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Parental Allowance ("Elterngeld")

Parental allowance ("Elterngeld") is paid to fathers and mothers—together for up to 12 months—if they take a (partial) break from their job for looking after a child and do not work full time (i.e, less than 30 hours a week). Within the parental allowance framework, studying does not count as employment.

Parental allowance for foreign students

Foreigners are only entitled to parents’ money, if they have a permanent resident status or a permit of residence according to certain paragraphs of the Residence Act. A student permit of residence does not suffice here.

Details on parental allowance ("Elterngeld")

An additional two months of parental allowance may be granted if both parents apply for it (together, a maximum of 14 months). In this case, each parent has to qualify for at least two months and no more than twelve months of parental allowance and the income has to have been decreased by parental leave.

Single parents can receive the full 14 months parental allowance if they have a decrease of income by parental leave. The condition for this is that the child lives with only that parent who holds the sole custody or at least the right to determine the place of residence.

Parental allowance is at least € 300 and no more than € 1,800. It is calculated based on the earned income that is discontinued after birth:

  • income replacement rate of 65 % on income above € 1,200;
  • a gradually increasing replacement rate from 65 % up to 67 % on income between € 1,199 to € 1,000;
  • a gradually increasing replacement rate from 67 % up to 100 % on income between € 999 and € 301.

Maternity benefits after the birth of the child (especially the maternity allowance paid by the statutory health insurance and the employer's contribution) will be fully counted against the parental allowance.

Unemployed parents also receive parental allowance: the so-called "Sockelbetrag" (base amount) of € 300. These € 300 will be counted against any unemployment benefit II ("Arbeitslosengeld II"), social allowance benefits ("Sozialgeld"), or children's allowance ("Kinderzuschlag").

Payment may be extended over twice the time if the amounts paid are reduced to half.

Parental Allowance Plus ("ElterngeldPlus")

The Parental Allowance Plus Act became effective on 1 January 2015; it applies to children born on 1 July 2015 and afterwards. It is an additional variation of the parental allowance and is intended to promote the early return to work after the birth of a child.

Parents working part-time only receive half as much money as recipients of the regular parental allowance. But they receive support for 24 months (which is twice as long as normal), beyond the 14th month of the child.

With the partnership bonus each parent receives an additional four months Parental Allowance Plus. The condition for this is that both parents share the care of their child and work for at least four months in parallel with each working 25 to 30 hours a week.

Single parents are also eligible for the Parental Allowance Plus if they meet the criteria of the tax relief amount (according to § 24 b of the Income Tax Act). 

More information

If you live in the city of Hanover, please contact:
Landeshauptstadt Hannover, Fachbereich Jugend und Familie, Sachgebiet Eltern- und Betreuungsgeld.

If you do not live within the city of Hanover, you can find out which authority to contact at your local municipality.

You will find detailed information on acquirement, entitlement, sibling bonus and application as well as a parents’ money calculator at the Familienwegweiser des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (Family Guide of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth). The Broschüre Elterngeld und Elternzeit (brochure on parents’ money and parental leave) published by the ministry will give you even more specific information.



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