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Parental benefit

Who is entitled to parental benefit and how much is it?

A higher rate of parental benefit is available to parents with a low income. If their net income prior to birth is less than €1000 per month they are entitled to a replacement rate higher than 67%. The replacement rate is increased by 1% for every €20 of income less than €1000. Families with more than one child are entitled to a sibling supplement of 10% of the parental benefit or at least €75 per month.

If unemployment benefit, income support, maintenance, housing benefit and child allowance are paid in conjunction with parental benefit then parental benefit is taken into account for income purposes above the minimum threshold of €300 per month; the minimum amount of €300 per month is exempt.

How long is parental benefit paid?

In general, parental benefit is paid for the first 12 months. The entitlement to parental benefit is extended by two so-called ‘partner months’ if the other parent waives earnings in part or whole for two months to take care of the child; this means that parents with no income of their own will receive parental benefit for 12 months only. Single parents who claim parental benefit in lieu of a wage or salary and who have the sole custody of the child or the sole right to determine its place of residence will receive parental benefit for the full 14 months. The payment period for parental benefit can be extended to twice the length if only one half of the benefit is claimed each month.

If unemployment benefit, income support, maintenance, housing benefit and child allowance are paid in conjunction with parental benefit then parental benefit is taken into account for income purposes above the minimum threshold of €300 per month; the minimum amount of €300 per month is exempt.

Where and how do I apply for parental benefit?

Applications for parental benefit should be submitted to the youth welfare office (Jugendamt). You can obtain an application form from the youth welfare office or online. You do not need to submit the application immediately after the birth of your child. However, retrospective payments will only be granted for the last three months preceding the date on which the application for parental benefit is submitted.

Further information is available from the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.