Parents resident in the Federal Republic of Germany are eligible to receive Kindergeld, which takes the form of a child tax credit. Over the last few years, the Kindergeld rate has been gradually increased. From January 2018, it will be €192 per month for the first and second child, €200 for the third child and €225 for each subsequent child.
Kindergeld is paid from birth until the child reaches the age of 18, but can also continue to be paid up to the age of 25 if the child is still attending school or is on a vocational training scheme (Ausbildung).
To receive Kindergeld, you need to apply to the Familienkasse office at the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency), or if you work for a public sector organisation, to the Familienkasse office for your organisation.
Each parent is in principle entitled to one half of the Kindergeld. Kindergeld is normally paid to the parent with whom the child lives. In the case of dependent children of single parents, the absent parent (who is obliged to provide for the child financially) can deduct half of the Kindergeld payment (or the full amount once the child reaches 18) from their maintenance payments.
Parents who are divorced or separated are each entitled to one half of the Kinderfreibetrag (child tax allowance), in each case after deduction of half the Kindergeld.
Kinderzuschlag (supplementary child benefit)
Parents who meet certain conditions can additionally apply for Kinderzuschlag (supplementary child benefit) of up to €185 per child. These conditions include a minimum monthly income of €600 for single parents or €900 for couples and a maximum monthly income which does not exceed the threshold set out in the Federal Government’s latest Existenzminimumbericht (a report on the minimum income required for a basic standard of living). Kinderzuschlag cannot be combined with the Sozialhilfe, ALG II or Sozialgeld benefits. Deductions are made from the Kinderzuschlag for the child’s income and assets and for any maintenance or vocational training scheme (Ausbildung) payments.
There have been changes to the Kinderzuschlag (supplementary child benefit) since July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020: the income of the children is no longer fully counted towards the child allowance, but only 45%. This means that working single parents in particular have better chances of getting a child supplement. More information about the requirements and the application can be obtained from the Arbeitsagentur.
More information on Kindergeld and Kinderzuschlag can be obtained from Familienkasse Rheine, or online at: Arbeitsagentur or at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
You can also obtain information on Kinderzuschlag bzw. Notfallkinderzuschlag during the Corona-Pandemie.
Information leaflets on Kindergeld and Kinderzuschlag can also be viewed on or downloaded from the above website.
Agentur für Arbeit - Familienkasse Rheine
Dutumer Str. 5
Tel: 0800 / 4555530