There is no job tougher and more satisfying than being a parent. Truly, being a parent is a 24/7 job. It takes a big toll on the parent’s health, mental stability, and finances.
When it comes to finances, parents may need some extra outside support to ensure adequate financial security. Keeping this in mind, the German authorities run a program called ElternGeld or Parental Benefit.
This program is implemented with a focus on younger parents who either have to leave their jobs or reduce the working hours to take care of their child. Read on to learn about how you can apply for parental benefits with German Social Security.
German Social Security Benefits Program
There are five branches under this program. Namely, sickness insurance, Long-term insurance, Pension insurance, Accident Insurance, and Unemployment insurance.
Starting from unemployment benefits to health insurance, pensions, and child support, the Social Security program provides various benefits to the citizens.
Furthermore, these benefits are also applicable to international skilled workers working in Germany. The proceeds from the employees and employers are a major source of funding for the entire program.
ElternGeld or Parental Benefits Program
The ElternGeld program comes under the purview of Family benefits provided within the Social Security Program. There are two parts to the family benefits systems, Child Benefit (KinderGeld), and Parental Allowance (ElternGeld).
Parents can get the allowance for their children, for adopted infants, or the child of the partner (stepchildren). It must be noted that the ElternGeld benefits are not permanent or work as a continuous pension.
These are temporary benefits provided to help parents take appropriate care of the child without having to look over their shoulders for money. The time period of the program is only 12 months.
The amount of money is calculated after the disposable income in the parent’s hand after deducting the taxes. Plus to ensure that the parents share the same responsibility of raising a child, the German government allows both the parents to take time off from work and receive these benefits.
More Important Information on ElternGeld
Parents can share the ElternGeld time and remuneration divided between the total time of 12 or 24 months. This system of providing the benefits is adopted from the Scandinavian policy, which allows the parents to receive similar benefits.
You are set to receive some percentage of your previous income as a benefit from the program. For instance, if you are earning less than 1000 euros and between 1000 to 1200 euros, the allowance will be 67%.
Similarly for income ranging between 1200 to 1240 euros, the allowance is 67 to 65%. For more than 1240 euros as monthly income, the allowance is 65%.
Who Is Eligible to Apply for ElternGeld?
Four strata of parents can apply for this program. These are the employed, self-employed, and the parents in bureaucratic positions. Furthermore, unemployed parents, students and apprentices, and the parents who have adopted their kids can also apply.
Added to this, you should be living in Germany (have a residence) or must have a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel), which allows you to work in the country.
Second, you must be living with your child under one roof, and you are caring for your child personally. Lastly, to get the benefits of the program, you should not be working for more than 30 hours per week.
How to Apply for the Program
You can only apply by submitting the form to your city’s Parental Benefit Office. There are city-specific forms that you need to download from the official website. Fill the form and submit or send it to the parental benefit office in your city.
It will be good if you can submit the form as soon as your child is born. There is the possibility of a retroactive payout, but not more than three months. For more information, you can always ask your nearest Parental Benefit center and understand your rights.
Being a parent is easier said than done, and money is not the only facet of this responsibility. Indeed, money plays an important role in child-rearing and caring.
Seeing the importance of raising a child, the German government has taken a great step towards ensuring a better environment for the future of the country.