Child benefit in Germany / Kindergeld

Last update: 10th Jan 2024
Published: 18th May 2022

Are you working in Germany and have children? Then you can apply for German child benefits.

What is child benefit/Kindergeld?

Child benefit or Kindergeld is a financial allowance for parents for the upbringing and maintenance of their child/children. In Germany, child benefits are considered one of the most important allowances.

Am I entitled to child benefit?

The basic prerequisite for entitlement to child benefit is compulsory social insurance in Germany, which you automatically receive due to your employment. This means that if you are working in Germany, you are compulsorily insured and probably entitled to benefits.

You are also entitled to benefits if one parent works in Germany and the children live in their home country or in another EU country with the other parent. In this context, a separated family is considered to be a family living in the same household and the parent working in Germany can also receive the benefit.

If the allowance is paid in the home country, it can also be paid from Germany. These are calculated so that the final sum of the benefits from both countries equals the maximum amount abroad. In other words, the German allowance will be reduced by the amount of the home country allowance.

Child benefit entitlement does not arise for part-time work minijob as no social security or health insurance contributions are deducted.

Who can claim child benefit?

Only one of the child's legal guardians can apply for child benefit, e.g. the child's mother or father, or an adoptive or grandparent parent.

How much is child benefit and how is it paid?

From 1 January 2023, the amount of child benefits is €250 per month for each child. In 2024 the child benefits remain unchanged.

Comparison with 2023 and 2022:

RokFirst and second childThird childFourth and each additional child

How can I apply for child benefits?

The application for child benefit is made to the relevant Familienkasse office using forms E 401* and E 411. You will also need copies of the following documents with your application:

  • the child's birth certificate - to prove the existence of the child,
  • marriage certificate/divorce decree/death certificate - to prove marital status,
  • payslips/annual statement/Steuer ID - to prove income.

*Since 2023, this form does not need to be documented, all information on marital status and residence is obtained by the Finance Office in its own jurisdiction.

When can I claim child benefit?

  • As soon as you start work - if you start working in Germany,
  • as soon as you register for residence - if you move to Germany,
  • as soon as the child is born - if the child was born in Germany.
Read also:

Everything you need to know about minijobs

Are you looking into finding a side job in Germany? Were you thinking about minijob? We summarized everything you need to know in this article.


For how long can I receive child benefit?

You can receive child benefits for each child up to the age of 18. Older children, or children up to the age of 25, can also receive the allowance, provided they continue their education at secondary or higher education level. In this case, the Familienkasse must be informed of this situation by means of the E 402 form, which is certified by the school.

Reporting the change to the Familienkasse

If you are already receiving child benefit, make sure you report any changes concerning you or your child to the Familienkasse. This could be a change of employer, a change of residence, a change of bank account or a change related to your child's studies.

Important: Child benefit can be claimed up to 6 months retrospectively.

I want to get child benefit backdated

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