How long is there child benefit? »Smart tax blog

The amount for child benefit has just been increased, if only by 2 euros per month. But have you ever wondered how long there is child benefit? Up to 18 somehow seems clear, but what’s after? With an apprenticeship or a degree? And when is it over? The last question had to be clarified in front of a financial court – it was, somehow quite typical for judicial questions, just a month …

The facts about child benefit

The most important two questions are, of course, how much is there and up to what age is paid:

  • Amount of child benefit : Since January 1, 2017, the first and second children have received EUR 192 child benefit per month, the third EUR 198 and for each another 223 euros. Next year there will be another 2 euros a month.
  • basic rule : There is child benefit for all children up to their 18th birthday without exception. In certain cases, there may still be child benefit between the ages of 18 and 25. There is no child benefit from the age of 25. Exception: disabled children who cannot make a living themselves.

Now, of course, the question arises in which cases young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are entitled to child benefit.

Here are the most important scenarios:

  • First degree and initial training: This includes the "normal" school, the first vocational training and the first degree.
  • Search for an apprenticeship position: If the adult child is demonstrably looking for an apprenticeship position, there is also child benefit.
  • Transitional period after school: Those who do not immediately start training or studying after school are paid child benefits for up to four months.
  • Unemployment: Anyone who is registered as looking for work can receive child benefit up to their 21st birthday.
  • Voluntary social year: Child benefits continue to be paid for this and similar voluntary services.

When is it really over – the case before the finance court

Actually, everything could and should be clear, but there are always cases where the courts have to make an effort.
A young woman had completed an apprenticeship as a state-recognized nursing nurse. On July 20, 2015, she passed the state final exam. The school confirmed that the apprenticeship ended on August 31, 2015, and there was even an apprenticeship allowance for August. And what happened? The family fund claimed the child benefit already paid for August. Finally, the vocational training had ended with the passed exam or at the latest with the announcement of the exam result.
So just briefly to understand that Familienkasse probably recalls 190 euros. The annoying thing about such a thing is that the family had to take legal action. The finance court in Baden-Württemberg gave the family not only right (Az: 7 K 407/16) – and there were several reasons for this, but also sent a message to the family fund:

"Incidentally, it is not understandable why, according to the internal service instructions applicable to the defendant family fund, certain training courses should be based on the statutory duration of training, but should not apply in the event of a dispute despite comparable circumstances."

So that means briefly, it is strange that the cash office has just ignored internal instructions …


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Christina Cherry
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