This federal subsidy provides financial assistance to parents. Its purpose is to substitute a portion of a parent’s lost income when they take a leave of absence following the birth of their child. Both fathers and mothers are eligible to receive the parental allowance for up to 14 months in total following the birth of their child. Furthermore, this period can be divided up between both parents. The parental allowance accounts for 67 percent of the employee’s lost net income, but may not exceed 1,800 euros per month. Recipients receive a slightly lower percentage (but no less than 65 percent) if their net income exceeded 1,200 euros per month in the year prior to the child’s birth. Parents who were unemployed before their child’s birth receive a base parental allowance of 300 euros. Single parents who receive the parental allowance to offset their lost monthly income and have no second income to rely on are eligible to receive the full 14-month subsidy.
The parental allowance was introduced on 1 January 2007 as a replacement for the child-raising allowance for all children born prior to this date.
Mothers and fathers are eligible for the parental allowance if they:
• care for and raise their children after birth by themselves
• work no longer than 30 hours per week
• live together with their children in a common household
• permanently or habitually reside in the Federal Republic of Germany
Citizens of EU/EEA member states and Switzerland are generally entitled to receive the parental allowance in accordance with EU law, provided they are employed or reside in Germany.
Other foreign nationals are generally entitled to receive the allowance if their residence permit and work visa are likely to result in permanent residency and long-term access to the labour market in Germany.
The family subsidy Elterngeld Plus applies to all children born after 15 July 2015. This new type of allowance serves as an income supplement for parents who wish to return to work earlier on a part-time basis. Working parents can receive the Elterngeld Plus allowance for twice the number of months as provided by the normal parental allowance. In other words, one parental allowance month is equivalent to two Elterngeld Plus months. Couples, who share the responsibilities of parenting and working, are eligible to receive 14 months of Elterngeld Plus each.
After receiving the parental allowance, parents may claim the so-called “partnership bonus” if both work between 25 and 30 hours per week. This programme entitles both partners to receive an additional four months of Elterngeld Plus benefits.
Single parents are permitted to claim Elterngeld Plus and the partnership bonus to an equal degree. The requirements pertaining to sole custody and the right to determine one’s place of residence have been removed from the legal statutes.
Application and assistance
To receive the parental allowance and Elterngeld Plus, you must submit a written application to the Office for Children, Young People and Families of the city of Münster.
You can obtain further information about the parental allowance, Elterngeld Plus, eligibility requirements and application procedures from the website of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the NRW Ministry for Children, Families, Refugees and Integration.
If you have any questions, please contact the Family Service Office. For information regarding international scholarship recipients and specific questions about legal rights of foreigners, please contact the Welcome Centre at the International Office of the University of Münster.
Additional allowances and subsidies.
Private health insurance allowance
During parental leave, civil servants (or civil servant candidates) can receive a supplementary allowance of 31 euros added to their monthly health insurance contribution as long as their salary did not exceed the mandatory insurance limit stipulated by the statutory health insurance law in the month prior to their parental leave of absence (2010: 4,012.50 EUR, 2011: 4,125 EUR, 2015: 4,575 EUR, 2016: 4,687.50 EUR, 2017: 4,800 EUR). If this applies to your situation, you can clarify the specifics with your personnel administrator.
Child subsidies for civil servants
Under certain conditions, civil servants with two or more children are eligible to receive an increase in their child subsidy from 50 to 70 percent. The children themselves are entitled to subsidies covering 80 percent of their insurance premium so that only the remaining 20 percent would require cover through a private health insurance provider.
Subsidy for Infant and Toddler Outfitting
Employees hired before 1 January 1999 are eligible to receive an allowance of 170 euros to cover the cost of infant and toddler outfitting. Civil servants are also eligible for the subsidy of the same amount.
In order to receive this subsidy, employees and civil servants are required to submit an aid application [de]
For more information, visit the KVW-Civil Servants Benefits Office [de].
The child allowance is a subsidy paid by the German federal government to support families with children and alleviate their financial burden. All parents are granted the same amount regardless of their income. The allowance increases after the third child, as follows:
• 194 euros/month for the first and second child
• 200 euros/month for the third child
• 225 euros/month for the fourth child and additional children
Parents are entitled to receive the child allowance:
• for all children under 18 years of age
• for children receiving education or training under 25 years of age
• for unemployed children under 21 years of age
The child allowance is paid to the legal guardian, i.e. the person with whom the child is living. If the child is living with both parents, they must decide to whom the allowance is to be paid.
In accordance with the German tax code, German parents are eligible to receive the child allowance if their permanent or habitual residence is in the Federal Republic of Germany. Special regulations and reporting requirements apply to German recipients employed abroad, particularly in the EU.
Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland who are entitled to freedom of movement can request the child allowance regardless of whether they hold a settlement or residence permit.
Other foreign nationals can claim eligibility if their stay in Germany promises to be long term in accordance with their residence permit. Moreover, they must be allowed to pursue gainful employment on what is likely to be a long-term basis.
Application and assistance
Civil servants and employees of the University of Münster should submit their request for the child allowance to the State Office for Salaries and Pensions (LBV NRW).
Please note that the Family Office of the Federal Employment Agency is responsible for processing applications for non-German applicants, i.e. citizens of EU/EEA member states, as well as Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Kosovo, Switzerland and Turkey.
If you are not employed at the University of Münster, you should submit your application to the municipal Family Office of the Federal Employment Agency in Rheine.
If you are registered in Germany or are required to pay taxes in Germany due to your employment status, the Federal Central Tax Office will issue you a tax identification number which you will need when applying for the child allowance.
As stipulated by the German Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz), German citizens are entitled to Child Benefit if their permanent or habitual place of residence is in Germany. For persons employed outside of Germany – in particular in EU membership countries – special regulations and obligations of notification apply.
Citizens of EU countries, EEA countries, or Switzerland who are entitled to freedom of movement can claim Child Benefit independent of whether they have a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Other non-German nationals can claim Child Benefit if their stay in Germany is likely to be permanent on account of their residence permit. Their employment must be legal and also likely to be permanent.
Application and Advice
The Landesamt für Besoldung und Versorgung (LBV NRW – NRW State Pay and Pensions Office) deals with claims made by employees of the University of Münster. Citizens of the EU countries, the European economic aerea or from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnien and Herzegovina, Marocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Kosovo, Switzerland or Turkey are entitled to refer to the Familienkasse der Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Office).
Persons not employed by the University of Münster must make their claim for Child Benefit in written form with the Familienkasse. For the city of Münster, the responsible Familienkasse is the one at the Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Office) in Rheine.