"Kindergeld," or child benefit, is an allowance from the German government to help defray some of the costs of raising children, and is independent of the parents’ income. Kindergeld is paid for children up to the age of eighteen (or 25 if the child is still a student or undertaking vocational training). The money is paid to the parent the child usually lives with. A general overview is available on the website of the Arbeitsagentur. For detailed information, read this Child Benefit Leaflet.
Who is Entitled?
- German citizens if they are registered in Germany.
- Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland (and a few other countries on the basis of particular supranational or intergovernmental agreements).
- Irrespective of whether they possess a settlement permit or residence permit ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis").
- Irrespective of whether they are employed, self-employed, independent, or receive fellowship funding.
- Other foreign nationals living in Germany if they possess a valid settlement permit ("Niederlassungserlaubnis"). Certain residence permits ("Aufenthaltstitel") can also entitle you to child benefit.
How Do I Apply?
Apply for child benefit with the Family Benefits Office that is responsible for you—see section 10 of the information leaflet (available in first section of this page, or in the link box) for further details.
You will need to provide:
- Application form “KG1” (including your and your child’s tax identification numbers).
- Appendix form “Anlage KG1” (child lives in Germany) or “Anlage KG51” (child lives abroad).
- Child’s birth certificate.
- Parents’ passports.
- Proof of residence permit.
- Proof that the child is part of your household (Haushaltbescheinigung KG3a, to be certified by the Bürgeramt—the same place you register after arriving in Berlin.
- German bank account.