Entitlement to child benefit for training and study

Until their child turns 18 and therefore of legal age, parents are generally entitled to child benefit. Under certain conditions, the payment of child benefit will continue after the child’s 18th birthday. So parents of an adult child can continue to receive child benefit from the family fund if the child is born Education or training begins. However there is pair Things to consider so that the child benefit is not lost during training or studies.

Entitlement to child benefit can extend to your 25th birthday during your studies and training

Parents whose children are studying or completing an apprenticeship can extend their child benefit entitlement beyond the child’s 18th birthday in accordance with section 32 (4) sentence 1 number 2 letter a. In order to prove that the adult child is still entitled to child benefit, a family certificate must be presented with a certificate of study or training. However, there is an upper limit on child benefit entitlement for students and trainees. The child benefit for a child who is studying or training is paid up to the age of 25. If the apprenticeship or study has not yet ended, there is still no money from the family fund.

With regard to entitlement to child benefit during training or studies, a distinction must always be made between first degree or first degree and second degree or second degree. In any case, according to the new legal situation, the child benefit for a first degree or initial training to Continue to be paid until the age of 25. According to the new legal situation, it no longer matters how much the child will earn during this time.

Child benefit for second degree and secondary education

On the other hand, if the child wants to start a second course or a second course after successfully completing his or her studies or training, the legal situation is somewhat more complicated. Parents can continue to receive child benefit up to their child’s 25th birthday, even if they are pursuing a second degree or a second education. However, if the child benefit is to be maintained in the case of a second degree or a second degree, it always depends on whether and how much the child also works in addition to the degree or training. Working hours of up to 20 hours a week in addition to the second degree or secondary education has no effect on the parents’ entitlement to child benefit. However, if the child works more than 20 hours a week in addition to training or studies, the family fund stops paying the child benefit to the parents. According to the new regulation, only the weekly working hours are decisive, the amount of income no longer plays a role.

Waiting for a study place or training place

Sometimes it takes a while for an apprenticeship or study place to be found. Nevertheless, parents can continue to receive child benefit during this waiting period. Because, according to Section 32 Paragraph 4 Clause 1 No. 2 Letter c EStG, parents are also entitled to child benefit if their child is unable to start an apprenticeship or study course due to the lack of a training place or study place. A prerequisite for a further payment of the child benefit is that the child also makes serious efforts to find an apprenticeship or study place during this time. Otherwise, the family fund has the option to stop paying child benefits. This is shown in a current ruling by the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH, ruling of August 26, 2014, XI R 14/12), in which the court granted the family fund the right to cease payment of child benefit after the plaintiff’s daughter voluntarily renounced a study place offered to her.

Child benefit entitlement during a semester abroad or studying abroad

The right to child benefit is normally linked to the child’s domicile or habitual residence in Germany. However, more and more young people want to study abroad after graduation. But what are the consequences of a semester abroad or even a whole study abroad for the child benefit of the parents. As long as only a single semester abroad is integrated into the course, this generally has no negative effects on the parents’ entitlement to child benefit. Because a temporary stay abroad of less than a year generally does not lead to the loss of residence in Germany, so that the parents continue to receive money from the family fund even during the semester abroad.

On the other hand, things are a bit more complicated if the child studies abroad for more than a year. In the case of a long-term study abroad, the parents’ right to child benefit depends on whether the child remains domiciled in Germany. The Federal Fiscal Court recently decided that the parents of a student who had studied abroad for several years in China, continued child benefit is due (BFH, judgment of June 23, 2015, Az. III R 38/14, published on October 28, 2015). In this case, the BFH considered it sufficient for maintaining the place of residence that the student had spent half of his free time in Germany during the four-year bachelor’s degree in China.

Child benefit between two training phases

Often the individual training sections do not merge directly, but some time passes between two training sections. For example, it usually takes a few months after the Abitur to start studying. But even during this period, parents do not have to forego financial support in the form of child benefit. The law provides that parents can continue to receive child benefit payments in the period between two training phases, as long as this transition phase does not last longer than four months. However, if the specified period of four months is exceeded, the child benefit claim will be lost retrospectively for the entire period.


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Christina Cherry
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