Child benefit from 18: when parents have further entitlement

The issue of child benefit can quickly lead to disputes between the child, parents and the family fund. Especially when the offspring is of legal age. Because then parents don’t always know whether they are still entitled to payment. We present what applies in detail.

A child can also be entitled to child benefit in secondary education.

Parents are entitled to child benefit for children under the age of 18. If the offspring reaches the age of majority, they may still be able to receive child benefit. This is possible up to the 25th birthday if children are in initial training or do voluntary service, for example. But what about a second apprenticeship? What applies to master’s programs? And how much gets you? The most important questions and answers:

To whom and how is child benefit paid??

Only one parent can receive child benefit. "As of January 1, 2016, beneficiaries must provide their child’s tax ID and tax ID in order to receive child benefit", says Karsten Bunk, head of the family fund at the Federal Employment Agency. The family fund wants to prevent them from paying twice for a child.

Parents live together household, you can determine who receives the child benefit by means of a eligibility clause. This applies to biological parents such as foster parents, grandparents or step-parents. In the case of separated parents, those who pay the child the higher maintenance are entitled to child benefit.

How much is the child benefit??

Child benefit beneficiaries have been receiving € 190 per month for the first and second child since the beginning of 2016. According to the family fund, there is 196 euros for the third child and 221 euros per month for each additional child. Compared to the previous year, the monthly payments for each child were increased by 2 euros each.

What about transition times between school and training?

Entitlements can also exist for transitional periods of up to four months – for example between graduation and the start of training. Up to the age of 21, parents can also apply for child benefit if the adolescent does not currently have a job or training position. Then must he is looking for a job.

There is a claim during military service?

Under certain conditions, the family fund also pays during military service. "Even after the suspension of compulsory military service on July 1, 2011, there can still be child benefit entitlement for training with the Bundeswehr", says Silke Hinrichs, Head of Unit at the Federal Central Tax Office. For example, if the offspring is training as a temporary soldier or a professional soldier to become a non-commissioned officer, sergeant or officer. The family fund also pays for the three-month basic training and subsequent post-training during voluntary military service. As a rule, there is also a right if the child does the federal voluntary service and does a voluntary social or ecological year.

What is initial training??

Initial training is when the young person has not previously completed any other vocational training or study. If the youngsters have qualified for a profession, initial training is usually complete.

Is there a right to child benefit for secondary education??

It depends. "A child can also be entitled to child benefit in secondary education", says Bunk. However, the adolescent should then generally not be employed. Exceptions: The work is part of the training relationship, the weekly working time is less than 20 hours or it is a minor job.

What applies to master’s courses?

"The master’s program can also still be part of initial training if the student completes it in approximately the same subject area", explains Wolfgang Schwackenberg, chairman of the family law committee of the German Lawyers’ Association. Then the adolescent should start right after the bachelor’s exam. However, if there are several years of work between the bachelor’s degree and the newly started master’s degree, the master can count as a second degree.

And if the youngsters are training before they start their studies?

Studying after completing an apprenticeship is generally considered to be a second apprenticeship. Unless training is a prerequisite for studying – and it is only through studying that the young person is qualified for a specific job. "The training must be uniform from the start and the individual files must fit together in terms of content and content", explains Schwackenberg.

This is not always the case: if a child completes a commercial apprenticeship and starts a course of study that requires employment, there is no child benefit. This was decided by the Federal Finance Court (BFH) in February 2016 (Az .: III R 14/15).

There is also child benefit for trainees who are married?

Yes, if the adult is already married but is still training. Marital status has no impact on child benefit entitlement, the BFH judged in 2013 (Az .: III R 22/13).


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Christina Cherry
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