Citizens consistently receive various forms of assistance, and one of the most significant is Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany. This aid aims to support families, especially those unable to balance work and childcare.
It serves as a financial compensation for mothers and fathers who work less during this period or are unable to work at all. Therefore, who are the categories eligible for obtaining the allowance and how can it be obtained?
Conditions for obtaining parental allowance in Germany, Elterngeld
“Elterngeld” in Germany is considered a form of parental allowance. “Elterngeld” in Germany is allocated for families to support the care of their children. However, certain conditions must be met to qualify for the allowance, including the following:
- Parents need to live with their children in Germany.
- Parents must be the ones providing childcare for the children.
- Parents should either not have any employment or work less than 30 hours per week.
- Parents should possess a residence permit that includes a work permit, or obtain a tolerant residence permit for the purpose of employment, or hold German citizenship or citizenship of a European Union country.
- If obtaining a residence permit, the individual must comply with being employed either during parental leave or while receiving unemployment benefits (ALG I). They also need to have been in Germany for a period of 15 months.
- Employment is not a mandatory condition to qualify for parental allowance. It is possible for employees, self-employed individuals, unemployed individuals, students, and homemakers to be eligible for it.
- Individuals with high incomes are not eligible for the allowance. The combined annual income of both parents must exceed 500,000 euros, or an individual parent’s income must exceed 250,000 euros for them to be ineligible for the allowance.
- Parental allowance is designated for biological or adopted children. In exceptional cases, it can be obtained for grandchildren or nieces/nephews if the child’s parents are unable to financially support and care for them.
- Individuals from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro who were working in Germany, even with a tolerant residence permit or temporary residence permit, are eligible to receive the allowance.
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Types of parental allowance in Germany: Elterngeld
There are two main types of Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany, which are as follows:
Basic parenting allowance
Both the father and the mother can receive the allowance for a duration of 12 months per child. If both parents share the basic parental rights, they can qualify for an additional two months of entitlement.
In the case of a single mother or a single father, each of them is entitled to receive the basic parental allowance for a duration of 14 months.
Additional parental allowance
Both parents together can receive ElterngeldPlus for each child for a doubled duration of up to 24 months. However, the amount they will receive is half of what they would receive if they were each receiving the basic parental allowance.
Additionally, an extra four months can be obtained if both the father and mother work between 25 to 30 hours per week. Single mothers and single fathers are also eligible for these extra four months of parental allowance.
Fathers have the option to combine both types of allowances. They can receive six months of the basic parental allowance followed by 12 months of ElterngeldPlus.
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What is the value of the parental allowance in Germany, the Elterngeld?
The amount of Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany is determined based on the living situation of the recipients and the chosen type of allowance. The allowance amount is calculated using the monthly net income of the applicant over the past 12 months.
Parental allowances range from 65% to 100% of the income individuals were receiving before childbirth. As a result, the higher the income, the lower the allowance amount.
However, some exceptional cases exist. For instance, if parents are receiving short-term work benefits or unemployment benefits, the current months might not be considered when calculating the allowance. Consequently, the allowance might not be reduced in such cases.
Based on income, the minimum amount for the basic parental allowance will be at least 300 euros, while the maximum limit will exceed 1800 euros per month.
In the case of receiving ElterngeldPlus, the amount of the allowance will range from 150 euros to 900 euros per month, particularly if there was no pre-birth income.
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In cases of multiple children, families can receive a “Sibling Bonus” which amounts to 10% of the determined parental allowance.
To be eligible for the Sibling Bonus, one sibling should be under the age of three or there should be two other children under the age of six. In the case of multiple births, such as twins, parents will receive an additional amount of 300 euros for each additional child.
When applying for parental allowance in Germany, individuals should adjust their tax bracket to increase their net income. Additionally, the father or mother receiving the allowance should move to the third tax bracket.
The father should make this adjustment seven months prior to the childbirth, while the mother should do so before the start of her maternity leave.
To determine the optimal choice among the types of parental allowance in Germany, Elterngeld, or to combine them, you can seek assistance from the “familienportal” website.
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How to get parental allowance in Germany Elterngeld
In order to receive Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany, you should follow these procedures:
- The application should be submitted at the designated Elterngeld office in each federal state. You can access the relevant local office through the Elterngeld website by visiting “elterngeld.de“.
- You should complete the dedicated application form for parental allowance. If you are in Bavaria or Saxony, you can submit it electronically. For other federal states, the form needs to be sent via postal mail.
- The application form can be found at the Elterngeld office or on the “familienportal” website.
- In the application form, you need to specify who will receive the allowance. There’s one opportunity for changing the allocation and periods, but only once. In some exceptional cases, it might be permissible twice.
- You can apply for the allowance until the child reaches 14 years of age. The application should be based on the child’s birthdate, including the day and month. Mentioning only the month would result in a lower monetary amount for parents.
- Parental allowance can be paid retroactively, but for a maximum of three months only.
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The papers required to obtain parental allowance in Germany are Elterngeld
When applying for Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany, you should have the following documents available:
- The birth certificate of the child.
- Salary information for the last 12 months.
- A confirmation letter from the health insurance in Germany indicating maternity protection benefits.
- Confirmation from the employer regarding parental leave, along with a letter regarding maternity allowance grant.
- Copies of the passports for both the father, mother, and the child.
- Copies of the electronic residence permits for both the father, mother, and the child.
- A copy of the registration of residence.
In case of any changes in the parents’ living situation, it’s necessary to inform the parental allowance office, as the income amount affects the allowance amount.
The effect of receiving parental allowance in Germany’s Elterngeld on health insurance coverage
It’s possible to continue benefiting from the statutory health insurance system while receiving Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany. Additionally, individuals do not need to make contributions during the receipt of parental benefits unless they are working part-time.
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If an individual is voluntarily insured in the statutory health insurance system, they can remain covered but will need to make contributions. However, there is one exception: if family insurance is provided, then no contributions need to be paid.
If an individual was insured in the private sector before receiving parental allowance, they will continue to be insured in the same manner and will need to continue paying their premiums.
How to get help to apply for parental allowance in Germany Elterngeld
Assistance is available to help you apply for Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany. You can seek assistance by contacting the specialized parental allowance office in each federal state, or by reaching out to the Adult and Migration Services, which often provide support in multiple languages.
Do Syrians get parental allowance in Germany, Elterngeld?
Syrians can apply for Elterngeld (parental allowance) in Germany by registering for “Mouneh Al-Abwain” (parental assistance) if they hold a residence permit that grants them the right to work in the country. Additionally, they must possess a Duldung residence status. However, those who are awaiting asylum approval do not have the right to register for parental allowance.
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Frequently asked questions about parental allowance in Germany, Elterngeld
Is it possible to get a parental allowance if the child goes to kindergarten?
In this case, you can still receive the parental allowance even if the child spends most of their day in daycare or under the care of a childminder.
Is it necessary to take parental leave in order to obtain an allowance for the Alternate Guild?
Parental allowance is not directly related to taking leave, but it’s important not to exceed working more than 30 hours per week.
Is it possible to receive benefits from the Employment Office in addition to the parental allowance?
You cannot receive additional benefits, as parental allowance is considered income. Therefore, if you are receiving unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II) or social assistance, they will be reduced according to the amount of parental allowance you receive.