Parental allowance and parental allowance "plus"
Parental allowance is designed to compensate a loss of income and is applicable to births and adoptions after 1 January 2007. As such, the amount paid depends on the amount of income no longer received.
Parental allowance is paid for the child's first fourteen months of life; the parents may divide the payment period between themselves at liberty. One parent can claim up to twelve months at the most for himself/herself, two additional months are possible if the partner also participates in childcare and the income is reduced for at least two months. Single parents, who receive parental allowance as compensation for loss of income, can claim the entire fourteen months of parental allowance.
Important: Part-time work does not conflict with entitlement to parental allowance, as long as working hours do not exceed 30 hours per week. Unlike the regulations for parental leave, there is no legal entitlement to part-time employment – this has to be applied for to and approved by the employer. For further information on part-time employment we recommend the brochure of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs: "Teilzeit – alles, was Recht ist" (Part-time employment – all that is right and fair).
In case of a multiple birth, families receive an additional 300 € per child. Families with several children, who are not multiples, can receive a sibling bonus, too.
Unemployed parents receive the minimal amount of 300 €, which is not offset against other benefits and is paid regardless of family income.
The amount of parental allowance is calculated based on the income that was received during the twelve months before childbirth and corresponds to 67% of the monthly income, up to a maximum amount of 1800 € per month.
Maternity allowance is taken into account.
The payment period of parental allowance can be doubled by dividing in half the amount paid per month. In sum, you will receive the exact amount of money granted, only in smaller monthly instalments and over a longer period of time. One parent may extend the payment period to 24 months, a single parent even to 28 months. The time during which maternity allowance is paid is credited against the payment period of parental allowance.
Parental allowance can only be applied for after the child is born. The application has to be handed in to the Elterngeldstelle within three months after childbirth.
Parental allowance can only be paid in arrears for the last three months of life prior to the month, in which the application was received. In calculating the deadline, it is the actual receipt of the application at the relevant authority, not the date of postmark that is the determining factor. So make sure to submit your application on time.
You can apply for parental allowance directly at the L-Bank or via the administrative offices (Bürgerämter):
L-Bank, 76113 Karlsruhe,
Phone: 0800 6645471
Good to know
Student parents covered by compulsory health insurance still have to pay health insurance contributions while they receive parental allowance (also during leave of absence).
If student parents receive unemployment pay II during a leave of absence, it is advisable to let the Jobcenter know that students still have to pay health insurance contributions. It is best to present a confirmation in writing from the insurer at the Jobcenter, which will then bear the costs.
Parents, who have de-registered, remain compulsorily insured with the student health insurance for as long as they receive parental allowance. If they do not receive any other income, they do not even have to pay contributions.
Students who are voluntarily insured with a statutory health insurance and whose spouse is covered by statutory health insurance may benefit from free family insurance during parental leave. If their spouse is privately insured, they still need to pay contributions even if they do not receive any income during parental leave (half of the spouse’s salary is taken into account when calculating the level of contribution). Single parents pay a minimal contribution during parental leave, even if they do not receive any income.
Parental allowance "plus"
Applicable to all births after 1 July 2015, parental allowance "plus" makes it easier for parents to combine part-time employment with the receipt of parental allowance. Going forward, these parents can receive parental allowance "plus" twice as long: one basic parental allowance month equals two parental allowance "plus" months. Students working alongside their studies who are eligible for parental allowance can choose between parental allowance and parental allowance "plus", or decide on a combination of both. More information can be found here.