Information about Brexit

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Preliminary remarks

On 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union (EU) with a withdrawal agreement. The transition period agreed in the withdrawal agreement ended on 31 December 2020. A Trade and Cooperation Agreement has been concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which entered into force provisionally on 1 January 2021 and formally on May 1, 2021. However, the area of family benefits, which includes child benefit, has been excluded from the agreement and the protocol on social security.

The rights of EU citizens and British citizens who already had a connection to a member state of the European Union and the United Kingdom at the end of the transitional period ("old cases") are basically protected by the withdrawal agreement.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement regulates the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom and is therefore relevant for cases in which the relationship between the United Kingdom and a member state does not arise until 1 January 2021 ("new applications").

General notes

The statements below relate to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In order to keep the answers as brief as possible, the terms "United Kingdom", "British" or "British" are used in the following. 

Please note that the answers are for your general information only and cannot be exhaustive of all provisions.

Further information on child benefit

If you have any questions about child benefit, please contact the Family Benefits Office on the following number:

0800 4 555530

Further information on child benefit and child supplement can also be found under Family and children.

Old Cases

For old cases, the situation concerning the United Kingdom and Germany already occurred before the end of the transitional period.

In principle, UK nationals can continue to be entitled to child benefit after the end of the transitional period if they, for example

  • live in Germany,
  • are in employment in Germany,
  • are family members of the aforementioned case groups that do not yet live in Germany themselves

and if this situation already existed at the end of the transitional period.

Since you are a German citizen residing in the United Kingdom, you are in a situation which affects both Germany and the United Kingdom. As a result, the provisions of the withdrawal agreement apply to you and the relevant Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and 987/2009 on the coordination of social security systems continue to apply. These rules determine, inter alia, which State is primarily responsible for the payment of family benefits. For more information, in particular on the rules of priority, please follow this Link.

Under the withdrawal agreement, child benefit may continue to be paid, if necessary by taking UK benefits into account, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.

Insofar as a link with the United Kingdom and Germany continues to exist in the event of a move, the situation may continue to fall within the scope of the withdrawal agreement and must be assessed as before in compliance with national law in conjunction with Regulations (EC) No 883/2003 and No 987/2009. Entitlement to child benefit may then continue to exist, possibly taking into account British benefits.

If, however, the move means that there is no longer a simultaneous entitlement to both states, for example because residence and employment now coincide in the country of origin, the entitlement to child benefit must be assessed purely in accordance with national rules. If there is no longer any link to Germany as a result of the move, the entitlement to child benefit is also no longer applicable.

Here too, the following applies: insofar as the changes in employment mean that the link to the United Kingdom and Germany remains, the facts of the case fall under the withdrawal agreement and entitlement to child benefit must be assessed as before in application of national law in conjunction with Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and No 987/2009. If the link to Germany no longer exists, there is no longer entitlement to child benefit either.

The situation is covered by the withdrawal agreement. As there are no competing entitlements in the United Kingdom, entitlement to child benefit will in future be solely subject to national law. In future, there will be no longer any recognition of UK benefits and there will be an entitlement to full German child benefit, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.

Since you are a British national living in Germany, you are in a situation which affects both Germany and the UK. As a result, the provisions of the withdrawal agreement are applicable to you and the relevant Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and No 987/2009 on the coordination of social security systems continue to apply. These rules determine, inter alia, which State is primarily responsible for the payment of family benefits. For more information, in particular on the rules of priority, please follow this Link.

As your spouse works in the UK, he or she is primarily responsible for the payment of child benefit. If the benefits in the UK are lower than those in Germany, you are entitled to child benefit differential supplements ("Kindergeldunterschiedsbeträge").

New applications

For new applications, the situation concerning the UK and Germany occurred only after the end of the transitional period.

At the end of the transitional period, the provisions of the withdrawal agreement will no longer apply. If you become resident in Germany after 31 December 2020, you are only entitled to child benefit if you have a residence permit. Some other residence titles may also entitle you to child benefit, especially if, for example, this title allows you to take up gainful employment. Further information on this can be obtained from your Familienkasse.

Since the withdrawal agreement does not apply here, the child resident in the United Kingdom is not entitled to child benefit.