, but also on the corresponding age. When families are entitled to child benefit and what requirements have to be met for the application, the Social Social Interest Group will clarify on their free of charge Counselor portal. – Isabel Frankenberg

Parents or legal guardians are usually always entitled to child benefit. Only two requirements have to be met. On the one hand, the affected family must have their place of residence or habitual residence in Germany and, on the other hand, they must be subject to unlimited tax liability in Germany.

The 1st paragraph of the 2nd Federal Child Allowance Act (BKGG) also regulates that the child benefit is due to the parents. The child can only claim this for himself, he is an orphan or does not know the habitual residence of his parents or it should not be taken into account by another person as a child. This would be e.g. the case when the child lives in a foster family and grows up. In addition, the child must also have his place of residence or his habitual residence in Germany.

The amount of the child benefit depends on how many children are in the household and how old they are. Therefore, there is no flat-rate child benefit. This can vary widely. A family with one or two children therefore receives € 204 child benefit per child. From the third child it is 210 euros and for each additional 235 euros.

It is important, however, that there is no child benefit for children of legal age who are already in gainful employment. For families who have not yet applied for or received child benefit, an additional payment is possible for a maximum of 6 months. In addition, they will not receive any repayment of child benefit. However, it is still possible to apply for this later. However, in the case of a Hartz 4 reference, it is counted towards the recipient’s income.

Child benefit is requested from the family fund. This must be done in writing. The family fund usually provides a form for the application, which only needs to be filled out. In the course of this, the "child facility" must also be completed and attached. It must also be possible to demonstrate that the child lives in the corresponding household. This is possible on the one hand through a written declaration or through a copy of the birth certificate.

If the application is only made later, so that the affected person is an adult, the following must also be demonstrated:

  • Visiting school, vocational training or studying
  • Type and duration of in-company vocational training
  • Participation in the voluntary social or ecological year, the European voluntary service, the federal voluntary service or a similar organization or
  • A disability

If the child has already completed initial training or does not have a job or training place, special evidence must be provided.

Children under the age of 18 are generally always entitled to child benefit. This can be paid up to the age of 25. However, there are some prerequisites. So the child still has to go to school or is looking for a training place or a job.

Even if the child is undergoing initial vocational training or study or is in a transition phase between training and professional life, the legal guardians will continue to receive the child’s payments. This also applies if it does a voluntary service. If it is a child with a disability, this is entitled to child benefit without any prerequisites up to the age of 25. If the child has reached the age of 25, the entitlement only remains if the child does military service or community service.


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Christina Cherry
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