Child supplement: supplement to child benefit

The child supplement is intended to prevent working parents with low incomes from also being dependent on unemployment benefit II. Whether and how much additional money flows into your household budget depends on various conditions and is not easy to see through. Here you can find out how to calculate the child supplement and what you have to consider when submitting your application.

Child allowance as an alternative to ALG II

If both parents or single parents work and there is still not enough money left to finance the minimum needs of the whole family, child allowance is an alternative to unemployment benefit II. You can of course decide for yourself whether you apply for unemployment benefit II or child allowance – but unfortunately both are possible Not. It therefore makes sense to calculate the chances of success of the application and the amount of the child allowance in advance. The calculation is not easy, but you can save yourself a lot of time, money and nerves.

There is both a minimum and a maximum income limit for receiving the child allowance. Applying for child allowance is therefore not an option for higher earners. In the following you can find out exactly when you are entitled to the child supplement and what the exclusion criteria are.

Basic conditions for receiving the child allowance

How high the child supplement is depends on the income of the parents and the income of the child. A maximum of 170 euros per child is paid to one parent (as of January 2019) – usually to the person who also receives child benefit . As of July 1, 2019, the child supplement is to be increased to 185 euros per month and child. In addition, it is to be opened up to single parents and making applications easier. You have to submit the application to your local family benefits office, but the child supplement is only available under certain conditions:

  • You receive child supplement for unmarried children under the age of 25 who live in your household and for whom you are entitled to child benefit.
  • The combination of your monthly income and the child allowance must cover the basic needs of your family so that you would no longer be entitled to unemployment benefit II, social assistance or social benefits. If the basic needs of the whole family cannot be covered despite income and child allowance, the application is rejected and the office refers to the better alternative – unemployment benefit II.
  • Conversely, this means: if you receive unemployment benefit II, social assistance or social benefit, you cannot apply for a child allowance.

With the application for child allowance, you must submit proof of income, assets and, for example, rental costs. The exact proof that is required is stated in the application itself, which you can also find on the Internet. Take care of submitting the application as early as possible, because the child allowance will not be paid retrospectively for the months before the application was submitted.

how much is too much Income limits for child allowance

The legislator has also laid down clear regulations with regard to the income of the parents. Only families within certain income limits are entitled to the child supplement. Married couples must have an income of at least 900, single parents at least 600 euros – it does not matter whether it is the gross salary, unemployment benefit I or sickness benefit. It gets a bit more complicated with the maximum income limit, which is calculated individually for each family. To find out what the maximum income limit is for your family, you need to determine the needs of both parents. If you are a single parent, only your needs need to be calculated. This so-called assessment limit consists of:

  • The “flat-rate standard requirement to secure subsistence”, which is based on the regulations for unemployment benefit II. For example, the standard requirement for a married couple is a total of 848 euros, while a flat rate of 424 euros is set for a single parent.
  • The “percentage of reasonable housing costs”. Depending on how many people live in a household, a more or less large percentage of the rent accounts for the parents’ need for housing and heating. For example, a single mother with one child covers 77.10 percent of the rental costs for her own needs and the remainder for the needs of the child. What “reasonable rental costs” means in this context is different in every city and region. It is best to find out on site what the office will accept in terms of rental costs in your case.

Both items together result in the assessment limit. If you add the full rate – 170 euros – of the possible child supplement per child, you get the maximum income limit for your family.

Under certain circumstances, you can also register an additional need, for example if you are a single parent or pregnant. You must of course add any additional requirements to your invoice. You can find lists of the different standard rates, any additional needs and the percentage of the parents’ living quarters on the official website of the Federal Employment Agency .

How much is the child supplement?

If the parents’ salary is within the income limits, there is the full 170 euros per child. Anything above the assessment limit is deducted from the child supplement. The legislator distinguishes between income from gainful employment and other income, for example from rental income. For example, if you are ten euros above the assessment limit and have earned these ten euros through your work, only five euros will be deducted from the child allowance. Other income, on the other hand, is offset in full.

Example 1:

A couple lives with two children in an apartment that costs 600 euros a month to rent. The standard requirement for the parents is a total of 674 euros. Your need for housing and heating is around 427 euros (71.15 percent of the monthly rent). The assessment limit is thus 1,101 euros. If you now add a total child allowance of 340 euros for both kids, the maximum income limit is 1,441 euros.

The couple must therefore have an income of at least 900 euros and a maximum of 1,441 euros per month in order to be able to receive the full child allowance.

Example 2:

The income of the family from example 1 is 1,095 euros after all deductions. The monthly assessment limit, on the other hand, is EUR 1,441. The family’s income is therefore below the assessment limit and the full child supplement of 170 euros per child is paid out.

Example 3:

After a salary increase, the family’s income after all deductions is 1,541 euros per month. It is therefore 100 euros above the assessment limit. Since the money comes from employment, only half, i.e. 50 euros, is deducted from the total child allowance. Of the 340 euros, 290 euros remain for children.

What counts as income?

The best way to check what the offices count as “income” is on the official website of the Federal Employment Agency. In addition to the normal salary, parental allowance, for example, also counts as income that is taken into account. In any case, child benefit is not included in the calculation.

Not only the income of the parents, but also the income of the children affects the child supplement. For example, alimony or a half-orphan’s pension is counted as income. Each child is billed individually.

Example 4:

A single mother has two children. The father pays 150 euros a month for their son and 120 euros for their daughter. The amounts are counted as the children’s income and deducted from the child allowance. The bottom line is that 20 euros remain for the son and 50 euros for the daughter from the child allowance.

Obligation to notify the Family Benefits Office

If something changes in terms of income, other assets, housing costs or the number of people in the household, you must inform the Family Benefits Office immediately. Otherwise, unjustly paid child allowance must be repaid and a fine could also be due.

Additional services

Since January 2011, anyone who is already receiving child allowance can also claim “benefits for education and participation”. The education package includes, for example, costs for school trips or learning support for schoolchildren. Although the benefits must be applied for separately and for each child, the process itself is relatively straightforward. You can find more information on the official website of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs .

It takes a bit of time to work your way through the jungle of rules and additional offers, but with a little patience and a calculator you can certainly do it. Also find out about other benefits that can help you and your family, for example the tax deductibility of childcare costs or the child allowance .

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