8 tricks you can use to get more out of your application for parental allowance

Even before you submit the application for parental allowance, a few simple tricks will help to increase parental allowance. We give you eight tips to help you make the best use of parental allowance for you and your family.

Put simply, the parental allowance is based on the average net salary that you earned in the 12 months before the birth of the child and is usually between 65 and 67 percent of your previous income. All applicants receive at least 300 euros , even if they have not worked before. The more you earn before the birth, the higher the parental allowance that is paid to you after the birth – but there is no more than the maximum amount of 1,800 euros . You can find out how much parental allowance you are entitled to in your case in our article “ Parental allowance – amount of the payment? “.

New regulations for parental allowance from 2013

For parents who are expecting children from January 1, 2013, there are some new regulations for parental allowance. The basic principle – percentage of adjusted net income – does not change. But the way the authorities calculate things works a little differently now. Whereas previously the net wage after actual social security contributions, taxes and other deductions (e.g. church tax) was relevant, in 2013 the average gross wage is the starting point. Of this, a flat rate of 21 percentfor social security contributions, as well as income tax, church tax, etc. are deducted and the replacement rate is calculated based on this. In this way, applications should be processed much more easily and quickly. However, the new regulation also has some disadvantages. You can find out more about this topic in our article “ Parental Allowance – Calculation by Authorities ”

Whether in advance, when applying for parental allowance or during the period in which you receive parental allowance – our tips should help you to use the parental allowance optimally for you and your family.

Fill out the parental allowance application: You should note this beforehand

The “adjusted” net income counts for the amount of parental allowance. With the following tips you can easily increase your net income and thus increase the monthly parental allowance amounts. Don’t forget that the parental allowance office takes your income from the 12 months before the birth into account to calculate the parental allowance. It is therefore important that you implement our tips early on if you want to benefit from them.

1) Change tax class

Married couples can be taxed together and have various options when it comes to combining tax brackets. In the case of parental allowance, it may be worth changing the tax class. The parent who mainly wants to receive parental allowance changes to the favorable tax class III , so that fewer taxes are deducted from his salary at the end of the month. More net wage increases parental allowance. In return, however, the spouse must be assessed in the unfavorable tax class V.
A new regulation for 2013 also applies here:The favorable tax class is only taken into account by the parental allowance office if it predominates in the 12 months before the birth of the child or became effective halfway through. This means that you have to initiate the change no later than seven months before the birth. Why? The new tax class only becomes valid in the following month and then lasts for six months until the birth. If you miss the change, you have to reckon with higher income tax and correspondingly less parental allowance.

2) Distribute one-time payments:

When calculating the parental allowance, the parental allowance office looks very closely at the stated income. One-time payments, such as Christmas bonuses or salary bonuses, are not taken into account by the authorities and can therefore not increase the parental allowance. Before you apply for parental allowance, discuss with your employer whether such one-off payments can be spread over your regular salary. In this way, they are included in the parental allowance calculation.

3) Company pension plan

Contributions that may be paid for a company pension scheme are also excluded from the parental allowance calculation. Consider whether it is worthwhile for you to suspend this additional payment twelve months before the birth of the child.

Fill out the parental allowance application

When the preparations are complete and the expected due date is approaching, it is time to take care of the application itself:

4) Parental allowance and parental leave

Parental allowance and parental leave do not necessarily have to be claimed in the same period. However, you are only entitled to parental allowance if you reduce your working hours to a maximum of 30 hours per week. It therefore makes sense to use parental leave and parental allowance in the same period. It is important that the parental allowance is paid according to the child’s months of life. So if your child is born on May 13th, the period up to June 12th is the first month in which you could receive parental allowance. Since parental leave has to be registered with the employer seven weeks in advance, it takes a little planning to optimally coordinate parental allowance and parental leave.

5) Partner Months

Parents can claim parental allowance in the first 14 months of their baby’s life. If you want to receive parental allowance for the full 14 months of life, you must either be a single parent and have sole custody, or plan for the so-called partner months. A parent can apply for parental allowance for a maximum of 12 months – the remaining two months are reserved for the partner. In this way, fathers in particular should be more involved in childcare.

But be careful: Partner months, like parental leave, must be requested from the employer seven weeks in advance. Even if many employers take a relaxed view of the partner months, there are sometimes nasty surprises. Anyone who tells their boss about parental allowance and parental leave at an early stage may risk being fired. From a purely legal point of view, no dismissal may be given due to parental allowance and parental leave, but protection against dismissal only comes into effect eight weeks in advance . So there is only one week left in which fathers can benefit from protection against dismissal and register the partner months with their boss in good time.

6) Siblings and multiple births

If you give birth to twins or triplets, the parental allowance increases by 300 euros per multiple . You may also receive a little more parental allowance if you have siblings. With the so-called sibling bonus, the parental allowance increases by ten percent – ​​but at least by 75 euros . You are entitled to the sibling bonus if the sibling is no older than three years old. If you have more than one sibling, at least two children must be under the age of six in order to be able to use the sibling bonus.

And after the application for parental allowance?

Once most of the administrative procedures have been completed and the application for parental allowance has been approved, you can finally devote yourself fully to the new family member. Perhaps you haven’t completely retired from your job or would you like to earn something extra in a part-time job? Then we have a little tip for you:

7) part-time work

While you receive parental allowance, a side job or part-time work is not a problem as long as you work a maximum of 30 hours per week . This hour limit is extrapolated to the month. If you are self-employed or your employer agrees to very flexible working hours, you can distribute 120 hours per month individually over the weeks.

All the regulations relating to parental allowance are not so easy to understand. The best tip we can give you:

8) Keep a cool head

Don’t be fooled and take your time to gather information. Only if you are well informed do you know what you are entitled to and what demands you can make to the authorities when applying for parental allowance. If you have specific questions, it is best to seek help from the local parental allowance office or call 115 – the new official telephone number. We also offer you a lot of helpful information about parental allowance and parental leave .

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