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Apply for parental allowance

05.06.2019

In order to successfully apply for parental benefits, many things have to be taken into account. In this Article, we answer the most important questions:

How do I apply for parental benefit?

Parental allowance must be applied for on the official application forms. You can find your application forms here. You should only send your application to the relevant parental allowance office after your child has been born. Only then will you know the necessary information about the child (date of birth, name, etc.) and in the first few weeks after childbirth will you receive the mandatory documents for the parental allowance application (such as birth certificate, certificate of maternity benefit, etc.).

Important notice: Both parents must regularly sign the parental allowance application. This also applies if only one parent applies for parental allowance. Exceptions apply only to single parents with sole custody of the child. Please request a custody certificate from your youth welfare office and enclose it with your parental allowance application.

If you live or work outside of Germany, you may also be entitled to parental allowance in Germany under certain conditions. For this purpose, you should then apply for comparable foreign benefits with the application for German parental allowance and submit proof of withdrawal or rejection. The parental benefit office then checks whether the foreign benefit is credited to the German parental allowance.

Are there deadlines for applying for parental benefit?

You can apply for parental allowance within the first fourteen months of your child's life. In the case of adopted children or children admitted with the aim of adoption (so-called adoption care), the actual date of birth is not decisive for the application for parental allowance, but rather the date of household admission.

Parental allowance is only granted retroactively for the last three months of life before the beginning of the month in which the application is received by the parental allowance office. Since the parental allowance is based on the respective months of the child's life (not on calendar months), an application must therefore receive a receipt stamp from the competent authority at the latest on the last day of the child's 4th month of life so that the claim to parental allowance applies retroactively from the child's birth.

By the way, you can also send a fax within the time limit. Missing documents and information can easily be submitted later.

Can I change my parental allowance application (e.g. my reference period) at a later date?

It is possible to change the selected reference months, but only for periods that lie in the future and for which no parental allowance has yet been paid. An informal written notification to the responsible clerk is sufficient.

However, there is an exception in the case of so-called special cases. If, for example, a parent unexpectedly becomes unemployed or falls so seriously ill that he or she can no longer be gainfully employed and the original parental allowance plan therefore no longer works, the parental allowance office can, within the scope of its discretion, also approve further changes.

In addition, you can retroactively convert ElterngeldPlus months into Basiselterngeld months. However, Basiselterngeld cannot be converted into ElterngeldPlus months.

You can apply for the partnership bonus months independently of this, even later (provided you meet the strict requirements).

What documents do I have to submit in addition to the parental allowance application?

The following documents must be submitted regularly:

  • original birth certificate of the child with the intended purpose "for parental allowance“
  • A copy of the birth certificate shall be sufficient for babies born outside Germany in a country of the European Union. If your child was born outside the EU, you may need a certified German translation of the birth certificate.
  • from both parents: a copy of your identity card or passport and your current residence permit
  • Notice of approval or rejection of maternity benefit from the statutory health insurance funds before and after childbirth
  • Proof of income for the assessment period (salary statements, profit calculations, tax assessments, etc.)
  • proof of parental leave granted by the employer

The following documents may have to be submitted in addition (not exhaustive list):

  • Proof of the employer's allowance during maternity leave periods
  • Proof of receipt of health insurance sickness benefit due to pregnancy-related illness plus medical certificate
  • Notices of approval and cancellation of income replacement benefits during the assessment period (AlG I, sickness benefit, insolvency benefit, child supplement, etc.)
  • parental allowance notices for older siblings, if the payment extends into the assessment period for the baby
  • Proof of Kindergeld payments from older siblings
  • Proof (employer's certificate) of income from non-self-employed persons during receipt of parental allowance (so-called earnings certificate)
  • Income forecast for the amount of profit in the reference period (concerns self-employed persons)

By the way, employers may not refuse to hand over the documents required for the application. However, a reference to the employer's duty to provide information is usually sufficient, otherwise the parental benefit office will write to the employer itself.

Note: The list contains the most important and most common proofs. In individual cases, but especially in the case of self-employed persons and parents with mixed income, further proofs may have to be submitted. Our parental benefit software will provide you with an individual list of the documents you have to submit after you have submitted your parental benefit application. If you decide on a personal parental benefit consultation, we will of course inform you which individual proofs you should submit.

Is the Elterngeldsoftware or our parental benefit consultation worthwhile?

There are many ways in which you can apply for parental benefit. With our services, we support you effectively so that you can claim parental benefit quickly, easily, correctly and as optimally as possible for your individual life situation. Our customers appreciate in particular the close support (very quick answering of questions) and the seriousness of our team.

Another note: The use of our services is for your own benefit: The parental benefit offices are not obliged to check your application for optimisation possibilities and normally they do not contact you in order to go through the application with you to get more parental benefit for you. Once an application has been approved, it can only be changed to a very limited extent. In addition, some of the processors in the parental benefit offices do not provide comprehensive advice. This is mainly due to a lack of time and personnel, but in some cases, it is also justified by the fact that they are neither trained tax consultants nor life planners.

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