Applying for Kindergeld or Child Benefit in Germany

If you have children in Germany, you may be eligible to receive a monthly child benefit payment known as Kindergeld. The Kindergeld provides families with €204 per child per month to help with the costs of raising children. The money can be used to pay for essential supplies like food, clothing, childcare, and other necessities.

Applying for Kindergeld or Child Benefit in Germany

To receive the Kindergeld, you will need to apply through your local family benefits office, known as the Familienkasse. The requirements to qualify for the Kindergeld are:

  • You must be a parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 years old. Children up to their 25th birthday can also qualify if they are attending school, university, vocational training, or are unemployed.
  • The child must live in Germany. If they live abroad, Kindergeld may still be possible if certain conditions are met regarding the child’s connections to Germany.
  • The applicant must have a permanent residence in Germany or another EU/EEA country. German citizenship is not required. Foreigners on temporary visas may also qualify in some cases.
  • The child’s income and assets must fall below certain limits. Kindergeld is a form of social assistance, so higher-income families typically do not qualify.

To apply, you will need to submit an application to your local Familienkasse, either online, by post, or in person. The necessary documents typically include:

  • Proof of the child’s identity (birth certificate or passport) and current address.
  • The applicant’s identity documents (ID card or passport) and proof of address.
  • Information on the family’s income and employment situation. This includes documents like pay stubs, tax returns, profit and loss statements for self-employed applicants, etc.
  • Evidence of other government benefits received like unemployment benefits, parental leave pay, etc.
  • Details on the child’s time spent in school or vocational training. This includes things like school enrollment forms, class schedules, apprenticeship contracts, etc.
  • International families may need additional documents regarding their visas, residence titles, work permits, etc.
  • Married or separated parents will need to provide marriage or divorce certificates. Custody agreements may also be required in some cases.

Once you have submitted your application, the Familienkasse will review the documents to verify your eligibility. They may request additional information or documentation if needed. The entire review process typically takes 4 to 6 weeks.

How much is Child benefit in Germany

In Germany, the monthly child benefit payment is called Kindergeld. The current Kindergeld amounts are:

  • €204 per child for the first two children
  • €210 per child for the third child
  • €235 per child for the fourth and each additional child

These amounts are paid per child, per month. Some key points about Kindergeld:

It is paid monthly around the middle of the month. The payments are made through bank transfer to the parent or guardian’s bank account.

Kindergeld is paid starting from the child’s birth month until they turn 18 years old. Children up to 25 years old can continue receiving the benefit if they are still in school, university, job training, or unemployed.

The Kindergeld amounts are adjusted slightly each year to account for inflation and cost of living increases. The amounts have been steadily rising over the past decade.

Families with a household income below the minimum level pay no income taxes on their Kindergeld. For higher-income families, the Kindergeld is considered taxable income.

If a child does not permanently live with their parents, the Kindergeld payment can be split between the parents. The parents must request a split payment through their local family benefits office.

In certain situations, the Kindergeld eligibility and payment amounts may differ, e.g. for children with disabilities, children in custody of grandparents or foster parents, non-German families, etc. The family benefits office will determine eligibility on a case by case basis.

Kindergeld provides an important financial support for families in Germany. The monthly payments help cover essential costs of raising children like food, clothing, childcare, and other necessities. Over 18 years, a family can receive over €40,000 in Kindergeld benefits per child.

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