Apply for parental allowance

Information about your parental allowance application

In order to successfully apply for parental allowance, there are many things to consider. In the following, we clarify the most important questions:

Apply for parental allowance - What parents need to consider about the application.

Table of contents

Here are the most important facts if you want to apply for parental allowance:

  • Parental allowance is applied for in writing on the application forms
  • Normally both parents must sign the applications personally
  • Documents can also be submitted later
  • You have about three months to submit the applications
  • The reference period can still be changed if necessary
  • Processing takes a few weeks
  • Normally you will receive parental allowance on the first day of each lifemonth of your child (during the reference period)

When do I apply for parental allowance?

You can only send the parental allowance application to the responsible parental allowance office after the birth of your child. Only then will you know the required information about the child (date of birth, name, etc.) and only in the first few weeks after delivery will you receive the mandatory documents required for the parental allowance application (such as birth certificate, maternity leave certificate, employer certificates, etc.).


Parental allowance must be applied for in writing on the official parental allowance application forms.

Fill out the application forms as much as possible before the birth and prepare them for mailing (envelopes and stamps). After the birth of your child, you have more important things to do.

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

If you live or work outside Germany, you may also be entitled to parental allowance in Germany under certain conditions. For this purpose, you should then apply for foreign benefits comparable to the parental allowance together with the application for German parental allowance and submit proof of receipt or a refusal thereof. The parental allowance office will then check whether the foreign benefit is offset against the German parental allowance and whether any differences are granted. In our article Parental allowance for foreigners and border crossers you will find more information.

What documents do I need for the parental allowance application?

The following documents must always be submitted:

  • Birth certificate of the child with the purpose of use “for parental allowance” in the original
  • from both parents: a copy of the identity card or passport and the current residence permit
  • Approval or rejection notice for maternity leave payment from the statutory health insurance before and after childbirth, or for daily sickness benefit for privately insured persons.
  • Proof of income for the assessment period (salary statements, profit statements, tax statements, etc.)
  • Proof of parental leave granted by the employer

The following documents may also be required (list not exhaustive):

  • Proof of employer allowance during maternity protection periods
  • Proof of receipt of daily sickness benefits due to pregnancy-related illness plus medical certificate
  • Approval and cancellation notices for income replacement benefits in the assessment period (ALG I, sickness benefit, insolvency benefit, short-time allowance, etc.)
  • Parenting allowance notices for older siblings, if receipt extends into the assessment period for the baby
  • Proof of child benefit payments for older siblings
  • Proof (employer’s certificate) of income from non-self-employment during the period of receipt of parental allowance (so-called earnings certificate)
  • Income forecast for the amount of earnings during the reference period (applies to self-employed persons)
  • For children born outside Germany in a country of the European Union, a copy of the birth certificate is sufficient. If your child was born outside the EU, you may need a certified German translation of the birth certificate for the application.

Employers may not refuse to hand over the documents required for the application (cf. § 9 BEEG). However, a reference to the duty to provide information is usually sufficient, otherwise the parental allowance office will write to the employer itself. The list contains the most important and most common proofs. In individual cases, especially in the case of self-employed persons and parents with mixed incomes, further evidence may have to be submitted. Our Parental Allowance Software will provide you with an individual list of the documents you need to submit after generating your parental allowance application. If you opt for a personal Parental allowance consulting we will of course let you know what evidence you should submit with it.

Are there any deadlines to observe when it comes to parental allowance?

You can apply for parental allowance within the first fourteen months of your child’s life. In the case of adopted children or children taken in with the aim of adoption (so-called adoptive care), it is not the actual date of birth that is decisive when applying for parental allowance, but the date on which the household was established.


Parental allowance is only granted retroactively for the last three months of the child’s life before the beginning of the month in which the application is received by the parental allowance office. Since parental allowance is based on the respective months of the child’s life (not on calendar months), an application must therefore receive a stamp of receipt from the competent authority on the last day of the child’s 4th month of life at the latest in order for the entitlement to parental allowance to apply retroactively from the birth of the child. By the way, you can also send a fax within the deadline. Missing documents and information can also be submitted later.

Example: Birth on 05.03.2022 / application on 20.08.2022

The parental allowance application was received by the parental allowance office in the sixth month of the child’s life. Therefore, parental allowance can only be paid for the third, fourth and fifth months of the child’s life. For the first and second month of life, the application was thus submitted too late.

Example: Birth on 05.03.2022 / application on 29.06.2022

The parental allowance application was received by the parental allowance office in the fourth month of the child’s life. Therefore, parental allowance can be paid for the period of the first, second and third month of life. As the last date to receive parental allowance for the first month of life, in this example the application must be submitted by 04.07.2022 (last day in the fourth month of life).

Where do I send the parental allowance application?

The parental allowance offices are responsible for setting the parental allowance. Each federal state regulates independently how it administers parental allowance. As a rule, the counties and independent cities are responsible and have an office located in the youth or social welfare office. However, there are exceptions. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, only one agency is responsible: The state-owned state bank “L-Bank”. Here you will learn which Parental Allowance Office is responsible for you and how you can best reach them.

Can I also submit documents later?

Yes, if you have already received a file number, please include it. Many parental allowance offices also accept the subsequent submission of documents by e-mail.

How long does it take to receive my parental allowance?

Normally, the processing of your complete application for parental allowance should take between 4 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the actual processing time takes much longer in places. It is helpful if you submit your applications completely and correctly and refrain from telephone intermediate status cancellations. If you want your application to be correct and complete, we recommend you use our personal parental allowance consulting. Here you can benefit from our many years of experience.

What are the payment dates for parental allowance?

Parental allowance is regularly paid on the first day of the month of life for the coming month of life. If this day falls on a weekend or holiday, the payment date is postponed to the next bank working day. In some federal states, the parental allowance is paid in a different way; check in the notification whether a payment plan was attached.

The child was born on 05.03.2020. The parental allowance was set at the correct amount in the decision dated 20.04.2020. On 05.05.2020 (Tuesday), the claimant receives the parental allowance for the third month of life. Since 05.07.2020 is a Sunday, the payment of the parental allowance for the fifth month of life is postponed to 06.07.2020 (Monday). Payment in one sum or other payment modalities are not provided for.

Important notice:
Because parental allowance is paid in advance for the month of life, an income gap can quickly arise at the end of parental allowance receipt. If you receive parental allowance at the beginning of the 12th month of life and return to work at the beginning of the 13th month of life, you may have an income gap in between because wages are generally paid at the end of the month. Therefore, please keep an eye on your cash flow.

Can I change my parental allowance application (reference period) retrospectively?

A change in the selected reference months is possible, 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 competent administrator is sufficient for this. An exception to this, however, there are so-called special hardships. If a parent for example becomes unexpectedly unemployed, or so seriously ill that he can no longer be gainfully employed and therefore the original plan in the parental allowance no longer works, the parental allowance office can also grant further changes within the scope of their discretion.

In addition, you can retroactively convert parental allowance plus months into basic parental allowance months. However, you cannot convert basic parental allowance months into parental allowance plus months. The Partnership bonus months you can apply independently, even later (if you meet the narrow requirements).



A case of hardship within the meaning of Section 7 (2) sentence 3 BEEG may also exist if the emergency assistance (Corona emergency assistance payment) significantly exceeds the income that was plausibly declared when the application was made and a reduction in the amount of parental allowance compared to the provisionally approved amount is to be expected as a result (cf. guidelines on Section 3 (1) BEEG).

A subsequent change of the reference period due to the inflow of a corona allowance is thus possible. At this point, it will make sense to create a gap month in the parental allowance reference period in the month of life of the inflow of the VAT-exempt but income taxable allowance (if possible).

Unfortunately, we have already had the experience that parental allowance offices do not implement the administrative instruction and thus accept a reduction of the parental allowance due to the emergency aid. Those affected should consider filing an objection or going to the social court.

Find your right parental allowance

Each state has its own application forms. Here you can find the applications for your federal states:


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