Child benefit 2021: entitlement, child benefit application and amount

Family benefits : What parents need to know about child benefits 2021

Child benefit: What parents should look out for - entitlement, application, amount

Children need love and attention, mothers and fathers need financial security. Child support offers the necessary security for parents, on which it depends for the well-being of the child. In this sense: Read here everything important about child benefit.

Michael Frantze

  • Who is entitled to child benefit in Germany?
  • How much children’s money is there?
  • How long is child benefit paid?
  • Is the child benefit dependent on the income of the children?
  • Income limit: Up to what income child benefit is paid?
  • Where to apply for child benefit?
  • When can parents apply for child benefit?
  • What documents are needed to apply for child benefit?
  • Can child benefit also be applied for retroactively??
  • What will change from 2021 with regard to child benefit??

Here we go! Finally the moment has come to hold the little miracle, your child, in your arms. But parents should start thinking about child benefits early on. Because this means that the child’s basic needs can also be met without any problems. Families are faced not only with many challenges, but also with many questions: Who gets child benefits and how much do they pay?? What documents are needed for the application? Where are the right places to go to get child benefit??

Who is entitled to child benefit in Germany?

Children not only make you happy, but also cost money. Food, clothing, toys and education – parents have to come up with all of this first. This is where child benefit is supposed to help.

In principle, all parents are entitled to child benefit, from the birth of the child until the age of 18. The child must be at least one year old. This does not only have to concern biological children, but can also refer to grandchildren, stepchildren and foster children. However, grandparents can also receive child benefit if they live in the same household as the minor child. The parents’ or grandparents’ place of residence must be in Germany, in a member state of the European Union, or in Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland.

By the way: This also applies to immigrants. If they do not come from an EU country, they must have a valid settlement permit or residence permit.

Certainly, entitlement to child benefits customarily arises at the birth of the child and henceforth applies to the month in which the child was born. In order to receive child benefit, parents must submit an application to the family benefits office in writing only. In principle, the family benefits offices are located at the employment agency. The only exception is for civil servants and employees in the public sector. You must contact the employer and apply for child benefit there. Due to the processing time of one to one and a half months, it is advisable to submit the application for child benefit before the child is born.

Remark: Child benefit is generally paid to parents, grandparents, stepparents or adoptive parents. If the child is an orphan or his or her parents cannot be found, he or she is entitled to child benefit.

The state government wants to target low-income families

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How much child benefit is there?

One thing in advance: child benefit does not depend on the parents’ income. Instead, the family benefits office classifies the benefit according to the number of children, with the child benefit amounts being upgraded from time to time. This is how parents receive 204 euros per month for the first and second child since July 2019. For the third child, the family fund pays 210 euros. For the fourth and every further child there is 235 Euro per month. In order to increase the financial leeway for families, the state grants a child benefit as of 1 January 2009. January 2021 an increase in child benefits of 15 euros. This means that parents can expect to receive 219 euros for the first and second child, 225 euros for the third and 250 euros from the fourth child onwards.

Notice: Child benefit will be paid regularly once a month. However, the benefit does not have to be on the account already at the beginning of the month. The income tax law is entitled to the payment only in the course of the respective month.

Child benefit

Parents who have a job but whose income is only sufficient to support themselves and not their child can apply for a child supplement.

Child supplement is paid for unmarried children under 25 years of age living in the parental household. This amounts to up to 185 euros per child per month. It should be noted at this point that the child supplement is based on the parents’ income. After that, the income of both parents together must be at least 900 euros (gross) or, in the case of a single parent, at least 600 euros (gross).

How long is child benefit paid?

Child benefit is a state benefit intended to provide financial support to families with children. Basically, all children are entitled to child benefit from birth to 18 years of age. The child is legally entitled to child benefit until he or she reaches the age of 17. But even beyond that, the state can grant continued payment of child benefits, but at most only up to the age of 25. age.

Child in training or studying

The state pays child benefit until the child reaches the age of majority, according to the law, which is regulated in the Federal Child Benefit Act and the Income Tax Act. As soon as the child reaches the age of 17. If the child has already reached the age of 25, parents must apply again for child benefit if the child is in initial vocational training or studying for the first time. In this case, the payment of child benefit is extended until the end of the child’s 25th birthday. Children up to the age of 21. If the training or studies were completed before the child’s 25th birthday, child benefit will be paid. If the child’s education or training has been completed before the child’s 25th birthday, the entitlement to child benefit ends.

Children who have already completed their first vocational training or studies before the age of 25 are entitled to child benefit. A child who has completed his or her education before the age of 21 and is now starting a second education can continue to claim child benefit, provided that the intended occupational goal has not yet been reached. In other words, continuing education still counts as part of the initial education. In this case, child benefit is paid on condition that the child does not work more than 20 hours a week. Those who work more than the prescribed number of hours must ensure that the maximum number of hours is observed at the end of the year.

Note: In the case of a 450-euro mini-job, the additional work usually proves to be unproblematic.

For the duration of military or civilian service, the child benefit does not apply, but this time is added to the upper age limit, which extends the period of entitlement to child benefit. The situation is different if this involves voluntary service with vocational training.

Child in the transitional period after graduation from school

Child benefit can also be paid if the child is in a transitional period, for example between leaving school and starting vocational training or a course of study. For such a "forced break parents have a legal right, although this is only granted for four months.

Child without education, but searching

If children do not find a training place after graduation, the family funds have to pay. In this case, a credible statement must be made to the employment agency or job center that the child has made several serious efforts to find an apprenticeship position with many companies. It should be mentioned here that one application per month does not count as sufficient. For affected parents and children applies to keep application letters and feedbacks.

For children who are without a training position after school and do not show the necessary will, the situation looks bad.

Child without employment relationship

Children up to the age of 21. Children who have already completed an apprenticeship and are still looking for a job can still count on child benefit. It is important that those affected register with the employment agency as seeking work.

Is the child benefit dependent on the income of the children?

Up to and including 2011, the legal regulation for child benefit stipulated that any income of children of full age was subject to the exemption limit of 8.004 Euro per year has been credited. As soon as this limit was also exceeded, the child benefit had to be paid back. In this case, one spoke of the notorious "Fallbeil effect". However, due to the Tax Simplification Act of 2011, this regulation is no longer applicable. Instead, only the education status of the adult child counts.

According to § 68 para. 1 of the Income Tax Act, parents who have applied for child benefits are obliged to notify their competent family benefits office immediately of any changes in their circumstances and those of their children. Who does not follow this obligation, must pay back possibly wrongly received child benefit. In addition, one must expect a fine or even criminal prosecution.

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Income limit: Up to which income child benefit is paid?

In the course of the Tax Simplification Act of 1. November 2011, there is no longer an income limit for adult children in training. According to this law, child benefit is granted to children who are in their first school and vocational training or in their first course of studies without an income check, even if the child earns money with a vacation job or student job in addition to his or her training. If the child has already completed vocational training or studies, then the child benefit can be cancelled without replacement under certain circumstances.

As already mentioned, the entitlement to child benefit no longer depends on the income of the adult child. However, to ensure that the benefit can also be claimed during a second and further vocational training or a second course of study, parents and children must fulfill a few important criteria. According to this, it is no longer the amount of income from gainful employment that counts, but the personal work performed by the child. This may not exceed the regular weekly working time of 20 hours. At most, the weekly working time can be exceeded for a maximum of two months, as long as the average weekly working time over the year does not exceed 20 hours. In this case, the legislator speaks of a harmless gainful activity, since the employment is not aimed at generating income.

As "harmless" The legislator regards the following activities as gainful employment:

  • Vocational training according to BBiG
  • Internship
  • Voluntary service
  • Referendariat
  • Dual or part-time studies
  • Civil servant/career civil servant
  • Professional soldier during studies
  • Apprenticeship year for future educators
  • Minijobs/450-Euro-Job
  • Short-term employment
  • Au pair

Remark: Income from renting and leasing as well as from capital assets are also classified as harmless by the legislator.

As "harmful For the purposes of child benefit, gainful employment as a farmer, forester, tradesman, self-employed person and non-self-employed person is taken into account. This also includes activities that involve more than 20 hours of personally rendered work performance.

Where to apply for child benefit?

In order to be able to claim child benefits, parents must submit a written application for child benefits to the family benefits office, namely the family benefits office of the local employment agency. The form for child benefit is also available there. The application can also be downloaded from the website of the Federal Employment Agency. If you are employed in the public sector, you must apply for child benefit from your employer or the compensation office – also in writing.

As soon as the child benefit application has been received by the family benefits office, the authority checks whether the submitted documents are complete. The processing time can be four to six weeks. If the child benefit is paid by the family funds of the employment agency, the child benefit is paid to the person with whom the child is officially registered. Children who live in an independent household and are self-supporting are paid the amount directly.

When can parents apply for child benefit?

In principle, child benefit is only granted from the month of the child’s birth. Due to the processing time – four to six weeks, depending on the case – parents should submit the child benefit application to the relevant family benefits office accordingly soon after the birth. Once the application is approved, the benefit is paid during the month. The payment period is determined by the last digit of the child benefit number. If the last number should be a one, then parents get the benefit already paid at the beginning of the month, with a nine only at the end of the month.

Notice: Parents who give birth to a child at the end of a month will still receive the full amount of child benefit for the entire month.

Which documents are required for the child benefit application??

The application for child benefits includes several forms that must be submitted to the family cash office. This includes the child benefit forms "KG1" and "plant child" as well as the child’s birth certificate or certificate of birth. Should the respective child reside in the household of the claimant, it requires a so-called household certificate. In both cases the children are minors.

Hint: No documents need to be submitted to the Familienkasse until the child reaches the age of majority. Child benefit is paid until the age of 18. Child benefit is paid out every month for the third year of life.

For children of full age, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Birth certificate of the child
  • The tax identification number of the claimant and that of the child
  • The child benefit number, if already issued
  • The bank account to which the child benefit is to be deposited
  • Documents such as a school and training certificate or confirmation of enrollment or the certificate from the employment agency or. of the job center

Can child benefit also be applied for retroactively?

Yes. Parents are allowed to apply for child benefit retroactively even after the child is born. For those who missed it, however, don’t delay too much. Because the application for child benefit can only be submitted for the last six months.

What will change from 2021 regarding child benefits?

On 27.11.In 2020, the Bundesrat approved the Second Family Relief Act (Zweites Familienentlastungsgesetz). From 1. January 2020, child benefit is to be increased by 15 euros per month. This would mean that the child benefit for the first and second child is 219 Euro each. For the third child the child benefit amounts to 225 euro and for the fourth and each further child 250 euro.

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