Requirements, amount and tips for the application
As a student, it is known that it is not always easy: Numerous lectures, time pressure and often also exam stress – and in most cases it does not always look financially rosy either. But did you already know that you can receive child benefit almost during the entire study period? The generous financial support from the German state could really help many students, but unfortunately only very few know that they can make this claim at all. For this reason, we would like to take a closer look at the topic of child benefit during your studies and show you how you can use the monthly financial injection, what stumbling blocks are there and what you have to watch out for.
How much child benefit do I get??
The amount of child benefit is primarily based on the number of children your parents have and is increased almost every year. You can currently expect the following amounts:
4th child and each other
The more siblings you have, the more child benefit your parents will get for you.
The amount of the child benefit amount – which, incidentally, was only increased by the German government in July 2019 – depends primarily on the number of children. That means: the more children under the age of 18 live in a household, the higher the total amount. This is then broken down as follows: For the first and second child, the parents each receive 204 euros per month. For the third child, on the other hand, there is 210 euros, while for each additional child 235 euros are paid out per month. Accordingly, parents of five children, all of whom are not yet of legal age, would receive a total of 1,088 euros from the family fund.
Who is entitled to child benefit?
Child benefit is a tax relief for parents in Germany regardless of citizenship and income. There is child benefit for every minor child and children in education up to their 25th birthday. This also applies to students who no longer live with their parents.
This means that almost all students have the opportunity to claim child benefit throughout their first degree. It’s a bit different with a second degree or additional training after completing a degree, but more on that later. The first step is to understand exactly what child benefit is, to whom it is paid, and to what conditions the state’s financial support is linked.
The payment of child benefit is intended to ensure that parents can provide the necessary livelihood for their children without getting into a financial emergency. From a legal point of view, you are not entitled to the monthly payment, but your parents. In addition, the child benefit is only paid up to your 18th birthday. It is possible to continue receiving the benefits, but then subject to certain conditions.
Child benefit entitlement when studying abroad
Conveniently, however, you do not necessarily have to study in Germany, because the child benefit claim can also be made when studying abroad. In addition, you can receive a foreign grant for your entire studies in the EU.
When you study outside the EU countries or the EU economic area, the length of your stay is important: If you study for up to one year, there are usually no problems with continuing your studies of child benefit.
Child benefit and income
The entitlement to child benefit lapses if you have additional income during your studies?
Conveniently, your parents can get child benefit from the state even if you earn money during your studies. Incidentally, the amount of your income does not matter. However, this only applies during your initial training. If you already have a professional qualification and now want to start a second degree, for example, your entitlement will expire as soon as your weekly working hours are above the specified annual average of 20 hours.
So, for example, if you work 40 hours full-time for two months during the semester break, you have to reduce your working hours so much in the following months that you get back to the maximum of 20 hours per week on average. The only exceptions to this are the so-called apprenticeship contracts (i.e. internships, traineeships, etc.), mini jobs on a 450 euro basis and short-term employment such as project work.
However, note that you can still receive child benefit during your studies with more than 20 hours of work per week, but no BAföG. You would also drop out of student health insurance.
Accordingly, parents of five children who are all still at school, training or studying and have not yet reached the age of 25 would receive a total of 1,088 euros from the family fund.
Child benefit and BAföG – is that possible at all?
This question can be answered in a short and short answer with yes, because your parents are entitled to child benefit even if you receive the maximum BAföG rate. The main reason for this is that child benefit is not included in the calculation of BAföG support. However, it is understandably up to your parents whether you have access to child support in addition to BAföG – because, as mentioned above, only they can apply for child benefit and then pass it on to you, if necessary, in order to continue to support you in your studies.
Interaction of child benefit and other social benefits
Child benefit nowhere counts as income except at Hartz 4. You do not need to provide child benefit either with housing benefit or BAföG application or with the tax return. It doesn’t matter whether you get child benefit as a student for yourself or for your child.
Apply for child benefit: how does it work and what special features do you have to pay attention to?
You or your parents submit the child benefit application to the responsible family fund at your parents’ place of residence.
If your parents do not have no German citizenship, they need a so-called settlement or residence permit in order to be able to apply for child benefit at all. EU citizens from member countries of the European Economic Area, on the other hand, can make such an application without further restrictions. This must then be submitted in writing to the family fund. Important: The sooner the application is made, the better – because child benefit applied for retrospectively is only paid for the last 24 weeks. The payment is then made monthly and in any case until the age of majority.
If you want to receive child benefit beyond the age of 18, you must either complete a vocational training, attend a general education school, undertake a mandatory internship, volunteer or legal traineeship, or just be enrolled at a university of applied sciences or a university.
Apply for child benefit online and a final tip
Recently, the Federal Employment Agency and the family fund have made it possible to apply for a further authorization for child benefit for student children via the Internet. For this purpose, the family fund sends the parents a special access code after the child has finished schooling, which can be entered on the website of the institution in order to apply directly for further approval.
In order for this to work smoothly, however, an official study certificate must be uploaded. If you are not sure whether you actually qualify for the payment of child benefit during your studies or if you have any doubts that you can meet all the requirements in the near future, a personal consultation with your training manager, a clerk, is definitely recommended the family fund or the student advisor at your university. So you can be sure that you are doing everything right and that you can count on financial support during your studies.
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