Counting children – the benefit of counting children with child benefit


Child benefit for child benefit – Photo © yanlev,

Especially in connection with separated parents and the right to child benefit, one often hears from counting children. This topic is particularly interesting for patchwork families as well as for separation children. To make it clear what counting children are, you have to know how the amount of child benefit is staggered.

Child benefit is paid chronologically according to the age of the children in the following amounts:

Graduation of child benefit

from 01.07.2019

  • first and second child: 204 euros
  • third child: 210 euros
  • from the fourth child: 235 euros

from 01.01.2018

  • first and second child: 194 euros
  • third child: 200 euros
  • from the fourth child: 225 euros

from 01/01/2017

  • first and second child: 192 euros
  • third child: 198 euros
  • from the fourth child: 223 euros

Child benefit is only paid to the parent with whom the child lives. The parent who did not take the child into his household would in fact have a disadvantage in that, despite having an existing child, he would not receive child benefit. However, this is not financially tragic, since theoretically less costs are incurred than for the parent who took in the child.

The child counting scheme only becomes interesting when the parents of the child together have others have children, so half siblings of the common child.

Effects of the count child on child benefit

As mentioned at the beginning, child benefit is graded according to the number and age of the children. The counting children regulation has no direct influence on the payment of child benefit, but on the amount, which has an impact especially for the third child.


The mother of the child lives with the child (6 years) separately from the father and has a new partner. So she is already receiving child benefit for the child, with no effects to be expected.

The father of the six-year-old child also lives in a new partnership and has two other children, each 2 and 4 years old. If only the two children from the new partnership were to be assumed, the father would only receive child benefit of EUR 408 per month, since each child would be paid EUR 204 per month. The father gets for the first 6-year-old child no child benefit paid because it is due to the mother.

Counting child advantage in graduation

By regulating the counting child, the father can receive 414 euros per month instead of 408 euros in child benefit for his two youngest children. Although he does not receive any child benefit for his 6-year-old child, this is considered the first child in the child benefit scale, which results in the following calculation:

normal calculation Zählkinder calculation
  1. Child 1 (4 years) = 204 euros
  2. Child 2 (2 years) = 204 euros
  1. Child 1 (6 years) = 204 euros
  2. Child 2 (4 years) = 204 euros
  3. Child 3 (2 years) = 210 euros
Child benefit = 408 euros Child benefit = 414 euros

Although the father has only taken in 2 children, the youngest child (2 years) slips to the third place because the oldest child (6 years) slips to the first place. This means that the father does not receive child benefit for his first child, but benefits from a higher amount due to the staggered child benefit.

The advantage of counting children lies in the fact that a parent does not receive child benefit for a child, but it is nevertheless taken into account in the child benefit calculation, since it increases the staggered amount of child benefit.


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Christina Cherry
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