Child benefit after finishing school

Even people over 18 may receive child benefit, so place your application early and submit documentary evidence

24 Jun 2022 | Press release no.30

The current school year is over, and many parents are now concerned about the continuation of child benefit. Does your child even have to register as unemployed until his or her apprenticeship or studies start?

Parents are categorically eligible for child benefit until the child is 18, but benefit can be claimed even after the age of 18 when, for example, the person is undergoing school or vocational training, studying or doing a job placement. Because, however, there is usually no smooth cross-over from school to career, child benefit can still be drawn between two stages of training for a transition period of up to four months.

Child benefit can even be paid out during voluntary service or similar schemes (FSJ [Voluntary Social Year], FÖJ [Voluntary Ecological Year] or recognised voluntary service programmes at home or abroad such as 'Freiwilligendienst aller Generationen' or the weltwärts development aid voluntary programme.

Child benefit can furthermore be claimed if, through no fault of the child, the transition period is delayed whilst the young person is actively seeking an apprenticeship or place at university, or has been accepted for an apprenticeship or university but has not yet been admitted. For this, it is enough to submit proof to the local Family Benefits Office of application efforts, a training or university start or school certificates. It is not necessary during this period to register at the Agentur für Arbeit [Employment Agency]. It is always crucial to submit the child's post-school plans in writing in order to continue receiving benefits.

If your child has no further plans after completion of his or her school education for direct post-school training, child benefit may still be claimed whilst looking for a job. To be eligible, the child must register at the Employment Agency as a jobseeker.

Children of full age may also make use of the Family Benefits Office's practical online services at Here they can conveniently transfer their evidence of an apprenticeship or university start or school certificates to the Family Benefits Office electronically.

The Family Benefits Office is reachable Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm via freephone on 0800 4 5555 30.