Waiting semester or

Child benefit is actually only granted to adult children if they are in an apprenticeship or are completing an internship or something similar. But what if you have to bridge one or more waiting semesters or it takes some time before you can start a second apprenticeship after you have finished school? For a second training, e.g. the inclusion of a course of studies after graduation or the completion of university entrance at a vocational college.

Basically, a distinction must be made here between the (first) school-leaving qualification and the start of studies or training.

Bridging period of max. 4 months

If the waiting time between graduation and the start of training is a maximum of four months, then the family coffers count as a bridging phase in which the child benefit is normally paid on.

The same applies if you complete a voluntary social year, voluntary ecological year or a voluntary service in the transition phase.

Bridging period of more than 4 months

If the waiting time is now more than four months, e.g. because there is a waiting period at the university, or because the training starts at a later time possible then it is a little more difficult to maintain child benefit.

Use time for a targeted internship

Whenever possible, you should use the bridging time for an internship that is related to your training, e.g. is prescribed by your training institution or is anchored in the study regulations. In this case, your child benefit will not be affected and the child benefit will continue to be paid as normal.

Alternatively, you can prove to the family fund that the content conveyed in the internship has a strong connection to your later aspired profession. The best thing to do is to get in touch with your training or internship company and the family fund early. There are many cases in which the family funds have accepted a non-mandatory internship because it was related to the desired profession.

You can find more information on child benefit during an internship here.

Report to the employment agency as seeking training

If you have to wait for a long time for your apprenticeship to start and cannot bridge the time with an internship requested by the apprenticeship, then you should report to the employment agency as "Seeking apprenticeship" in order to retain your child benefit. The term “looking for training” also includes the status of “looking for a place to study” and also covers waiting semesters.

To secure pension entitlements or child benefit, a notification to the employment agency is only required, if the School leavers have no prospect of training and are not registered as seeking employment with the employment agency, the young person is denied a place at university and as a result the time of up to four months between two training phases or other is exceeded establish It is foreseeable that the period of up to four months between two training phases will be exceeded.

Essentially, this only means that you have to register as a "training seeker" in order not to endanger your child benefit and pension entitlement for the bridging period, provided you do not have an apprenticeship position and the bridging phase lasts longer than four months. If you are already over 21 years old, then you should document your search for an apprenticeship well so that you can also receive child benefit (up to your 25th birthday).

Of course, you have to prove (as always with the family funds) that you are actually looking for an apprenticeship position and have not deliberately refused an apprenticeship position or decided not to study. In this case, the family fund could even retroactively request child benefit if it became known.


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Christina Cherry
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