Information on child benefit may be of interest to you because:
- your parents can receive child benefit for you up to the age of 25 if you are still in education.
- you may be able to claim child benefit for yourself if your parents do not support you
- you may be entitled to child benefit for your own child
Parents are entitled to child benefit if they are resident or ordinarily resident in Germany. It is independent of the parents' income.
- Only one person can receive child benefit for the same child.
- Entitlement to child benefit is regulated by law in the Income Tax Act (EStG) and the Federal Child Benefit Act (BKGG).
- Child benefit can also be applied for and claimed by students with a residence permit according to §16 Residence Act if they are gainfully employed (e.g. mini-job)!
Child benefit must be applied for in writing at the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) of the Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit). It is paid from the month in which the conditions for entitlement were met for at least one day, after receipt of the written application, retroactively for a maximum of six months. Application forms are available in German and English.
- For disabled children, provided the disability occurred before the age of 25, the child benefit age limit does not apply. They can receive child benefit for adults and also child benefit from the age of 25.
- Child benefits for themselves can be received by full orphans or children who do not know the whereabouts of their parents and who are not considered a child by another person.
- Child benefit can be paid to the child himself/herself, for example to you as a student, if the parents are obliged to pay maintenance, but they do not. The person in whose household the child lives is always entitled. If you run your own household and your parents do not provide any support, you can apply to the Family Fund for payment to yourself by submitting proof of education and income.
You may also be dependent on earning money during your studies. In your first degree program, this is completely harmless. You can earn as much as you want. The child benefit will be paid in any case.
What else you should know:
- Child benefits end with the examination month, even if the child is still enrolled.
- Child benefit is also paid for a transitional period of four months between two stages of education (for example, between leaving school and starting vocational training).
- If vocational training/studies cannot be started or continued due to a lack of a training place (for example, in the case of rejection due to numerus clausus), child benefit can continue to be paid.
- If training is temporarily interrupted due to illness or maternity, child benefit will generally continue to be paid, but not if leave of absence is taken for a semester.
- According to recent rulings by the Federal Fiscal Court, in the future many more of the children's activities are to be classified as vocational training than before, for example attending foreign colleges or voluntary internships that are suitable for the intended profession.
- Child benefits can also be received during doctoral studies if the doctorate immediately follows the degree.
- Married children can then be considered as children for child benefits with their parents if the spouse is not able to provide the "predominant part" of the support.