The payment of child benefit is intended to guarantee basic care for every child living in Germany. However, child benefit is not a social benefit, but rather a tax compensation payment. For this reason, the right to child benefit is also regulated in a tax law, namely the Income Tax Act (EStG). The provisions are supplemented for child benefit through another law: the Federal Child Allowance Act (BKGG).
Anyone wishing to receive child benefit for their children must apply for this in writing. The biological children as well as adoptive and foster children of the persons entitled to child benefit are regarded as children. Responsible for reviewing and processing applications and for payment of child benefit are the family funds.
Apply for child benefit
The child benefit application must be submitted in writing to the responsible family fund. In addition, the application must be completed and signed by the applicant. Only then will the application meet all the requirements for processing by the family fund. It should be noted that the written application requires transmission by post or fax. An application by email is not possible.
Forms are provided for the child benefit application. These forms can be picked up at any location of the family fund. The application forms can also be conveniently downloaded from the Internet. Alternatively, the complete application in the form of a On-line-Form to be filled out on the Internet. However, after sending this online form, a printed and signed copy must also be sent to the family fund.
Amount of child benefit
The amount of child benefit is legally determined by the Income Tax Act (EStG) and the Federal Child Benefit Act (BKGG). A change in the amount of child benefit therefore requires a change in law by the Bundestag, which the Federal Council must also agree to. In the first half of 2019, child benefit payments are regulated as follows:
- For the first and second child, the child benefit is € 194 per month.
- The amount of child benefit for a third child is € 200 per month.
- Each additional child is paid € 225 a month.
However, the legislature has already decided on the next child benefit adjustment. This comes into force on July 1, 2019. The so-called Family Relief Act, which provides for an increase in child benefit, sets the amounts as follows: For the first and second child, child benefit will in future be € 204 per month, for the third child € 210 per month and for each additional child € 235.
Child benefit is always paid on fixed dates. The family fund publishes a transfer plan for each calendar year. Every child benefit recipient can see from this plan when the monthly transfer will be made. The payment is not made to all recipients at the same time – rather, it is based on a certain principle that is based on the allocated child benefit number.
Child benefit recipients can therefore see from their child benefit number whether the family fund will pay out at the beginning, middle or end of a month. The decisive factor is the respective final digit of the child benefit number. The lower the final figure, the sooner the child benefit is paid in the month. Accordingly, child benefit is paid out later, the higher the final figure.
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