Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Kids & Family Parental Allowance (Elterngeld)

The parental allowance (Elterngeld) is a state benefit for parents who look after their child themselves after the birth. This applies even if the parents were not working before the birth of the child.

Parental Allowance - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Who Gets Parental Allowance?

To receive parental allowance, you must fulfil the following conditions:

  • You are a citizen of the EU/EEA/Switzerland or have a permanent residence permit or a residence permit with authorisation to work.
  • You look after and raise your child after the birth yourself.
  • You live with your child in one household.
  • You are resident in Germany.
  • In the last calendar year before the birth of your child, you have – as a single parent – earned a taxable income of less than 250,000 Euro. For jointly eligible parents, the income limit is increased to less than 500,000 Euro.
  • If you work part-time during the period of parental allowance, the weekly working time must not exceed 30 hours.

How Much Parental Allowance Will I Receive? And How Long Can I Receive it?

In principle, parents can receive basic parental allowance (Basiselterngeld) for up to 14 months. After that, there is the parental allowance plus (ElterngeldPlus).

Basic parental allowance for up to 14 months

Parents can receive a basic parental allowance (Basiselterngeld) for up to 14 months.

A parent can receive the parental allowance benefit for at least two and for a maximum of twelve months. The parental allowance is paid for further two months if both parents make use of the offer of the parental allowance (Partnermonate). Single parents are entitled to the full 14 months.

The amount of parental allowance (basic parental allowance) depends on the income of the parents before the child’s birth. It usually compensates two-thirds of the lost net income. The parental allowance is at least 300 Euro and a maximum of 1,800 Euro.

Parental allowance plus (ElterngeldPlus) for longer support than 14 months

The parental allowance plus is designed as flexible support for parents who work during parental benefit in part-time. Parental allowance plus compensates the income loss attributable to the reduced work time. The parental allowance plus secures families even beyond the 14th month of their child’s life.

The calculation of the parental allowance plus is the same as in the case of basic parental allowance, but is a maximum of half of the basic parental allowance, which is attributable to parents without part-time incomes after birth. However, it is paid for the double period: one basic parental allowance month = two parental allowance plus months.

Basic parental allowance and parental allowance plus can be freely combined.

Consulting, Application, Information

The application for parental allowance must be submitted in writing. For further information and applying for parental allowance, please contact the parental allowance department (Elterngeldstelle) of your local District Office. Find your local parental allowance department by using the authority finder (Behördenfinder) (service in German language). There, please enter the registered address of the child in the first search field, then enter the family name of the child in the second search field.