Child allowance (Kinderzuschlag)

Child allowance provides additional financial support for low-income-families. Learn more about the most important regulations for parents who want to apply for child allowance.


Familie spielt ein Spiel

Single parents and couples can claim child allowance for their children who are unmarriedunder the age of 25 and live in their household if 

  • positiv:they receive child benefits (Kindergeld) or similar benefits (e.g. from abroad) for those children,
  • positiv:their monthly income is at or above the minimum level,
  • positiv:they earn enough income for themselves and will be able to cover their family’s needs with the child allowance and
  • positiv:any income that is offset against child allowance is not so high that the child allowance will be reduced to nothing.

Minimum income level for child allowance

Parents may only claim child allowance if their monthly income in cash or monetary value (e.g. gross income from work, unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld), continued wages in the event of illness, etc.) is at or above the minimum income level. The minimum income is  900 for couples and  600 for single parents.

They can usually receive child allowance if their income, child benefits, any housing allowance and the child allowance would allow them to cover their family’s needs, as described in the Second Book of the German Social Security Code (SGB II).

If they cannot cover all their family’s needs with these payments, however, they may still be entitled to receive child allowance in certain cases via the extended access option.

They must meet 2 requirements to take advantage of this extended access option, they must not 

  • negativ:be over € 100 short of covering their family’s needs with their income from work, the child allowance and any housing allowance and
  • negativ:receive any benefits stipulated in SGB II or apply for any such support.

Monthly amount and payment

The exact amount of child allowance is determined by the income and assets of both the parents and children. It is limited to up to € 292 a month per child. Child allowance is paid out every month with child benefits.

How to apply for child allowance

Child allowance can be requested from your local Familienkasse at the Federal Employment Agency, which is also responsible for processing applications. The same applies to civil servants.

If you have any questions about your application and personal circumstances, please contact your local Familienkasse.

Additional benefits for education and social involvement

Erzieher und Kind beim Spielen

Recipients of child allowance can also receive benefits for education and social involvement.

The following activities can be funded:

  • One-day and multi-day trips with schools, nurseries or day-care centres (total cost)
  • Cash payment for personal school equipment (€ 174 per academic year, 2024: € 195 per academic year)
  • School transport (total cost)
  • Learning support for inadequate academic achievements, regardless of immediate risk of failing a class (total cost)
  • Lunch at school (also in cooperation with after-school club), nursery or day-care centre (total cost)
  • Benefits for involvement in social and cultural life within the community (monthly lump sum of € 15)

Benefits for education and social involvement can be requested from the local authorities, where you can also get the necessary application forms.

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