Child support in Germany – conditions, size, procedure

Child benefit in Germany. The size of payments. Who is paid, up to what age, how to issue an application.

Conditions for obtaining Kindergeld

In Germany, parents of children under 18, and in some cases for adults, are paid an allowance – Children’s money (Kindergeld). Payments are received by Germans and foreigners, regardless of citizenship, the main thing is to fulfill the conditions for receiving funds.

The basis for applying for child money in Germany is the presence of children. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a child or a foster child. It is important that children live with the recipient of the money permanently. If, for example, a grandparents living in Germany are constantly looking after their grandson and the child is officially registered at the place of residence, not the parents, but the guardians will receive the children’s money. Foster parents or guardians receive benefits regardless of the degree of kinship if they take their children home for a long time. For example, in the event of the loss of parents, the older adult child takes custody of the younger ones and receives a Kindergeld.

The allowance is paid to one person. If the parents are divorced, the dad or mom, with whom the children live permanently, receives financial assistance. You cannot divide the amount into parts. It is permitted to judicially oblige the other parent to share the benefit if, as a result of the divorce, the children officially live alternately with their father or mother. When a child lives with his dad for one week a month, and with his mother for three weeks, the mother receives the money in full, but the father can claim the payment of 25% from the ex-wife.

The allowance is issued for children under the age of 19. If the child is 18, cash assistance is paid until the month in which it turns 19. And in some cases, the benefit continues to be received until the age of 25! For example, children are paid to volunteer volunteers or military personnel for 4 months before leaving. You cannot receive children’s money in the service. At the end of voluntary service, up to three years are “deducted” from the age for the period of volunteering. If former volunteers or military personnel continue their studies, parents receive child support despite the age of the children.

Having received a profession, but not immediately finding a job due to the lack of appropriate jobs, it is allowed to continue to receive Kindergeld until the full 25. If there are jobs in the labor market, but the child does not manage to get a job, children are paid “only” up to 21 inclusive, in fact under 22 years old, subject to the official registration of the child as unemployed.

Children’s money is not paid to children over 18 who constantly work more than 20 hours a week. For example, a young man studies and works. It may turn out that Kindergeld will not get paid if it turns out that he works more than the prescribed 20-hour week. How much parents earn does not matter.

Children with disabilities who are unable to take care of themselves are paid up to 25 inclusive. If, upon reaching the age of 26, the disabled person is in parental care, Kindergeld … are paid further.

The above is only valid for single “children”. With the conclusion of marriage, childhood ends, married and married in Germany do not pay for help for themselves, with very rare exceptions, when “children” under 25 have no income, study and live with their parents.

Child benefit for the period of study

If the children go to college after leaving school, Kindergeld is paid further. It is allowed to take a break between study and the first job for up to 4 months. The term of study is fixed in the contract with the educational institution. If the child regularly attends classes and shows a desire to acquire a profession, the child allowance is paid until the expiration of the training contract.

Also, parents receive a monthly allowance for children undergoing Ausbildung . It is allowed to write off up to 924 euros per year as a tax deduction if the child is studying abroad.

Learning is also considered a language course while working as an au-pair , which lasts more than 10 hours a week, or studying at a college abroad. In addition, the child allowance is paid for four months between two types of education, for example, school and university. The child’s income does not matter, only the length of the working day, which cannot exceed 20 hours a week. Mini-work is not counted in this case.

Rules for immigrants

Child support in Germany is paid from the moment the parent and child receive a residence permit. The family is registered at the place of residence in order to apply to the Familienkasse. If for some reason the child’s money could not be issued immediately, the first payment will include the “accumulated” amount – a maximum of 6 months before the application was submitted. For the months between arrival and obtaining a residence permit, according to the law, they are not required to pay. But officials sometimes do not know the law or feel sorry for foreigners. It makes no sense to insist on payments for the period lived before the issuance of a residence permit.

Citizenship does not matter, they pay the parents who live in Germany permanently. The allowance can be received as long as one of the parents has a residence permit in Germany. If, for example, your work visa has expired, Kindergeld payments will stop automatically. When renewing a residence permit, be sure to inform Familienkasse of the new validity period of the residence permit.

Parents who come to Germany to study or as refugees are not paid . The latter receive a comparable amount from the state, but from other sources. Students cover their own expenses for children.

The process of obtaining a child allowance in Germany

The Familienkasse, which belongs to the Bundesagentur fur Arbeit, is responsible for the German child support. Requests for child money and parental application processing go through the cashier only.

If the conditions for obtaining Kindergeld are met, you must submit an application to the nearest branch of the “Family Fund” or to the city hall. You can only submit an application in writing. Download sample applications and corresponding forms on the Arbeitsagentur website .

Payment for children in Germany is made to the current account once a month. For the exact date, see the Familienkasse website. The day of transfer depends on the last digit in the number assigned to each recipient. If there are several children in the family, then the amount is transferred at once.

The amount of child allowance in Germany

Finally, the most interesting part of the article on child allowance in Germany. From 2019

  • the first and second child are paid 204 € per month.
  • For the third allowance a little more – 210 €.
  • For the fourth and subsequent children, the amount is 235 €.

If the first-born child ceases to receive Kindergeld due to age, the oldest minor of the children is considered the “first” child, that is, the amount of the benefit “shifts” downward.

The size of payments is regularly indexed in accordance with the inflation rate of the euro. Over the past 5 years, payments have increased fourfold by 2-4 € per month

Responsibilities of parents receiving Kindergeld

Receiving children’s money imposes certain obligations on the recipient.

The recipient of Kindergeld is obliged to inform Familienkasse that:

  • he or his spouse enters the civil service for more than 6 months;
  • the spouse also applied for a child benefit;
  • he or his spouse goes to work abroad;
  • the child goes to live abroad;
  • he receives educational assistance from abroad;
  • divorce begins;
  • he or the children change their place of residence;
  • the child has died or is missing;
  • the number of the current account has been changed.

If the children are over 18 years old, the beneficiary is obliged to inform that:

  • children started earning money on their own;
  • the education of children has ended, the place of study has been interrupted or changed;
  • began military service or as a volunteer;
  • a previously unemployed child has found a job;
  • got married or got divorced;
  • the children had their offspring.

In case of violation of the rules, the recipient of the allowance must not only pay Kindergeld, which he received not according to the law, but also pay a large fine. In some cases, legal proceedings with punishment up to imprisonment on charges of tax evasion are not excluded. So it’s better to overdo it than not to do it. Please inform the Family Cashier about changes from the list above.

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Igor Smith/ author of the article
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