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One-stop shop for Child Benefit - Family Benefits Office prepares for two million additional child benefit cases

For most people in Germany the Family Benefits Office is the first contact they have with the Federal Employment Agency (BA). For many of them it's also their only and longest contact. The BA's Family Benefits Office is currently responsible for paying Child Benefit for over 14 million children. But that's not all. Over two million child benefit cases where at least one of the parents works in the public sector are handled by approximately 5,500 Family Benefit Offices of the Federal Government, state governments and local authorities.  

28 Mar 2017 | Press Release No. 8

At the start of the year lawmakers set out the requirements for a reform of these arrangements. The legislation is part of a Federal Government programme for a more citizen-friendly public administration in Germany. This means that by 2021 the BA Family Benefits Office can on a sliding scale take on the child benefit cases of the many public sector family benefits offices if they agree do so. The "service for all" approach is intended to become more modern and quicker overall as well as open up new access routes e.g. via the internet. In order to familiarise managers with these challenges in the coming years, a conference organised by the BA Family Benefits Office took place in Göttingen on 28 March.

Karsten Bunk, Director of the BA Family Benefits Office, appreciates the significance: "We want to successfully fulfil the mandate given to us by lawmakers. We are well prepared for this. Wherever possible, the burden on the institutions of the Federal Government, state governments and local authorities should be removed. Above all we want to better support people who receive child benefit and to do so in as modern a way as possible. In Germany there is unfortunately a lot of red tape surrounding family benefits and the agencies responsible for them. In the case of Child Benefit, we want to make a start in cutting that red tape!"

The guest speaker was Johannes Geismann, the State Secretary responsible at the Federal Ministry of Finance, who explained the expectations that are linked to these reforms: "This is not all just about improving efficiency across all levels of government. A handover process that is seamless and transparent for all those affected must be ensured. Nobody should be put at a disadvantage as a result. Above all there must also be tangible improvements for persons claiming child benefits and a further reduction in bureaucracy."