Friday, January 21

Parent Allowance (Elterngeld), Germany

If you are living in Germany, apart from Kindergeld, parents are also entitled to an allowance known as Elterngeld. This benefit is given to new parents to encourage them to spend more time with their new born, thus helping them to cover up living costs. The Elterngeld can be shared between both the child’s parents, therefore enabling both parents to take time off work, for the new child.

Who is eligible?

If both parents are involved in child care, they can claim a total of 14 months’ parental allowance together. For eg. one parent can claim the allowance for 3 months, and the other for the remaining 11 months. However, you will have to comply with the below mentioned as well:

  • You do no more than 30 hours’ paid work per week while you are receiving the allowance.
  • You live together with your child in the same house.
  • You are a German/EU/EEA citizen, or you hold a permanent residence permit or a residence permit that entitles you to work in Germany.
  • You and your partner’s combined annual income does not exceed 500.000 euros (or 250.000 euros for single parents).

How much do I get?

The amount of the payment is based on your average monthly salary in the year before the child’s birth. The minimum amount of parental allowance is 300 euros and the maximum amount is 1.800 euros monthly.

Previous monthly incomeAllowance (% of previous income)
Less than 1.000 euros67-100%
1.000 euros to 1.220 euros67%
1.220 euros to 1.240 euros67-65%
More than 1.240 euros65%

Families with two or more children can receive a monthly bonus of 10%, or 75 euros, whichever is greater. For multiple births (i.e. if you have twins or triplets), parental allowance increases by 300 euros each month for each additional child.

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Here is the Elterngeld Calculator with Planner to help you.

How to apply?

To apply, you will need to fill in the application form and submit it to your local Family Benefits Office. You have to may submit the below mentioned documents:

  • Birth Certificate of the Child
  • Valid ID – Passport copies of both parents and child
  • Proof of income such as employment contract or bank statements
  • Details of Maternity Benefit, if applicable

What is Parental allowance plus (ElterngeldPlus)?

ElterngeldPlus enables any parent eligible for parental allowance to spread the benefit payments over a longer period of time, by receiving half of the regular parental allowance over a maximum period of 24 months.

During this time, you are only entitled to work a maximum of 30 hours per week in order to remain eligible for the parental allowance. It is also possible to combine regular parental allowance with ElterngeldPlus, to suit your family situation.

What is Partnership bonus?

If both parents work simultaneously for 25-30 hours per week for four consecutive months, each parent will receive four additional months of ElterngeldPlus payments. You can still apply for this bonus if you and your partner live separately. Single parents can also claim the bonus by working for 25-30 hours per week for four months.

Still have questions? You can go through the English language Brochure.

Things going Digital…

Visit ElterngeldDigital to register and apply online. Note that this service is available only in some locations in Germany. Visit the aforementioned site to know more.

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From Experience!

  • Additional documents such as Meldebescheinigung, copies of residence permit and confirmation of working hours by employer for part-time employment may be needed.
  • It takes about 2-6 weeks to receive a response from the Family Benefits office, after which the Elterngeld will be deposited monthly in your given bank account on the 1st of the month. The response letter will have details on how much allowance you are entitled to and for how long.
  • The form requires a lot of details about employment, maternity benefits and insurance. Keep the data ready.
  • Even if you have never worked in Germany before, you are eligible to claim Elterngeld. However, as mentioned before, the amount received will be based on your income in your previous country.
  • And of course, knowing a little bit of German goes a long way !

Sources: Federal Benefits Office,