Child benefit department (Familienkasse) - Child benefit (Kindergeld)
The Federal Child Benefit Department is responsible for the verification and payment of child benefit. The child benefit department is part of the Federal Employment Agency and executes Federal Child Benefit Act (BKGG). In addition to child benefit applications, the child benefit department also reviews applications for child benefit bonus. The colloquial term “Kindergeldkasse” is now outdated and no longer used. Which child benefit department is responsible for you depends on where you live.
The most important facts in brief:
- Family benefit departments of the employment agency are responsible for processing and paying out child benefits
- In order to be entitled to child benefits, various requirements must be met
- The responsibility of the child benefit department depends on the place of residence of the claimant parents.
- There are fixed payment dates (based on the child benefit number)
- Changes in the family situation must be reported to the child benefit department in a timely manner
- Tax ID of the child is required
- In case of inaction or a possible wrong decision by the child benefit department, parents have regular rights to appeal/complain/sue
- Reclaims and withholding of child benefit is possible
What is the child benefit department - simply explained
Applying for funds at the child benefit department
We explain how to apply for child benefit, Corona child benefit bonus (one time payment in 2020 and 2021) or child benefit bonus at your local child benefit department.
Entitlement to payment of child benefit
Parents are entitled to child benefit if the child is under the age of majority and lives with them in the same household. In addition, the parents should also be responsible for the regular care of the child. The family’s place of residence must be in Germany, the EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland. For children who are already of age, child benefit can also be received under certain conditions.
Application for child benefit at the child benefit department
To apply for child benefit, you must contact your local child benefit department. They will process your child benefit application and inform you whether and to what extent you are entitled to child benefit.
Would you like to know how to apply for child benefit? Then you will find in the guide article Apply for child benefit all information, tips and forms.
Entitlement to payment of the Corona child benefit bonus (“Kinderbonus” – one time payment in 2020 and 2021)
The Corona child benefit bonus is intended to provide additional relief for families during the corona crisis. Children who were entitled to child benefit for at least one month in 2021 are entitled to the Corona child benefit bonus. Children who were no longer entitled to child benefit from May 2021 (e.g. because they completed their education in April) or who are not yet entitled to child benefit (e.g. because they were born in December 2021) will also receive the Corona child benefit bonus. The Corona child benefit bonus does not have to be applied for separately, but is paid out automatically.
Entitlement to payment of the child benefit bonus (Kinderzuschlag)
Child benefit bonus must be applied for separately at the responsible child benefit department. You are entitled to Child benefit bonus if your child is under 25 and lives in the same household as his or her parents. In order to receive Child benefit bonus, the child must not be married or in a civil partnership. Another requirement is that child benefit is already being received for the child. In addition, the gross income of the parents together must be at least 900€ or 600€ for single parents. You must also prove that the financial means from Child benefit bonus and housing allowance in addition to your salary would be sufficient to meet your maintenance obligations towards your child.
Can I apply for child-raising allowance (Erziehungsgeld) at the child benefit department?
In 2007, child-raising allowance was replaced by parental allowance. In Saxony, however, there is still a state child-raising allowance, which can be paid after the parental allowance. In Bavaria, there is the so-called family allowance, which can be obtained from the responsible regional office of the Bavarian Family and Social Affairs Center. In Saxony, parents can apply for the state child-raising allowance at the responsible parental allowance office.
If you wish to apply for parental allowance, you must contact your competent parental allowance office.
Which child benefit department is responsible for me?
You would like to contact the child benefit department? Please note that the competence of the child benefit department depends on your place of residence. We will provide you with the contact details of the responsible offices as well as the addresses and telephone numbers of your child benefit department. Please use the following overview:
All contact details and further information of the child benefit departments in Germany can be found in the section Child benefit departments as an overview.
Is the child benefit department responsible for paying child benefits in each state?
Normally, the child benefit department of the Federal Employment Agency is responsible for paying child benefit in the respective federal states.
Payment dates: When does the child benefit department pay child benefit?
See the link below for a listing of all child benefit payment dates.
Subsequent changes: What do I need to tell the child benefit department?
You must notify the child benefit department immediately if at least one parent is going to take up employment in the public sector that will last longer than half a year or if one parent is working in the public sector and one parent wishes to claim child benefit from the employer.
Notification is also required if a parent begins employment abroad, is sent abroad for work reasons, or a parent and child move abroad. The child benefit department must also be notified if you are receiving foreign family benefits for your child or if there is a permanent separation or divorce of the parents.
If your child or a parent is no longer living in the same household or has died, immediate notification to the child benefit department is appropriate. Other reasons for notifying the child benefit department of changes are changed bank details or a move.
By when do I have to notify the child benefit department of the tax IDs?
The tax identification number for your child will be sent to you by mail from the Federal Central Tax Office. You must provide this tax ID to your responsible child benefit department in writing. It is not possible to transmit it by telephone. Since the child benefit department will not fully process your child benefit application until it has received your child’s tax ID, you should not submit your child benefit application without a tax ID number. If you do not receive notification of your child’s tax ID after a longer period of time, you should contact the Federal Central Tax Office.
What can I do if the child benefit department fails to act?
The processing time of child benefit applications by the child benefit department should not exceed 6 weeks. Only if the authority fails to act within 6 months, you can file an objection of failure to act with the competent fiscal court.
If you are still receiving other benefits (e.g. Jobcenter), benefits may be adjusted here to bridge the gap.
What should I do if I do not agree with the decision of the child benefit department?
If you doubt the result of the child benefit department, you can appeal against the decision of the child benefit department within one month. This objection must be made in writing. If the child benefit department does not respond within 6 months, you could file an action for failure to act with the tax court.
If the child benefit department does not make any changes after examining the objection, it can issue an objection decision instead. As a rule, parents can then only appeal against this decision.
In the case of a child benefit decision under social law, you must file an objection. Again, the time limit of one month applies. You can find out whether you receive child benefit under tax law (EStG) or social law (BKGG) from your child benefit notice.
Child benefit reclaim from the child benefit department
We will inform you about withholding and reclaiming child benefit.
Is the child benefit department allowed to withhold / reclaim child benefits?
Yes, the child benefit department can withhold or reclaim child benefit if the requirements conditions for child benefit are no longer met.
What to do if child benefit is withheld / reclaimed?
If you receive a demand for repayment from the child benefit department and do not agree with the decision, you can file an objection. In this case, your repayment must not be made after your objection has been examined, but must be transferred in due time. If in doubt, apply for a suspension of execution.